Traveling Exhibits - Austin History Center

Traveling Exhibits

Courage to Be: The Saheli Story 

Now on display at the Asian American Resource Center, January 2020 - March 2020

[Saheli Walk with Center for Battered Women]. 1994. Saheli Records, AR.2018.042(001). 

Derived from a Hindi word meaning “female friend,” Saheli started in February of 1992 as an informal support group for South Asian women in Austin. Their vision was to prevent abuse in family relationships, break the cycle of violence and pursue a cycle of peace by bridging the cultural gap between the Asian community and local services. Courage to Be: The Saheli Story uses archival imagery to trace the history of how the volunteers of Saheli had the courage to become the first organization of its kind in the South to serve the Asian community.   

Since 2018, Ayshea Khan (Asian Pacific American Community Archivist) and Sona Shah (AARC’s Culture and Arts Education Manager and former Saheli community organizer) have collected oral histories, photographs and documents related to Saheli’s early history. All images and documents featured in the exhibit are a part of the Saheli Records Collection (AR.2018.042), which is open for public research at the Austin History Center. Special thanks to Mamata Misra, Kalpana Sutaria, Shakuntala Desai, Harishini Ernest, Veena Gondhalekar, Asian Family Support Services of Austin, and all other Saheli volunteers who donated their time and history to this project.  


Tune in to Health: A Radio Program for Travis County Rural Schools

Now on display at Oak Hill Branch, October 2019 - February 2020

[Manor and Fiskville African American Students Walk to Radio House], AR.2002.017(155)

Tune in to Health: A Radio Program for Travis County Rural Schools presents photograph selections from the Texas Extended School and Community Health Education Program Records (AR.2002.017). The collection features over 200 black and white photographs from the 1949-1950 school year of the Healthy Living in Our County radio program, a public health education initiative tailored for Travis County rural schools. Teachers, students, and parents were encouraged to tune in each week to engage in a series of thirty 15-minute educational broadcasts programmed through Radio House at the University of Texas at Austin. Topics ranged from receiving immunizations, balanced diets, fire prevention, and rat control to knowing your doctor and maintaining proper mental health. The photographs were taken by Willis R. Bodine, a consultant from the Division of Extension who conducted in-person trainings, interviews, and site visits throughout the duration of the radio program. This exhibit provides a rare glimpse into these rural school communities, capturing student activity, school segregation, home living conditions, school infrastructure, and engagement with the Healthy Living in Our County radio curriculum.


Pioneers from the East Revisited: Early Chinese Families of Austin

Now on display at UT Center for Asian American Studies in Bellmont Hall (BEL 220), November 2019 – May 2020

This photography exhibit highlights the early journeys and history of five of Austin’s earliest Chinese families. These photographs from the Austin History Center’s Asian American archives provide an intimate look into the lives of the Lung, Ng, Sing, Tu and Wong families. Pioneers from the East was originally an Austin History Center photo exhibit curated by Esther Chung Martin and opened to the public in October 17, 2010. Nine years later, the Austin History Center’s Asian American Community Archives Program would like to share these captivating photographs with new audiences at the UT Center for Asian American Studies in Bellmont Hall (220). Special thanks to UT CAAS Assistant Director Tony Vo for his support in sharing this exhibit.