Edward Everett Hale once published a charming little pamphlet, A Tract for the Day. How to Conquer Texas, Before Texas Conquers Us (Boston: Redding, 1845). Many Americans have been pondering the implications of that ever since annexation. To help provide some perspective, the Book Club of Texas looks forward to welcoming FABS members to the Lone Star State in 2017 with a tour of various libraries and museums in Dallas and Austin, May 31-June 3.
The festivities begin on Wednesday evening, May 31, 2017, with an opening reception at the DeGolyer Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University. DeGolyer is best known for its holdings in Western Americana but has strong holdings as well in railroadiana, business history, photography, and the history of science and technology.
On Thursday morning, June 1, the group will tour the most recent addition to the SMU campus, the George W. Bush Library, followed by lunch at Café 43. In the afternoon, there will be a tour of Bridwell Library. Bridwell is part of the Perkins School of Theology and has an extraordinary collection of incunabula as well as extensive collections devoted to rare Bibles, theology and philosophy, Wesleyana, and fine printing. On Thursday night, we will venture beyond the campus to the Harlan Crow Library for a reception and dinner. Mr. Crow has one of the great private collections in the country, with strong holdings in Americana.
On Friday morning, June 2, we will head south on I-35, taking a chartered bus to Austin (with box lunch). In the afternoon, we’ll tour the Benson Latin American Collection, a library devoted to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean island nations, South America, and areas of the United States during the period that they were a part of the Spanish Empire or Mexico. On Friday night, we’ll have a gala dinner at our conference hotel and hear a talk by Bill Fisher of San Antonio, who is amassing an extraordinary collection of Hispanic imprints.
Saturday morning, June 3, will find us at the recently remodeled Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, the first presidential library in the state, devoted to the life and times of LBJ. To experience even more things Texan, we’ll have lunch at House Park BBQ with plenty of time to spend mid-day at 12th Street Books, a thriving bricks-and-mortar shop. In the afternoon, the tour will end at the incomparable Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, where we’ll be given an inside look at its various collections and programs, capped by a reception that evening.
On Sunday, FABS members will depart from the Austin airport, or stay longer, if so inclined: many find it difficult to leave Austin behind. Conversely, for those who may wish to arrive early, Dallas offers attractions of its own. The Meadows Museum on the SMU campus has an extraordinary collection of Spanish art, for example (tickets are half price for FABS members), and the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art are adjacent to each other downtown.
All attendees need to make their own travel and hotel reservations. Air travel will involve one-way flights to Dallas and departures back to your home cities from Austin. In Dallas, Southwest Airlines flies to close-in Love Field. All other carriers connect to the DFW Regional Airport. In Austin, Bergstrom International Airport is served by all major airlines.
In Dallas, we’ve reserved a block of rooms ($169 plus tax) at the Hotel Lumen, across the street from the SMU campus.
In Austin, we’ve reserved a block of rooms ($199 plus tax) at the AT&T Conference Center, which is on the UT campus.
In both cases, ask for the FABS rate. To reserve your spot on the 2017 FABS tour, send your check for $750 payable to the Book Club of Texas, DeGolyer Library, Box 750396, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275. The registration fee includes all lunches and evening meals and receptions, shuttle buses around each campus, the charter bus to Austin, a year’s membership in the Book Club of Texas, and one publication from the Club. Enrollment is capped at 50 people, first come, first served. Slots are expected to fill quickly, so don’t delay. If you have to cancel, please let us know before May 1, 2017, and we can refund your registration in full. After May 1, we will try to refund as much as possible but may have to withhold a portion to help cover any of our fixed expenses.
If you have questions, please contact Terre Heydari at the DeGolyer Library, 214-768-3637, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we’ve received your payment to reserve your spot, we’ll send you a registration form, on which you can indicate any dietary or mobility restrictions.
In late May and early June our weather is still on the mild side. Or, as one optimistic promotional pamphlet proclaimed, Greater Southwest Texas: The Garden Spot of the World in the Domain of the Truckers’ Paradise (San Antonio, Tex.?: Southern Pacific Railway, 1905). We look forward to welcoming many FABS members to paradise in 2017!
--Russell Martin III