Guerrero Viejo Archives Project Receives Support from The Summerlee Foundation

A massive project aimed at preserving the archival documents of Guerrero Viejo has received additional support with a generous grant from the Dallas-based Summerlee Foundation.

The $12,500 grant from the Summerlee Foundation will provide much needed assistance for the "Guerrero Viejo Archives Preservation Project," which seeks to convert approximately 250,000 archival documents to microfilm and eventual CD-ROM storage, said Dr. Carlos E. Cuéllar, A&M International assistant professor of history.

"These funds will help in microfilming vital and important documents that date back 250 years. If this is not done soon, then both descendants of Guerrero Viejo and scholars will lose a vital link to the past history of the region of northern Mexico and southern Texas," Dr. Cuéllar said.

The project, directed by A&M International in cooperation with the government of Ciudad Guerrero Nuevo and Tamaulipas, Mexico, has raised approximately $25,000 to date, Cuéllar said.

The documents, which date from 1750 forward, come from both the municipal and church archives located in Guerrero Nuevo and will benefit anyone interested in the history of what is the ancestral home of many Laredo families, Cuéllar said.

"The documents are a treasure house of information for anyone interested in the Spanish Colonial era of history and they are especially valuable for those who have ties to Guerrero Viejo," he said, "We would like to continue urging those who have ties to the beautiful old city that was Guerrero Viejo to be part of the Guerrero Viejo Archives Preservation Project."

Guerrero Viejo, founded in 1750, became a ghost town after a 1953-54 flood resulting from the building of Falcon Dam forced its residents to settle in Ciudad Guerrero Nuevo, Cuéllar explained. Last year marked Guerrero Viejo's 250th anniversary.

Created in 1988 by Dallas philanthropist Annie Lee Roberts, the Summerlee Foundation is a private, non-profit charitable foundation whose purposes are restricted to programs in animal protection and Texas history.

Annie Lee Roberts championed causes all her life that helped with the alleviation of fear, pain and suffering among animals and was recognized throughout the nation for her dedication and support of a variety of animal protection needs including shelters, wildlife sanctuaries and emergency care. Because of her family's distinguished achievements in Texas, dating from 1825, and the interests of her late husband, Summerfield G. Roberts, she selected Texas history as the additional mission of the Foundation.

For further information on the Guerrero Viejo Archives Preservation Project, please contact Dr. Cuéllar at 326-2626, e-mail or visit offices located in Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library 421C.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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