So what happened was this: I drove to Austin yesterday and successfully negotiated the acquisition of the Tsanoff family papers. I’m not going to get into the whole story but I would like to make just one point, but make it forcefully. If you have anything you want to give to someone, whether the Woodson, another institution, or some person you should make the arrangements sooner rather than later. You don’t know what might happen. These papers survived by the skin of their teeth and I am grateful and relieved to have them. My thanks to the thoughtful, warm-hearted, and entrepreneurial women who tracked me down when they realized what they had.
In any event, the collection is a major one, encompassing the academic and personal papers of Radoslav Tsanoff and his wife, Corinne, and their daughters Katherine Tsanoff Brown and Nevenna Tsanoff Travis. In the first couple of boxes I dug through I saw things dated 1871 and 1971. There are hundreds of photographs, most of them dated and organized by location. By way of example, here’s Katherine’s high school graduation picture:
There’s also a bunch of stuff, including the Semicentennial medal of honor from yesterday and an ARA Gold Medal. There’s a Rice Institute trash can featuring Lovett Hall. And I was happy to find that both Nevenna and Katherine kept journals during their years as Rice students:
But the heart of the collection is really the correspondence. There are thousands of letters, beginning in 1910 when Radoslav and Corinne met at Cornell. As their daughters grew up, traveled, went off to school, and married the letters circulated between and among them all on a nearly daily basis. I will be busy for a long time.