07/29/2015: Interviews from Conversations to Create Unity, an oral history project conducted by the Susanna Dickinson Museum and funded by Baylor University's Institute of Oral History, are now online! The project features fifteen oral histories from a diverse group of lifelong Austinites. Their interviews communicate race relations as a shared human experience and present a productive dialog about race in Austin, Texas.
To access the interviews, click here.
The Brush Square Museums consist of three adjacent museums located in historic downtown Austin, TX: the Susanna Dickinson Museum, O. Henry Museum, and the Austin Fire Museum.
The mission of the Susanna Dickinson Museum is "to preserve the home and legacy of Battle of the Alamo survivor Susanna Dickinson and to celebrate Texas’ historical heritage by providing programs and educational resources to the citizens of Austin and its visitors." The Susanna Dickinson Museum's collections consist of rare Dickinson family artifacts, as well as photographs, publications, and archives relating to Susanna Dickinson's descendants.
The mission of the O. Henry Museum is "to collect, preserve and interpret artifacts and archival materials relative to William Sidney Porter, the author otherwise known as O. Henry, for literary, educational, and historical purposes." The museum building, a late 19th century Queen Anne cottage, was home to Porter and his family from 1893-95. The collections include O. Henry's correspondence, drawings, and unpublished manuscripts, in addition to original photographs, furniture, decor, housewares, and period pieces.
The mission of the Austin Fire Museum is "to share and preserve the rich history of the Austin fire Department and its firefighters, and to serve the public through fire and life safety education." The Austin Fire Museum is housed within Austin's Central Fire Station No. 1, a 1938 city-PWA (Public Works Administration) building and working fire station. The museum's collections include 19th-21st century firefighting equipment, original photographs of Austin firefighters and historic fires, and archival collections from the Austin Fire Department and former fire chiefs.