American MemoryThe National Digital Library Program: Archived Documentation

The Library of Congress / Ameritech National Digital Library Competition (1996-1999)

Image from collection

University of Texas

The South Texas Border, 1900-1920: Photographs from the Robert Runyon Collection

Amount of award: $46,945

Robert Runyon, a commercial, but not "official," photographer of the lower Rio Grande area, documented the life and people of the region. The 8,241 photographs in the collection depict preparations for the Mexican War and World War I, the region's cities and towns, agriculture, technology, leisure activities, and natural features. In addition to studio portraits, there are images of life in the places where people were active day to day--soldiers and nurses preparing for war; excursions of potential land buyers; ceremonial occasions such as funerals, parades, athletic field days, and visits of important personages; and military maneuvers and equipment. The collection illustrates the complex and often conflicting interaction between Anglo-Americans, Mexican Americans, and Mexicans, the degree to which each group was influenced by others, and especially the biculturalism of Mexican Texans.

Online Collection

Image Caption: Soldaderas. (University of Texas at Austin, The Center for American History and General Libraries, Robert Runyon Photograph Collection. Reproduction Number: 00152).