John Henry Kirby Papers, 1884-1944 | University of Houston Libraries
These original materials are available in Special Collections.
The majority of this manuscript collection consists of general and business correspondence concerning John Henry Kirby and his various business interests in southeast Texas. The manuscripts include holograph and typewritten letters, telegrams and postcards. Legal and land documents include deeds and abstracts, and business documents include checks and vouchers.
In 1965 the collection was deposited in the archives of the Texas Gulf Coast Historical Association, at that time housed in the Department of Special Collections in the M.D. Anderson Library at the University of Houston. In the early 1970s work was done on the collection, although it is not readily apparent how much or in what ways the original order was changed. An inventory, presumably made at the 1965 accession, lists only 261 original manuscript boxes. Some of the correspondence in these original boxes was numerically coded and the codes are listed in the inventory, although it is not known if these codes are original to the papers or were added by the original processors. If a folder contains material with a code number, that number is listed on the finding aid in brackets.
In 1977 the collection went on long-term loan to the Houston Public Library's Houston Metropolitan Research Center facility, but it was returned to the University of Houston Libraries Department of Special Collections in 2006.
In 2007 the collection was re-foldered and re-boxed in record cartons in order to facilitate preservation of the material. Until that time, the collection was housed in manuscript boxes, including some of the original TGCHA boxes. Over half of the collection was unprocessed; i.e. it was in its original folders or, in some cases, the material was not foldered at all. Much of the material contained rusty straight pins and large metallic brads used as fasteners, as well as many metal paper clips. The collection has been left in the order in which it was returned to the University of Houston in 2006, with the few exceptions noted below in the Series Description. The original folder titles have been retained.
In general, there is a lot of inconsistency in the arrangement of the collection. There are numerous folders for some individuals, such as Ernest J. Eyres, throughout the collection. Additionally, correspondence to or from Eyres could also be in the alphabetical or chronological areas of the collection. If the researcher is searching for a particular person, it would be prudent to look not only for individual folders bearing that person's name, but also look in the alphabetical and chronological sections of the collection.