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Resources

Through diligent research and transcription from historical records, volunteers of Save Austin’s Cemeteries and the Austin Genealogical Society created a database of information about Oakwood residents.

This information is used to create digital maps of Oakwood Cemetery that include audio, photo, video, historical links, namesake maps, and nativity maps. We expect this scholarship will continue for a very long time with the help of staff and volunteers.

Featured Exhibit

To Relate: Indigenous views on Native American historical events in Texas

To Relate includes maps and timelines of Native American homelands of tribes that were Indigenous to Texas over many centuries. Some were Native to areas within Texas long before European settlement, some tribes were in Texas because of American expansion. The word “Texas” comes from an Indigenous word meaning ally or friend, as many tribes were collaborative with one another and settlers. 

To Relate: digital exhibition

Additional Exhibits

To Serve, Honoring Military Veterans in Austin's Cemeteries

To Serve looks at Texans’ long history of military service, identifying local veterans who served in conflicts from the War of 1812 to the present. Approximately 3,500 military veterans buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery Annex, Evergreen Cemetery, Plummers Cemetery, and Austin Memorial Park Cemetery have been identified so far. This project features videos, photographs, digital maps, and other multimedia content dedicated to honoring the men and women who served their country and to preserve their histories.

To Serve: digital exhibition

Part 1: Conversation with Charles Clinger about early Austin Memories video recording

Part 2: Conversation with Charles Clinger about his Service in the Korean War video recording

 
To Elevate: To raise or lift up to a higher position: the legacy of Huston-Tillotson University, Austin's own HBCU

To Elevate demonstrates the legacy of Huston-Tillotson University, an HBCU (Historic Black College/University) in Austin, Texas. The exhibit tells the story of those that planted the seeds of Huston-Tillotson’s beginnings, those that carefully tended and spent their life’s energy on managing, improving, and building upon HT, as well as those that continue to pass the torch onward in the elevation of its mission.

To Elevate: digital exhibition

Huston-Tillotson University website

Greg Farrar presents a description of "To Elevate" video recording

Larry Williams interview about Austin and Huston-Tillotson University video recording

"What does HT mean to me?" survey

The outreach focus of the project is a social media challenge: “What does HT mean to me?” Austinites, HT alumni and all who care about African American legacies are invited to answer that question and share online using the hashtags #HT2me  #BlackandEducated  #HBCU and tagging @hustontillotsonuniversity @htiaa_austin and @austincityparks 

See some #HT2me videos on Instagram or Facebook to get inspired to share your own story.

 

To Remember/Recordar: An exploration of grief, loss and love across cultures

To Remember considers the various types of grief, loss, and love across cultures. This exhibit shows many different forms of remembrance including burial and funeral practices, memorial anniversaries, cemetery maps, and genealogy research. “To Remember” features photo, video, oral history, and digital map content to describe how cultural traditions help us hold the space for grief and loss.

To Remember: digital exhibition

360* Virtual Reality Tour of "Historic Old Grounds" and Oakwood Cemetery Chapel

Alan Garcia presents "The Presence of our Ancestors" video

"Remembrance for Those We've Lost," public online event to grieve those lost to COVID-19 video

"To Remember: Interview with Robert Tieman & Kay Boyd" on their project documenting monuments at Oakwood Cemetery video

Collective Remembrance: A Musical Memorial by Douglas Laustsen video

All Together Here: A Community Symposium for Discovery and Remembrance

All Together Here interprets the archaeology project at the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel. During the rehabilitation of the Chapel in 2016, there was a painful discovery: the Chapel had been constructed over preexisting burials.

All Together Here: digital exhibition

All Together Here: symposium website

All Together Here: symposium session videos published on the Parks and Recreation Department YouTube Channel

 

To Vote: Austin's suffragists during the anniversary of all women gaining the right to vote in America

To Vote recognizes Austin's suffragists in 2020 during the 100th, 55th, and 45th anniversaries of all women gaining the right to vote in America. Many people who worked hard for that right are buried in Austin’s municipal cemeteries.

To Vote: digital exhibition

Women in Texas History by Dr. Angela Boswell author talk video

Voting Rights for All or Some? panel discussion by Cecilia Gutierrez Venable, Jessica Brannon-Wranosky and Joy Diaz video

Texas Independence Tour: gravesite tour of those who fought for Texas' independence from Mexico in 1835-1836

Save Austin's Cemeteries gravesite tour of people who contributed to the fight for the independence for Texas from Mexico in 1835-1836. The Republic of Texas was an independent country from 1836 - 1845, before it became part of the United States.

Texas Independence, digital tour

Save Austin's Cemeteries

To Hear: Music and musicians in Oakwood and Austin's history

To Hear appreciates Austin’s musicians, including the Besserer Orchestra, the Gant Family, Ernest "Ernie" Mae Crafton Miller and Gene Ramey. They played in music halls such as Scholz Garten, Pressler Beer Garden, and the New Orleans Club. John and Alan Lomax were known for traveling the world to record folk music as musicologists.

To Hear: digital exhibit 

Gant Family Songs from the Library of Congress (link to files on Box.com)

Ghost Notes by Michael Corcoran, signed by the author and the illustrator Tim Kerr, available to order for direct shipping

Ghost Notes: Michael Corcoran Spotify Playlist (a few songs have explicit content, so if you don't want to hear those songs on the playlist, change your settings in Spotify

Author and artist talk: Ghost Notes by Michael Corcoran and Tim Kerr video

Caminar: Austin's Tejano history and Mexican American Burials

This exhibition remembers Tejanos and Mexican Americans buried in Oakwood Cemetery, and honors their legacy in Austin, inspired by Danny Camacho's research.

Caminar, digital exhibit

Spectrum News article on Caminar

Caminar event: Solsticio video recording

Caminar event: El Sacrificio video recording

Caminar event: La Tamalada video recording

Robert Ojeda and the Bronze Band on a history of Mexican American music program video recording

To Believe: Legacy of Reverend Jacob Fontaine

Featuring videos, photography, digital maps and performances, we explore Black East Austin's historic and contemporary practices of faith and belief, as inspired by Reverend Jacob Fontaine.

To Believe, digital exhibit

To Believe, video exploring faith in East Austin churches by Amaz1n Entertainment, supported by iACT, Heimsath Architecture, Preservation Austin, the Austin Foundation for Architecture, Big Medium and Sightlines Magazine

Murder Mayhem Misadventure: Save Austin's Cemeteries Fall Tours

Save Austin's Cemeteries annual graveside tours cover the chilling, untimely deaths of “residents” of Oakwood Cemetery portrayed by graveside actors. Tour route and stories vary each year.

Murder, Mayhem and Misadventure, digital tour - 2020

Murder, Mayhem and Misadventure, digital tour - 2019

Save Austin's Cemeteries

To Write: Author talks at the Oakwood Chapel

To Write is an ongoing series of online and in-person author talks on books related to the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel and its mission. If the book references people buried at Oakwood Cemetery, we often make a StoryMap to help visitors find the gravesites and learn about the lives that made Austin. This series is a collaboration with Save Austin's Cemeteries.

Barton Creek by Ed Crowell

For an author talk at the Chapel by Ed Crowell on the book Barton Creek, this digital story map shows burials in Oakwood of individuals mentioned in the book whose lives affected Barton Creek.

To Write: Barton Creek, digital exhibit

Austin American-Statesman article about the book


Cedar Choppers by Ken Roberts

For an author talk at the Chapel by Ken Roberts on the book The Cedar Choppers, this story shows burials in Oakwood of a community whose culture depended on chopping cedar along creeks in West Austin.

To Write: The Cedar Choppers, digital exhibit

The Cedar Choppers website: photos, interviews and songs


The Big Book of the Dead by Marion Winik

For an online author talk by Marion Winik on the book The Big Book of the Dead, this book is filled with remembrances of people, showing how we love, grieve, and grow. 

To Write: The Big Book of the Dead video recording

 

To Read: Book discussions at the Oakwood Chapel

To Read is an ongoing series of online and in-person discussions on books related to the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel and its mission. Facilitators include volunteers who may be researchers, philosophers, and historians.

The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker

An online book discussion on the psychological foundations about death and dying in Summer 2020.

YouTube video of the online discussion


At the Chapel, Dr. Fatemah Keshavarz led a discussion on death, dying and transitions in Rumi's poetry in Fall 2019.