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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Photographs, 1965-2014

Videos, 2014-2018

Austin History Center

Robert N. Simmons Photographs and Video Recordings

An Inventory of the Collection



Overview of the Collection

Creator: Simmons, Robert N., 1940-
Title: Robert N. Simmons Photographs and Video Recordings
Dates: 1965-2018
Dates (Bulk): 2007-2018
Abstract: Robert N. Simmons is an amateur digital photographer active in the Austin, Texas area in the 2010s. 1314 digital photographs and 6 short digital videos by Simmons document street art, construction, and people in Austin, Texas from the 1960s and 2007-2018.
Identification: AR.2014.024
Quantity: 17.4 GB (1314 digital photographs, 6 digital videos)
Location: Digital Collections Box, Reading Room
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Robert N. Simmons is an amateur digital photographer active in the Austin, Texas area in the 2010s.

Born in 1940 in Dallas, Texas, he attended high school at Cascia Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma and then college at the University of Texas at Austin, earning his Bachelor's degree in government and economics in 1964. He did post-graduate work at UT in broadcasting and photography, studying under Russell Lee.

Simmons built his career in the broadcasting industry, working for 25 years as air talent, management and broadcast property owner and investor. Later in his career he would buy small radio stations and improve their value for resale. He was involved in the construction of KOOP-KVRX-FM in Austin as well as the creation of Texas Student Television's KVR9. He also owned and operated with his wife at the time an operatic costume rental business. Later he was involved for a time in the oil and gas industry in South Texas. He also does some occasional voice acting.

Simmons has had a lifelong interest in video, audio, and photography. With the advent of digital technology he has pursed this hobby more, posting his work at various sites online under the username "Telebob" and on his own website, www.telebob.org.

As of 2018, Simmons resides in Austin where he has spent most of his adult life. He has also lived for short periods in California, Oregon, New York, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

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Scope and Contents

1314 digital photographs and 6 short digital videos by Robert N. Simmons document street art, construction, and people in Austin, Texas from the 1960s and 2007-2018. The bulk of the photographs document graffiti around the city and the changing city skyline because of new construction projects. The vast majority of images are born-digital photographs shot from 2007-2014, though there are a few scans of photographic prints from the 1960s, 1970s and possibly the early 2000s.

375 photographs depict public art, street art, and graffiti. These are subdivided by location and project. The Hope Outdoor Gallery graffiti site at Castle Hill is most heavily documented with 178 photos. There are 25 images of graffiti at the Lamar Boulevard underpass at 5th Street. 106 other photographs document assorted murals and graffiti sites. Not all of the photos in the Assorted Locations folder have locations identified and there may be additional unidentified photos of the Hope Outdoor Gallery in this folder. Two public art projects are also represented: the "Play Me, I'm Yours" pianos located in various places around the city in 2011 and the "Thirst" tree installation over Lady Bird Lake in 2013.

The folder on Buildings and Construction contains 312 photographs. 81 images document general downtown construction, especially condominium buildings. There are an additional 35 images depicting changes to the Rainey Street neighborhood, 42 images of the Waller Creek/Seaholm Redevelopment project, and 38 on "The Bowie" building at 311 Bowie Street. 57 photos document construction in South Austin, especially along South Lamar Boulevard, and 22 images are of various locations on the eastside.

There are 131 photographs of people. Many of these are of musicians, especially Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators. The "Austin-personalities-musicians-writers-etc" folder includes candid photos of people as well as images of plaques, graves, and memorials. Other scenes of people are located in folders titled "New-Years-Eve-parade" in 2007, "Protests-and-demonstrations", and "Texas-Roller-Derby".

The remaining photographs in the collection consist of 22 images of the Hike and Bike Trail and Lady Bird Lake (as well as the new boardwalk and the "belts" public art project); 11 photos of roads and traffic; 11 images of old burned-out cars after the Bastrop fires of 2011; 5 images of other parks and trails; 3 photos of a car show; and 2 photos of Barton Springs. The six short digital video clips depict the Waller Creek Redevelopment area, Occupy Wall Street protestors, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture memorial wall, including tributes to the late Armadillo World Head Quarters Art Squad members Micael Priest and Kerry Awn.

