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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Book Materials, 2005-2007, 2016

Keep Austin Weird Slogan, 2000-2016, undated

Austin History Center

Red Wassenich Papers

An Inventory of the Collection



Collection Summary

Creator: Wassenich, Red, 1950-
Title: Red Wassenich Papers
Dates: 2000-2016
Abstract: This collection consists of materials dated from 2000-2016 created by Red Wassenich for his book Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town, published in 2007, and an updated edition, Keeping Austin Weird: A Guide to the (still) Odd Side of Town published in 2016. Included are copies of manuscripts, galley proofs, and working documents for the book as well as original photographs taken by Wassenich to document the people and landmarks described in the book. Additional materials include clippings, correspondence, legal documents, and ephemera that relate to the slogan "Keep Austin Weird" and the trademark dispute over the rights to the phrase that was filed in 2002.
Accession number: AR.2016.025
Quantity: .8 linear feet ( 2 boxes)
Quantity: .001 GB (2 digital files)
Location: Archives stacks, outer vault, digital storage
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Red Wassenich was born in Austin in 1950. Though he spent much of his childhood in Fort Worth, he returned to Austin in 1969 to attend the University of Texas. Wassenich has been a librarian at Austin Community College since 1984. He coined the phrase "Keep Austin Weird" in 2000 after calling in a donation to KOOP radio and responding to the question of why he donated with, "It helps keep Austin weird." Soon thereafter, he begin printing bumper stickers with the phrase and set up keepaustinweird.com, igniting what he called a "glacial grassroots campaign," spreading the ethos of the phrase with printed materials. The slogan became more high profile after local businesses Book People and Waterloo Records used the phrase to successfully fight the construction of a big box bookstore near their stores, and gained even more attention when Wassenich unsuccessfully fought Outhouse Design when they filed for trademark use of the phrase on apparel. Wassenich never intended the phrase to be used for marketing, rather he meant to spread the "unserious" and "unmaterialistic" sentiment that distinguished Austin from other cities for so long. Wassenich wrote his first book, Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town in 2007, followed by an updated edition Keeping Austin Weird: A Guide to the (still) Odd Side of Town in 2016.

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Scope and Contents

The collection primarily consists of materials created by Red Wassenich from 2005-2007 while writing his book Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town, published in 2007. The book documents Austin's unique local culture, using text and color photographs to chronicle "weird" places, people, and events such as the Cathedral of Junk, Leslie Cochran, Spamarama, South 1st Street, Eeyore's Birthday, Kinky Friedman and various other local characters and public art installations. Collection materials include manuscripts (paper and .doc), galley proofs, original illustrations, and photographs taken by Wassenich and his wife Karen Pavelka for the book. The photographs include both those that were selected for publication and the remaining photographs that were not published, maintained in the envelope order created by Wassenich. There is one galley proof from the second edition of the book published in 2016. Also included in the collection are materials that document the slogan originated by Wassenich, "Keep Austin Weird," spanning 2000-2016, including the original bumper sticker printed by Wassenich in 2000 after initially coining the now famous phrase. Wassenich carefully collected memorabilia that used or played on the slogan and saved press clippings that mention him, the slogan, other cities' adaptations of the slogan, riffs on the slogan for advertising purposes, and stories about the trademark dispute with Outhouse Design. The trademark dispute is also documented through legal filings and correspondence about the case.

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Arrangement

Collection is arranged into two series:


  • Book Materials
    • First Edition
    • Second Edition
  • Keep Austin Weird Slogan
Digital materials have been added to the Book Materials series based on their content. No other changes have been made to the original arrangement, structure or naming of the files.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details. Restriction 01.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements

Access to digital content in this finding aid are only available through a dedicated workstation in the Austin History Center Reading Room.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Wassenich, Red, 1950-.
Pavelka, Karen.
Subjects
Curiosities and wonders--Texas--Austin--Pictorial works.
Art--Texas--Austin.
Artists--Texas--Austin.
Authors, American--Texas--Austin.
Cultural arts--Texas--Austin.
Entertainers--Texas--Austin.
Festivals--Texas--Austin.
Museums--Texas--Austin.
Music festivals--Texas--Austin.
Popular culture--Texas--Austin.
Public art--Texas--Austin.
Sculpture--Texas--Austin.
Street art--Texas--Austin.
Photography--Texas--Austin.
Streets--Texas--Austin.
Places
Austin (Tex.)--Social life and customs.
Congress Avenue (Austin, Tex.).
Document Types
Clippings.
Correspondence.
Memorabilia.
Legal documents.
Manuscripts.
Color negatives.
Color photographs.

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Related Material

General Collection


  • A 976.431 WA AA Red Wassenich, Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town 2007.
  • A 976.431 WA Red Wassenich, Keeping Austin Weird: A Guide to the (still) Odd Side of Town 2016.
  • A 976.431 RI Howie Richey, Party Weird: Festivals and Fringe Gatherings of Austin 2014.
  • A 741.674092 GA Danny Garrett, Weird, Yet Strange: Notes From An Austin Music Artist 2015.
  • A 976.431 LO Joshua Long, Weird City: Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas 2010.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

The Red Wassenich Papers (AR.2016.025), Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2016/031

Donation Date: 2016-08-03

Processing Information

Collection arranged and finding aid encoded by Madeline Moya in 2018.

The born-digital materials were processed in accordance with the AHC's digital processing guidelines including disk imaging, virus scan, and checksums. The born-digital files were received on 1 CD. The CD was disk imaged on August 24, 2017 to create master preservation copies and to extract the content files.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Book Materials, 2005-2007, 2016

First Edition, 2005-2007
DigitalStorage Folder
Open AR-2016-025-access Manuscript and photo captions 2006
.001 GB (2 files); (DOC); born-digital
Box Folder
1 1 Galleys, 2006
2 Galleys, 2007
3 Original illustrations, 2006
4 Published photographs (#001-084), 2005-2006
5 Published photographs (#085-187), 2005-2006
6 Photographs envelope #1 (#188-228), 2005 October
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
7 Photographs envelope #2 (#229-251), 2005 November
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
8 Photographs envelope #3 (#252-270), 2005 November
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
9 Photographs envelope #4 (#271-304), 2005 December 12
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
10 Photographs envelope #5 (#305-328), 2005 December 29
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
11 Photographs envelope #6 (#329-365), 2006 January 16
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
12 Photographs envelope #7 (#366-400), 2006 January 30
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
13 Photographs envelope #8 (#401-423), 2006 January 16
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
Box Folder
2 1 Photographs envelope #9 (#424-457), 2006 February 2
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
2 Photographs envelope #10 (#458-480), 2006 March 14
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
3 Photographs envelope #11 (#481-499), 2006 March 15
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
4 Photographs envelope #12 (#500-514), 2006 April 3
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
5 Photographs envelope #13 (#515-530), 2006 April 3
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
6 Photographs envelope #14 (#531-546), 2006 April 20
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
7 Photographs envelope #15 (#547-562), 2006 April 3
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
8 Photographs envelope #16 (#563-576), 2006 May 8
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
9 Photographs envelope #17 (#577-596), 2006 May 10
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
10 Photographs envelope #18 (#597-613), 2006 June 15
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
11 Photographs envelope #19 (#614-628), 2006 June 19
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
12 Photographs envelope #20 (#629-644), 2006 June 19
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
13 Photographs envelope #21 (#645-664), 2006 June 24
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
14 Photographs envelope #22 (#665-679), 2006 June 24
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
15 Photographs envelope #23 (#680-692), 2006 June 29
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
16 Photographs envelope #24 (#693-714), 2006 July 13
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
17 Photographs envelope #25 (#715-721), 2006 July 27
Corresponding color negatives located in Outer Vault.
Second Edition, 2016
Box Folder
2 18 Manuscript, 2016

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Keep Austin Weird Slogan, 2000-2016, undated

Box Folder
2 19 Memorabilia, 2000-2014, undated
20-21 Clippings, 2002-20016, undated
22 Trademark dispute legal documents and correspondence, 2002-2005

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