A Guide to the Bascom Reagan Photograph Collection, ca. 1908-1954
Bascom A. Reagan was born in 1886 in Big Spring, Texas. As one of the area’s earliest residents he found his vocation of carpentry useful in this young region, building many of the area’s houses before 1915. He also helped build the courthouse and some commercial structures and worked on an oil derrick and two military bases. He had a reputation as a mechanical genius and lent his hand to many interests, not the least of which was photography. He began taking pictures and developing them himself in the early 1900s but these glass plates are all lost. The rest of the negatives were acquired by Doyle Phillips after Reagan’s death in 1977 and donated to the Briscoe Center after Phillips completed a book on the subject (Howard County, Texas Historical Photographs by Bascom A. Reagan (1886-1977)).
Collection consists of contact prints and negatives of people, places, structures and events in and around Big Spring and Howard County, Texas. Among them are members of Reagan's family, the county courthouse, the First Baptist Church, the Texas and Pacific Railway Depot, parades, physical features such as South Mountain, and events such as two of the fires that occurred in Big Spring. One series of images portrays deer hunts while another gives a well-rounded view of the types of early vehicles that were integral to small town life. Many of the negatives and prints are unidentified.
The collection is open for research. Access to negatives is by appointment only. Contact repository for appointment.
A portion of these negatives is stored remotely at the Austin History Center vault. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
Bascom A. Reagan Photograph Collection, ca. 1908-1954, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Linda Peterson, November 2010.
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