As many know, Fred Heath announced his retirement from his position as Vice Provost and Director of the University of Texas Libraries last spring. After over 30 years of work in library administration and 10 years at UT Libraries, we will say goodbye to Dr. Heath on August 31.
In honor of Fred’s retirement, the University Federal Credit Union is making a gift to establish the Fred and Jean Heath Libraries Tomorrow Fund. This endowment will provide funds to address future unknown needs and enhancements of the University of Texas Libraries.
The Libraries Tomorrow Fund is also an alternative for donors who want to support the Libraries, but who are not ready to make an investment of $25,000 or more. This fund allows donors to establish an endowment over a timeframe that is convenient for them. This is a unique opportunity for a donor to have an immediate impact without fully funding an endowment until they are able to.
The best part is that the University Federal Credit Union has pledged to match gifts up to $25,000, which means that your gift today will be doubled and have an even greater impact.
Any gift contributed to the Libraries Tomorrow Fund will help the UT Libraries of the future today.
Author James Galloway — also a library specialist at the Mallet Chemistry Library — was recently consulted by the PBS investigative television program “History Detectives: Special Investigations” in the production of an episode on a series of unsolved murders that occurred in Austin in the mid-nineteenth century. Galloway’s 2010 book, The Servant Girl Murders: Austin, Texas 1885, provided background for the program, having been drawn from his research utilizing the wealth of historical materials inhabiting special collections across the Austin area, including those at The University of Texas at Austin.
Galloway was took some time to talk with us about how the book came to be.
What got you interested in the murders?
James R. Galloway: I took a history class — Methods in Historical Research — when I was finishing grad school here at The University of Texas in 1996 that focused on local history resources and collections. I was trying to come up with a topic for a research paper and I remembered this local legend about a serial killer from the nineteenth century in Austin. I did some digging around and as far as I could tell no one else had done research on the topic. I thought it would make a good research paper and started looking into it.
What compelled you to write the book?
JRG: After I finished grad school, I was still interested in the story, I had barely scratched the surface of the primary sources I could find and I had no idea what had ultimately happened with the murders and I wanted to continue to investigate them in my spare time.
Where did you discover information about the events, and how long did you work to research the book?