A Guide to the Ramona Cearley Collection, 1995
A native of Sanderson, Texas, Ramona Cearley (b. 1956) earned her master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. She co-edited with Frances Leonard and provided photographs for Conversations with Texas Writers (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005) and became the policy and enforcement associate for the environmental organization Riverkeeper in New York in 2007.
In 1995, Cearley helped coordinate a 30th anniversary commemoration of the Sanderson flood. On June 11, 1965, a flash flood hit the town of Sanderson, the county seat of Terrell County. Twenty-four people died, two were never found, and about 450 lost their homes. In the 1990s, Sul Ross State University graduate student Russell A. Scogin began recording the survivors’ recollections of the flood, which provided a renewed interest in the flood history. Subsequently, Scogin and Dr. Earl Elam of the Center for Big Bend Studies published The Sanderson Flood of 1965: Crisis in a Rural Texas Community (1995).
In April 1995, Sanderson civic leader Blanche Zuberbueler was instrumental in developing a three-day community history program about the flood and its effects on the Sanderson area, sponsored by the Texas Committee for the Humanities (now Humanities Texas), Friends of the Terrell County Public Library, and the Center for Big Bend Studies. Dr. Elam, oral historian Jaclyn Jeffrey, and Richard Francaviglia of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington served as panelists along with flood survivors at the program. In conjunction with the program, the Terrell County Public Library hosted "Sanderson: An Exhibit in Commemoration of the Flood of 1965," an interpretive photographic exhibit featuring Cearley’s photographs of survivors and historic photographs of the flood.
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Sanderson, Texas," http://www.tshaonline.org /handbook/online/articles/SS/hjs7.html (accessed August 9, 2010).
Riverkeeper. "Ramona Cearley." Riverkeeper. http://www.riverkeeper.org/about-us/our-team/ramona-cearley/ (accessed August 9, 2010).
The Ramona Cearley Collection, 1995, contains photographs, brochures, publications, correspondence, and photocopies of news clippings for the 1995 photographic exhibit, "Sanderson: An Exhibit in Commemoration of the Flood of 1965." The photographs by Cearley depict the community and survivors of the flood, while the publications and photocopies describe the history of Sanderson and the flood’s effects on the area. Additionally, the correspondence and brochures pertain to the production of the history program and exhibit by Cearley and the Terrell County Public Library.
This collection is open for research use.
Ramona Cearley retains copyright to photographs she produced. She has granted permission for any non-profit use of the materials but must be contacted for any for-profit use. She requires credit as photographer for any use whatsoever.
Ramona Cearley Collection, 1995, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers