Austin History Center

Austin (Tex.). City Council. Emma Long Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Long, Emma Jackson
Title: Austin (Tex.). City Council. Emma Long Records
Inclusive Dates: 1930-2009
Bulk Dates: 1946-1969
Abstract: Emma Long was the first woman elected to city council in Austin, Texas in 1948 and served (with a break in) until 1969. The collection contains records of Emma Long's tenure on the city council and her political activities and campaigns. Included are subject files, city council meeting notes, general correspondence by date, and clippings by date.
Identification: AR.2011.007
Quantity: 13.6 linear feet (35 boxes)
Location: Archive Stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Emma Pauline Jackson Long was born February 29, 1912 in Lefors, Texas (near Pampa). She was a leap year child, and she often joked that she was only 24 years old. She was the second of six children born to Robert Rudd and Lillie May (Dot) Jackson. She was a high achiever from the beginning and won many academic honors in Hereford, Texas. She was the first college graduate in her family and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1936 with a degree in History and a minor in Government. While attending The University of Texas at Austin, she met her husband Stuart Morrison Long during her junior year and married him in 1936. After their graduation, Stuart worked at the Austin American-Statesman. He also worked as a Capital News Correspondent for the Galveston News Trans-Radio Press and the Wichita Falls Post. Emma and Stuart started a string of county weeklies throughout Texas. When their first son Jeb was born they returned to Austin where Stuart worked for the Austin American Statesman. After World War II, the Longs started the Long News Service at the Texas Capitol, supplying news coverage to 26 daily Texas newspapers, a number of weeklies and provided Texas coverage for national publications such as The New York Times, Time, and Newsweek.

Mrs. Long was elected Austin's first City Councilwoman in 1948. She campaigned for City Council eleven times and was elected nine times. She was also the first woman to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. From the beginning of her service, she was a voice for all citizens of Austin at a time when city politics was run by powerful business interests. She worked for civil rights, fair housing, founded the Human Relations Commission in 1963, worked for desegregation of public parks and other city and public facilities, street paving, dog leash laws, caps on utility rates, and public transportation reform. She sponsored reforms in street paving and subdivision infrastructure. She championed the reorganization of Brackenridge Hospital and its outreach to the poor and uninsured. She was very accessible to her constituents outside and even within city government. She championed city employment reform and held law enforcement accountable when they violated citizen rights.

In 1957 Emma lost a race for the Texas Senate and in 1959 took a break from the Austin City Council, but she was reelected in 1963. In 1967 she was appointed Mayor Pro Tem. As Mayor Pro Tem she was the first person to light the Zilker Christmas Tree. Mrs. Long retired from the City Council in 1969 but continued her interest in Democratic Politics and in continuing to build a better Austin.

Emma died in 2011 and is survived by two sons: Jeb Jackson Long of La Canada, CA, and Jefferson Paine Long of Cedar Creek, Texas and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Scope and Contents

This extensive collection documents Emma Long's tenure on the city council and her political activities and campaigns. The collection consists of printed material, correspondence, meeting notes, reports, surveys, financial documentation, legal documentation, photographs, and clippings. These records are divided among four series, the largest of which is Subject Files, 1937-1969 (8.8 linear feet) that reflect Emma Long's general council activities in a variety of areas from AISD to Zoning and are arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each subject.

The second series, City Council Meeting Notes, is arranged chronologically and contains city council meeting memos from the city manager listing the subjects and issues to be covered in a particular city council meeting and are arranged alphabetically.

The third series, General Correspondence, consists of general and internal correspondence from constituents, groups, and other members of the city council arranged by date.

The fourth series consists of news clippings some with notes that document Emma Long's activities and controversies in the city government as covered by local print media and document the Austin Civil Rights protest coverage in 1964, Fair Housing issues 1968, Open Meetings Controversy of 1969, and other issues.


Collection is arranged into 4 series:
  • I. Subject Files
  • II. City Council Meeting Notes
  • III. General Correspondence by Date
  • IV. Clippings.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users

Restrictions on Use

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.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Long, Emma Jackson
Long, Stuart Morrison
Austin, (Tex), City Council

Related Material

AF Biographical File:

  • Long, Emma Jackson

AF Subject Files:

  • City Council 1940-1949 C4030(8)PT
  • City Council 1950-1959 C4030(9)PT
  • City Council 1960-1969 C4030(10)PT

General Collection:

  • Maplewood Community School Interviews Fall 1978 A929.2097643 LO Tape Oral History Tape #247
  • Faces of Austin. Alta Vista Productions, 1985 A976.431.FA (VHS)

Archives and Manuscripts:

  • AR.2011.005 Emma and Stuart Long Papers
  • AR.1994.073 Austin (Tex). City Council. Scrapbooks Collection

Oral History Collection:

