Texas A&M International University's Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library received a priceless collection of 11 scrapbooks from the local chapter of the Pan American Round Table during ceremonies held Oct. 14 in the Killam Library Special Collections Room.
The scrapbooks, which date from 1921 to 1997, contain original photographs, newspaper clippings, handwritten documents, and correspondence which provide glimpses into both the Laredo of yesteryear and the Pan American Round Table organization.
The Pan American Round Table is an organization of women dedicated to promoting friendship and understanding between the US and Latin American countries. Now one of the largest Tables in Texas, the local chapter was established almost 80 years ago. Throughout its existence, the group has been active in social and educational issues. Details of the group's history have been carefully chronicled in their scrapbook collection.
Among the historic documents in the collection is a historic letter written by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Other noteworthy documents include an original invitation for the opening of the local USO in the 1940s and information on the time capsule placed in the cornerstone of the US Customs building.
Killam Library director Rodney M. Webb said the collection is a rich resource for historians, researchers, students, and community members.
"This is a significant gift that will enhance our collection of published works on Laredo. Because it provides a history of the leadership and contributions of women in this community, it is a unique and invaluable resource. We salute the Pan American Round Table for their remarkable generosity," said Webb.
Because the donated scrapbooks contain irreplaceable materials, they will be securely maintained in the Killam Library's Special Collections room. Persons who wish to use them may do so only under carefully controlled conditions, once the materials have been catalogued.
Community members who wish to view the collection should call the Killam Library at 326-2110 during normal business to make necessary arrangements.
For more information on the Pan American Round Table scrapbook collection, please contact Webb at 326-2400 during normal business hours.