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Parks and Recreation Department Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MA 2018.012

Scope and Content

This collection contains documents and records, correspondence, photographs, negatives, slides, video tapes, audio tapes and maps that were created and/or collected by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Denton, TX.

The first accession to this collection arrived in good condition and was arranged chronologically by the transferring department prior receipt at the archives, thus original order was established and maintained. Subsequent accessions to this collection were not maintained in their original order by the transferring department, thus order was imposed on these items by the archivist while striving to adhere to the template established by the first accession. The archivist identified seven series, Cemetery Records, Administrative Records, Visual Media, Audio Media, Printed Materials, Subject Files and Scrapbooks.

Series I. Cemetery Records, consists of the Sexton's records for both the Oakwood Cemetery and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows' (I.O.O.F.) Cemetery and an index compiled at a later date of the I.O.O.F. burial records. There is also half a map to the Oakwood Cemetery.

Series II. Administrative Records, consists of correspondence, financial records, reports and files and documents created to aid in the operation and maintenance of various Parks and Recreation Department facilities, equipment, programs, events and classes.

Series III. Visual Media, consists of photographs, negatives and slides of Parks and Recreation Department personnel, programs, events, classes, facilities, and equipment. Also, VHS tapes of Parks and Recreation Department events, staff outings and marketing items.

Series IV. Audio Media, consists of cassette tapes which were used as accompanying audio tracks for 35mm slide shows on Parks and Recreation Department amenities and awards submissions.

Series V. Printed Materials, consists of awards and certificates, newspaper clippings, programs for events, publications and ephemera that detail various programs, events, classes and accomplishments of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Series VI. Subject Files, consists of materials related to the development, opening and operation of Water Works Park.

Series VII. Scrapbooks, consists of newspaper clippings collected by Parks and Recreation Department staff to document the role of the department in the community.

Dates

  • 1876 - 2008

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Copyright

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections Department of the Denton Public Library.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission from the copyright holder for material which the library does not own copyright.

Historical Sketch

In 1909 the Denton Chamber of Commerce established a park committee to investigate the value added by city parks in preparation for establishing the first city park in Denton. 1912 saw the creation of the first official Park Board. The first city park, aptly named City Park, was opened in 1923 after pressure and petitions from citizens and groups in Denton resulted in the forcible buy out and removal of the city’s existing black community to make way for the park. The area was subsequently renamed to Civic Center Park before a Texas Historical Commission marker was erected and the park was renamed to Quakertown Park in honor of that displaced community in 2013.

The City Charter of 1959 directed the establishment of a Parks and Recreation Department in Section 5.05. This charter established the department's responsibility for the supervision of maintenance and equipment of parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools, recreation centers and buildings and facilities controlled by the City of Denton. However, funds for hiring a Director for the Parks and Recreation Department weren't made available until 1963 and the position staffed on March 1, 1964. That year saw the first planned recreation program offering activities in Track and Field, Pee Wee Football, Tennis, Baseball, Swimming and a Playground Program with a participant total of nearly 13,000 people. The Playground Program accounted for nearly 11,000 of that total.

In 1965 the first Master Plan and Bond Issue for Leisure Services was approved. This million-dollar bond was used to develop the Civic Center, Civic Center Pool and surrounding area that comprised the O'Neil Ford Municipal Complex. The second Master Plan and related bond issues were approved in 1975 and 1976. A $2.5 million bond in 1975 was used to acquire 350 acres of park land while the $2.2 million bond in 1976 was used for the development of recreation facilities which resulted in the construction of the Senior Center and Denia and North Lakes Recreation Centers by 1979.

The City of Denton was the first Texas city to receive a $200,000, 3-year grant to develop a model municipal Therapeutic Recreation program for the state of Texas through the Parks and Recreation Department. This program offered adapted sports leagues, Special Olympics events, day camps, drop-in activities, dances and socials for Denton's citizens with disabilities.

In 1983 a Joint Use Agreement was signed between the Parks and Recreation Department and the Denton Independent School District that made official a previous partnership agreement for the joint use, acquisition and development of current and future parks and school sites. This agreement allowed for the development of a Special Community Leisure Program that provided Parks and Recreation Department classes in Denton's school facilities after school hours.

Because of the Denton Parks and Recreation Department's goal to provide the citizens of Denton with robust and diverse recreation and educational opportunities, such as the annual Arts and Jazz Festival, its precursor Spring Fling and the Texas Storytelling Festival, it has twice received the National Gold Medal Award from the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) in 1985 and 2003.

Outside of parks and recreation facilities, the Parks and Recreation Department also manages the records, operation and maintenance of two city owned cemeteries. Oakwood Cemetery was officially named in 1931, but was created as soon as Denton was established as the new seat of government for the county in 1857. The I.O.O.F. Cemetery was established in 1859, the same year Denton Lodge #82 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was chartered. The cemetery served as the main burial site for the city and was eventually deeded to the City of Denton in 1933.

The mission of the Parks and Recreation Department is to unite and grow lives by preserving parks and encouraging play by providing opportunities for passive and active recreation, programs and special events that utilize the city's parks, athletic fields, recreation centers and walking trails. The materials found in this collection document the methods and manners in which the Parks and Recreation Department have served the citizens of Denton, Texas.

Source
Record and Chronicle, May 4, 1909.
Source
"The Local News In Brief," Record and Chronicle, November 23, 1912.
Source
United States. Texas. City of Denton. Charter of the City of Denton, Texas. Article V. 1919.
Source
United States. Texas. City of Denton. Revised Charter and Codification of Ordinances. Edited by Bruce Davis. 1941.
Source
United States. Texas. City of Denton. Code of Ordinances of the City of Denton, Texas. Edited by Lee E. Holt. 1959.
Source
"I.O.O.F. Cemetery," cityofdenton.com. https://www.cityofdenton.com/en-us/residents/parks-recreation/facilities/cemeteries/i-o-o-f-cemetery-(1)
Source
"Oakwood Cemetery," citofdenton.com. https://www.cityofdenton.com/en-us/residents/parks-recreation/facilities/cemeteries/oakwood-cemetery
Source
Denton Parks and Recreation Department Collection, 1876-2008.
Source
City Council Minutes. September 10, 1963.
Source
"Special Revenue-Recreation Fund," City of Denton Annual Program of Services. 2018.
Source
"The Quakertown Story," The Denton Review, Michelle Powers Glaze. 1991
Source
"Denton '64' A Report From Your City Council of the Activities of 1963-1964 and the Progress of Five Years of City Council-Manager Government," Denton Record-Chronicle. Jan. 31, 1965.

Extent

17 Linear Feet (Nine manuscript boxes, one half manuscript box, three custom book boxes (13x17x2.5), four custom photograph boxes (15.25x6.5x7.75), three photograph boxes (5.75x7.75x5), five slide boxes (15.5x2.75x11.75), three VHS boxes (16.5x5x7.75), twelve audio cassette tapes, one oversize box (13x2.5x18) and five oversize folder (23x2.5x31).)

Abstract

In 1909 the Denton Chamber of Commerce established a park committee to investigate value added by city parks in preparation of establishing the first city park for Denton. In 1912 the first official Park Board was established and subsequently written into the City Charter. The first modern City Charter for Denton was written in 1959 in which Section 5.05 created the Parks and Recreation Department. The materials within this collection document the methods and manners in which the Parks and Recreation Department have served the citizens of Denton, Texas.

Series Description

The Parks and Recreation Department Collection is currently arranged in seven series:

Series I. Cemetery Records 1.53 linear ft. (one manuscript box, three custom boxes and one folder), 1876-1984.

Arranged chronologically.

Series II. Administrative Records 0.4 linear ft. (four folders and a portion of one DVD), 1980-2007

Arranged in four subseries: 1. Correspondence, 2. Financial Records, 3. Operational Files and 4. Reports

Subseries 1. Correspondence 0.1 linear ft. (one digital folder), 1995-2002.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 2. Financial Records 0.1 linear ft. (seven digital folders), 1995-2006.

Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.

Subseries 3. Operational Files 0.2 linear ft. (one half manuscript box and thirty digital folders), 1988-2004.

Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.

Subseries 4. Reports 0.2 linear ft. (one folder and five digital folders), 1980-2007.

Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.

Series III. Visual Media 13 linear ft. (five slide boxes, four custom photograph boxes, three photograph boxes, three VHS boxes, one manuscript box, twenty-five folders and fifty-six digital folders), 1970-2008 and Undated.

