When Theresa Mayfield began telling heritage society members about all the new projects being unveiled at Moore Memorial Public Library, I began to sense something intriguing.

When I finally got to ask her where she went to school, I was pretty sure I knew what her answer was going to be.

She got her library skills at the University of North Texas. I knew what she was going to say because as an alumna of that great institution I know that UNT has an absolutely wonderful School of Library Science.

One of the reasons I know this is because back when it was North Texas State College, everyone who went there took a semester of library science. If you didn’t know the ins and outs of the library, you just couldn’t take other classes.

Mayfield will work at another city building while they redo the library’s interior, beginning next month. When they finish the makeover, none of us are going to recognize that wonderful institution. She assures us it will all be for the better.

Her work will involve finding all the interesting aspects of the history of Texas City, gleaning from many, many areas and digitizing everything she finds.

Out there among the residents are letters, pictures and legal documents. All kinds of items that contribute to our history, and she wants to get them all recorded.

The digital results will be available to anybody who is interested in seeing them. There also will be copies of the copies, stored in the cloud, so nothing ever gets lost.

Mayfield says work on one project, involving The Settlement, a history of the black cowboys who bought land and raised families in Texas City, is already on the way.

There are, she said, 3,000 pieces of paper in files of the Mainland Company, the people who created and settled Texas City.

She wants to learn more about what happened to families in the Texas City Disaster. She also wants to learn about American Red Cross building houses.

Mayfield is working with new equipment most of us have probably never heard of, doing copying only this new system can handle. She knows there are hundreds of pictures out there that can become part of her digitizing, along with all the written materials.

Filling in all the holes in local history is her mission, she said.

Her final words to me, after her talk was done, revealed there are two more local library employees who are graduates of North Texas.

So, the Mean Green are taking over the world, beginning with us.

How lucky can we be?

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cathy.gillentine@comcast.net.

(1) comment

Bailey Jones

Great idea. Our history is our greatest cultural resource - and it's so fragile and perishable. How many shoe boxes of family treasures where destroyed by Harvey floods?

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