Image titles were supplied by the photographer, though misspellings were corrected and abbreviations spelled out.

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Arrangement

Photographs had little original organization, so they were grouped by subject alphabetically and individual files were organized chronologically.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

Restriction 03: These photographs may not be duplicated without the written permission of the photographer.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements

Access to digital content is only available through a dedicated workstation in the Austin History Center Reading Room.

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Persons:
Awn, Kerry.
Erickson, Roky.
Priest, Micael, 1951-2018.
Simmons, Robert N., 1940- .
Places:
Austin (Tex.)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Austin (Tex.)--Pictorial works.
Austin (Tex.)--Songs and music.
Austin (Tex.)--Social life and customs.
Subjects:
Buildings--Texas--Austin.
Construction--Texas--Austin.
Graffiti--Texas--Austin.
Musicians.
Political activists--Texas--Austin.
Street art--Texas--Austin.
Photography--Texas--Austin.
Photographers--Texas--Austin.
Document Types:
Digital images.
Digital video.

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Related Material

Additional photographs by Simmons:


  • AF - Music Festivals - Longhorn Jazz Fesival M9383(6), PICA 37394, 37398
  • AF - Music Halls - Jade Room M9320, PICA 37398
  • AF - Public Utilities - Electric Utility Dept. - Austin - Seaholm Power Plant P9220(2), PICA 37399
  • AF - Saloons - Armadillo World Headquarters S0300(52), PICA 37395-37396
  • AF - Zilker Park - Barton Springs - General - 1970-1999, PICA 37400
  • Biography - Brammer, William Lee, PICB 21736
  • Biography - Erickson, Roky, PICB 21734-21735, 21737, 21740
  • Biography - Franklin, Jim, PICB 21738
  • Biography - Walton, John Ike, PICB 21754
  • Biography - Wilson, Burton, PICB 21739
  • HB - 15th Street 300 Block, PICH 10696
  • HB - Windsor Road 1200, PICH 10697

Austin Files


  • Art Galleries - Murals/Outdoor Art A6400(104)
  • Austin - Pictures, Illustrations, Etc. 2000-2009, 2010-2019, A8710-A8711
  • Photographers and Photography P3500
  • Protests, Demonstrations, etc. - Occupy Austin P7750(18)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Robert N. Simmons Photographs (AR.2014.024), Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2007/001

Donation Date: Multiple donations, 2018.

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Nicole Davis/November 2015.

Digital file additions and EAD finding aid updated and encoded by Nikki Koehlert, October 2018

JPEG, MP4, and MOV files comprised of digitized content were received via flash drive and electronic file transfers.

File names were modified during processing to enable files to be exported from the disk image and to comply with Austin History Center file naming schema. A list of the original files names is available. The materials were processed in accordance with the AHC's digital processing guidelines including disk imaging, virus scan, and checksums. For more information, see the Born-digital Processing Manual.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Photographs, 1965-2014