  • Tapes #1128-1131. Emma J. Long interview by Anthony Orum 6/3/81 [transcripts in AF-Bio Long, Emma]
  • Tapes 1133-1134. Edgar Perry III interviewed by Anthony Orum 5/6/83 [Perry talks about Emma Long; transcript available in AF-Bio Thornberry, Homer]
  • Tape 3080. Emma Long interviewed by Karen Riles, 10/5/2006 [No transcript]
  • Tape 0101.Emma Long interviewed by Joe O'Neal, 6/10/74 [transcript available in AF-Bio Long, Emma]
  • Tape 247. Maplewood Community Schools Interviews, 11/1/78 [transcript in General Collection, 929.2097643LO]
  • Tape 1127. Edith Hicks, interviewed by Anthony Orum, 1/31/84 [References Emma Long; transcript in AF-Bio Hicks, Elizabeth]

Separated Material

Some materials were separated to the following collections:

General Collection

  • "A Quarter Million People--Bond Program for Austin," undated
  • 1948 Trade and Civic Characteristics of Austin, Texas
  • Austin Community Renewal Program Architectural Studies, undated
  • Austin Crime Stop Manual, undated
  • Austin Fire Prevention Department Annual Report, 1967
  • Austin Housing Study, 1950
  • Austin Police Department Annual Report, 1967
  • Austin Transportation Plan, 1962-1982
  • Balance Sheet Report City of Austin
  • Balcones Research Center Annual Report, 1966
  • City of Austin Annual Report City Planning Commission, 1949-1950
  • City of Austin Electric Department, undated
  • City of Austin, Texas, Financial Statement Eleven Months Period Ending 8/31/1968
  • Missouri Pacific Boulevard--City of Austin, 1966
  • Population Study Austin, Texas, 1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, and 1960
  • Report of Municipal Auditorium Committee of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, 1950
  • Report on Utilities Electric, Water, and Sewer/Requirements for 10 Years 1948-57
  • Robert Mueller Municipal Airport, undated
  • Roster of City Officials of Texas, 1957-58
  • Rural Environmental Assistance Program Travis County, County REAP Handbook, undated
  • Terminal Building Analysis
  • Texas Municipal League Salaries, 1961


  • Capital City Argus, June 13, 1968-July 18, 1968
  • Municipal Activity Digest, August 1956, December 1957, 1958, May 1964, August 1956
  • Municipal, March-April 1955; November 1958
  • Municipal Perspective, March and June 1964
  • Texas Coop Power, February 1965, March 1965
  • Texas Municipal Retirement System, September 1949
  • The Austin Tribune, November 10, 1955

AF Biography

  • "Emma Long: Portrait of a Councilwoman" 1951-53 by Lori Finn Srinor

Duplicate Copies Discarded from Collection: Duplicate City reports and publications and various out of scope publications were discarded.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2011/008

Donation Date: 2011 February 28

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing by Mike Miller in 2011. Final Processing and Finding Aid by Melissa Truitt-Green in 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Subject Files, 1937-1969, undated

