Public history students process Benton, Querry, and Jackson collections
SAN MARCOS, Texas—Thanks to graduate students in Texas State’s Public History program, three important archives at the Wittliff Collections are now fully processed and open for research. Last fall, the students completed arranging and inventorying these holdings, under the guidance of Lead Archivist Katie Salzmann, as part of their coursework in archives management. Working in groups of four, they applied what they learned in readings and in class to make the Robert Benton, Ron Querry, and Jack Jackson collections available to anyone interested in the creative processes of these literary artists.
The Robert Benton Papers document the career of the Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director from Texas. Projects represented by scripts, production and publicity materials, photographs, and set designs include Kramer vs. Kramer, Still of the Night, Places in the Heart, Billy Bathgate, and Nobody’s Fool.
Choctaw Nation member Ron Querry is the acclaimed author of the novels The Death of Bernadette Lefthand and Bad Medicine, which depict the intersection of white and native worlds. Of Querry’s writing, Tony Hillerman said, “The Death of Bernadette Lefthand should rank among the classics of American fiction.” Querry’s papers include notes, drafts, and other materials relating to these novels and his other writings, as well as Querry’s personal correspondence, photographs, and subject files.
Jack Jackson, also known as Jaxon, is widely considered the author of the first underground comic to be sold, called “God Nose.” Later in his career, he found success as an illustrator and author of historical fiction. That work forms the bulk of this collection and includes research material, drafts, and illustrations for his titles, including Columbus, Imaginary Kingdom: Texas As Seen by the Rivera & Rubi Military Expeditions, and Shooting the Sun: Cartographic Results of Military Activities in Texas.
The inventories, or “finding aids” for these and all of the Wittliff’s processed archives in the Southwestern Writers Collection are available through the A-Z Guide to the Collections in the Research section of the website.