See attached spreadsheet for item-level metadata of photographs numbered AR-2014-024-001 through AR-2014-024-872.
DigitalStorage Folder
Open Barton-Springs Barton Springs pool (001-002), 1973, 2014
.005 GB (2 files) ; digitized; born-digital (JPEG)
Bastrop-Fires Aftermath of Bastrop fires (003-013), 2011
.003 GB (11 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Buildings-Construction Buildings and construction projects, 1965, 2003-2014, undated
Assorted locations Construction projects and local businesses (014-050; 873; 1078; 1082; 1090; 1100-1103; 1136; 1140-1142), 1965, 2006-2014
.357 GB (49 files) ; digitized; born-digital (JPEG)
Downtown Downtown construction projects (051-131; 1077; 1092-1098; 1113; 1160; 1180-1183; 1221; 1238-1248; 1268; 1276-11278; 1281; 1283; 1289-1300; 1310-1314), 2003-2014, undated
.140 GB (113 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Eastside Eastside area construction projects and businesses (132-153), 2011-2013
.005 GB (22 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Rainey-Street Rainey Street construction projects (154-188), 2014
.009 GB (35 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
South-Austin South-Austin construction projects and businesses (189-245), 2005-2014, undated
.020 GB (58 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
The-Bowie 311 Bowie Street (246-283), 2014
.009 GB (38 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Waller-Creek-Seaholm-Redevelopment Construction projects (284-325), 2013-2014, undated
.009 GB (42 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Custom-Car-Show Lonestar Round Up (326-328), 2013
.001 GB (3 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Lady-Bird-Lake_Hike-and-Bike-Trail Lady Bird Lake hike and bike trail (329-350), 2007-2014
.005 GB (22 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Nature Austin area nature scenes (351-355), 2008-2014
.002 GB (5 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
People Austin personalities, 1965-2014, undated
Austin-personalities-musicians-writers-etc (356-446; 1288), 1965-1966, 1976, 2004-2014, undated
.015 GB (64 files) ; digitized; born-digital (JPEG)
13th-Floor-Elevators (447-456), circa 1965-1966, 2007
.002 GB (10 files) ; digitized; born-digital (JPEG)
New-Years-Eve-Parade (457-464), 2007
.017 GB (8 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Occupy-Wall-Street Occupy Wall Street protest at City Hall (465-474; 875; 1187-1196), 2011
.006 GB (21 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Texas-Roller-Derby Texas Roller Derby (475-486; 1290), 2011-2013
.008 GB (13 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Public-Art_Street-Art_Graffiti Public art and graffiti, 2007-2014
Assorted-locations (487-592; 1079-1081; 1085-1087; 1089; 1091; 1099; 1114; 1137-1139; 1148-1159; 1197; 1212; 120; 1222-1236; 1242; 1250; 1261; 1263-1264; 1266-1267), 2006-2014, undated
.387 GB (156 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Eastside Assorted Eastside Austin public art (593-639), 2013-2014
.013 GB (47 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Hope-Outdoor-Gallery-at-Castle-Hill Hope Outdoor Gallery artworks (640-817; 876-983; 1070-1076; 1104-1105-1115-1147; 1198-1260; 1262; 1296-1297; 1301-1309), 2007-2014
1.36 GB (380 files) ; digitized; born-digital (JPEG)
Lamar-Boulevard-Underpass (818-842; 1083; 1096-1097; 1106-1112; 1213-1219; 1245; 1249; 1257; 1298), 2013
.125 GB (46 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Play-Me-Im-Yours Play Me, I'm Yours public art project (843-848; 1181; 1184-1186; 1291), 2011
.016 GB (11 files) ; digitized; born-digital (JPEG)
Railroad-Bridge Union Pacific train bridge (849-853; 1068; 1176; 1265), 2007-2014
.018 GB (8 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Thirst-Tree Thirst Tree public art project (854-861), 2013
.002 GB (8 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Time-and-Care Time and Care public art project, 2013
.001 GB (2 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)
Roads-and-Traffic Austin highways and traffic scenes (862-872), 2005-2014
.002 GB (11 files) ; born-digital (JPEG)

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Videos, 2014-2018

DigitalStorage Folder
Open Videos Unidentified construction site (AR-2014-024-873), 2014
.308 GB (1 files) ; born-digital (MOV)
Videos Train passing through the Waller Creek Redevelopment area (AR-2014-024-874), 2014
.600 GB (1 files) ; born-digital (MOV)
Videos Occupy Wall Street protest at City Hall (AR-2014-024-875), 2014
.586 GB (1 files) ; born-digital (MOV)
Videos Bob walks the wall of remembrance (SouthPop), 2017
.301 GB (1 files) ; born-digital (MP4)
Videos Kerry Awn eulogy for Henry Gonzales, 2016
1.981 GB (1 files) ; born-digital (MP4)
Videos Micael Priest in memoriam, 2016
4.76 GB (1 files) ; born-digital (MOV)

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