Box Folder
1 1 Austin Independent School District-studies, reports, notes, and correspondence, 1949-1968
2 Airport and Aviation-regulations, master plans, statistics, and studies, 1967-1968
3 Annexation-studies, reports, notes, and other documents, 1951-1968
4 Blue Law-correspondence, meeting notes, and other documents, 1966
5 Board of Adjustment-meeting notes and correspondence, 1942-1966
6 Bonds-studies, reports, and other documents, 1937-1968
Box Folder
2 1-16 Brackenridge Hospital-surveys, studies, reports, correspondence, and personnel updates, 1968, undated
Box Folder
3 1-9 Budget/Financial/Taxation-general budget ledgers, spending reports related to general city departmental budgets, 1950-1968
Box Folder
4 1 Building Code-documents, reports, and correspondence, 1975, undated
2 Cable-reports, bids, and correspondence related to Austin cable television providers, 1969, undated
3 Capital Improvement-documents, ledgers, reports, and bids, 1963-1969
4-7 City Charter-documents, reports, and correspondence, 1952-1953
Box Folder
5 1 City Charter-documents, reports, and correspondence, 1952-1953
2 City Coliseum-documents and correspondence, 1956
3 Civil Defense-memos, drafts of regulations, and ordinances, 1968, undated
4-5 Community Action-memos, correspondence, other documents, photos of Emma attending an event titled "Green Tea," 1968, undated
6 Corporation Court-proceedings and related correspondence and notes, 1968-1969
Box Folder
6 1-7 Elections-documents related to local and state elections, correspondence, lists of polling places, 1947-1955
8 Emergency Operations-documents, plans, correspondence, studies, 1963, undated
Box Folder
7 1 Fair Housing-correspondence and studies, 1964
2 Fire Department-reports and staffing and manager lists, 1964-1969
3 Fluoridation-correspondence and studies, 1964-1969
4 Garbage-studies, memos, correspondence, and other documents, 1950
5-11 Health Department-studies, reports, 1953-1969
12 Historic Preservation-studies, correspondence, and other documents, 1946-1950
13-14 Human Relations-correspondence, memos, and other documents, 1963-1964
Box Folder
8 1-3 Human Relations-correspondence, memos, and other documents, 1967-1969
4 Library-documents, correspondence, spreadsheets, and budgets, 1951-1952
5 Mental Health-documents, reports, correspondence, 1969, undated
6-7 Model Cities-correspondence and reports, 1968-1969
8 Natural Gas-reports, budgets, spreadsheets, and other documents, 1950-1964
Box Folder
9 1-11 Ordinances-proposed and those put to a vote, 1954, undated
Box Folder
10 1-9 Ordinances-drafts and prospective ordinances, 1955-1968
10-12 Parks and Recreation-reports and studies, 1954, 1956, 1963
Box Folder
11 1-4 Parks and Recreation-reports and studies, 1964-1966
5 Parking Meters-correspondence, reports, and other documents, 1951-1952
6 Pensions and Retirement-reports, spreadsheets, and other documents, 1949-1958
7 Personnel Labor Union Surveys-ledgers and lists, 1958, undated
8 Petitions-citizen petitions on various subjects, 1952, undated
Box Folder
12 1-9 Planning-meeting notes, minutes, correspondence, 1945, 1950, 1953-1959
Box Folder
13 1-6 Planning-meeting notes, minutes, and correspondence, 1961, 1964-1966, 1968-1969
7 Police-correspondence, 1951
8-9 Prevailing Wage/Personnel-reports, lists, and spreadsheets, 1945, 1948, 1950-1954
Box Folder
14 1-13 Prevailing Wage/Personnel-reports, lists, and spreadsheets, 1965-1969
14 Rodent Control-reports, studies, and bid correspondence, 1968
15 Sister Cities Program-correspondence, lists of attendees, 1968, undated
Box Folder
15 1 Streets-studies, reports, and other documents pertaining to paving, maintenance, and traffic planning, 1946-1952
2-4 Taxation-tax rates, property taxes, 1951-1952
5-10 Telephone-phone service and rates, 1949, 1951-1955
Box Folder
16 1-16 Transportation-correspondence, reports, and documents pertaining to public transit and highways, 1958-1959, 1961-1969
Box Folder
17 1-7 Urban Renewal-correspondence, proposals, studies, and maps, 1969
7-8 Water/Waste Water-correspondence, reports, and other documents related to water services, 1949-1969
9-11 Zoning-zoning and zoning change applications, 1948-1959
Box Folder
18 1-6 Zoning-zoning and zoning change applications, 1949-1954
Box Folder
19 1-2 Zoning-zoning and zoning change applications, 1955-1956
Box Folder
20 1-3 Zoning-zoning and zoning change applications, 1956-1957
Box Folder
21 1-4 Zoning-zoning and zoning change applications, 1958
Box Folder
22 1-3 Zoning-zoning and zoning change applications, 1959, 1964, 1968

City Council Meeting Notes, 1949-1968

Series Abstract Contains city council meeting memos from the city manager that list the subjects and issues to be covered in a particular meeting.
Box Folder
23 1-3 City Council meeting notes-memos, minutes, reports and correspondence, 1949-1951
Box Folder
24 1-4 City Council meeting notes-memos, minutes, reports, and correspondence, 1952-1953
Box Folder
25 1-3 City Council meeting notes-memos, minutes, reports, and correspondence, 1954-56
Box Folder
26 1-5 City Council meeting notes-memos, minutes, reports, and correspondence, 1956-1957
Box Folder
27 1-3 City Council meeting notes-memos, minutes, reports, and correspondence, 1958
Box Folder
28 1-3 City Council meeting notes-memos, minutes, reports, and correspondence, 1959, 1963-1964
Box Folder
29 1-3 City Council meeting notes-memos, minutes, reports, and correspondence, 1966-1968

General Correspondence by Date, 1946-1972

Series Abstract Contains general and internal correspondence from constituents, groups, and other members of the city council on issues of the day.
Box Folder
29 4-6 Internal and constituent correspondence, 1946-1949
Box Folder
30 1-4 Internal and constituent correspondence, 1950-1951
Box Folder
31 1-4 Internal and constituent correspondence and Austin City Manager search, 1952-1954
Box Folder
32 1-5 Internal and constituent correspondence, 1955-1959
Box Folder
33 1-6 Internal and constituent correspondence, 1960-1967
Box Folder
34 1-6 Internal and constituent correspondence and fair housing Letters, 1968-1972

Clippings, 1949-1973, undated

Box Folder
35 1 Austin Civil Rights protest coverage, 1964
2 Fair Housing Issues, 1968
3 Open meetings controversy City of Austin, 1969
4 Model Cities, 1972
5 Death of Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1973
6-23 Various subjects and dates, arranged chronologically, 1949-1969, undated