A black and white photograph. Four men wearing formal suits and black armbands walk down a street carrying a coffin. Attached to the coffin is a large sign labeled 'Academic Freedom.' More men march behind them, while in the background a woman and a child look on while holding hands.Students march from the University of Texas to the Texas Capitol carrying a coffin to protest the firing of UT President Homer Rainey.
(From the “Weldon Wayne Rogers Photography Collection” of the Briscoe Center for American History)

The Rainey Controversy at UT Austin


Project: Digital History Exhibit
Role: Historian/Architect/Digitizer
“On November 1, 1944, the Regents of the University of Texas fired UT president, Homer Price Rainey…”

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of archival digitization is the possibility it provides for collaboration. Through digitization, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions can enrich their collections by working together to tell stories that extend beyond their individual holdings.

This digital history exhibit, The Rainey Controversy at the University of Texas, utilizes legislative committee documents digitized by me in the course of my work at the Legislative Reference Library of Texas together with letters, photographs and internal documents from the Briscoe Center for American History to tell the story of Homer Price Rainey, the mostly forgotten twelfth president of the University of Texas, and his firing at the hands of a the University Regents. It deals with the topics of communism, race, academic freedom and student protests at the end of the second World War.

This project was the culmination of a class, “Digital and Public History” taught by Dr. Joan Neuberger in Spring 2019. It was constructed in Wordpress and optimized for mobile viewing.

View the completed final project at theraineycontroversy.wordpress.com