Arranged in four subseries: 1. Photographs, 2. Negatives, 3. Slides and 4. Video.

Subseries 1. Photographs 4.1 linear ft. (four custom photograph boxes, three photograph boxes, twenty-four folders and fifty-six digital folders), 1981-2008 and Undated.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Subseries 2. Negatives 0.5 linear ft. (one manuscript box and one folder), 1981-1998 and Undated.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Subseries 3. Slides 6.56 linear ft. (five slide boxes), 1970-2000 and Undated.

Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder chronologically.

Subseries 4. Video 1.94 linear ft. (three VHS boxes), 1983-2000 and Undated.

Arranged chronologically.

Series IV. Audio Media 0.6 linear ft. (twelve audio cassettes and one reel-to-reel), 1985-1989 and Undated.

Arranged chronologically.

Series V. Printed Materials 1.1 linear ft. (one manuscript box, three folders, five oversize folders and seven digital folders), 1969-2008 and Undated.

Arranged in five subseries: 1. Awards and Certificates, 2. Clippings, 3. Programs, 4. Publcations and 5. Ephemera.

Subseries 1. Awards and Certificates 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1986-1991.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 2. Clippings 0.7 linear ft. (one manuscript box, five oversize folders and four digital folders), 1975-2004 and Undated.

Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.

Subseries 3. Programs 0.1 linear ft. (four folders), 1969-2005.

Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.

Subseries 4. Publications 0.1 linear ft. (four folders), 1986-2005.

Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.

Subseries 5. Ephemera 0.1 linear ft. (two folders and three digital folders), 1985-2008 and Undated.

Arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.

Series VI. Subject Files 0.1 linear ft. (one folder and one digital folder), 2001-2005.

Arranged chronologically.

Series VII. Scrapbooks 2.58 linear ft. (three manuscript boxes, one oversize box and three folders), 1967-2001.

Arranged chronologically.

Provenance Statement

Series I of the Parks and Recreation Department Collection was transferred to the Denton Municipal Archives, Special Collections, Denton Public Library by Teresa Abrams on 2018-11-02.

A portion of Series II of the Parks and Recreation Department Collection was transferred to the Denton Municiipal Archives, Special Collections, Denton Public Library by Jennifer Tyler on 2019-04-04.

A portion of Series II and all of Series III-VII of the Parks and Recreation Department Collection were transferred to the Denton Municipal Archives, Special Collections, Denton Public Library by Maria Denison on 2019-09-11.

Additional Sources

Other materials can be found at the Denton County Office of History and Culture and the Courthouse on the Square Museum. Special Collections also maintains materials under the following call numbers and headings in the catalog: D.TEX 307.346 DEN, MAPS--DENTON--CITY--PARKS, and the Printed Ephemera File.

A related collection, Denton Parks Foundation Records, 1996-2015, can likewise be found in the Denton Municipal Archives.

Note to the Researcher

The materials in this collection are generally in good condition with the exception being a map found torn in half within the pages of the Sexton's record book dated 1956. The map has been encapsulated and stored separately in an oversize box. There are three bound volumes of I.O.O.F. Cemetery Records that contained documents affixed to pages with tape. Where possible, these documents were removed and placed in a separate folder with notations as to which volume and page they were found in. Tissue paper was inserted between the pages that previously contained affixed documents so as to prevent damage to facing pages by adhesive remnants.

Quotation marks in folder names indicate labels used by Parks staff to describe the items contained therein at the time of their creation.

The library maintains software and equipment that can be used to view slides, listen to cassette tapes and view VHS tapes and digital files, but does not have the ability to play the reel-to-reel audio tape, nor the UMatic tape.

All digital files were transferred from their original medium, either 3.5" diskette or CD-Rom, to an archival DVD. In some instances the file type associated with certain files did not transfer, but these items can still be viewed by right-clicking on the file and selecting "open with" then choosing the appropriate software for the file type, i.e. Microsoft Word for a text file or Microsoft Excell for a spreadsheet.

Material Removed List

0.63 linear ft. of folders, three-ring binder cover and large wooden shelf are being deaccessioned and discarded.

5 linear ft. of folders, binders, 35mm slideshow carousels, duplicate photos, slides and clippings were deaccessioned from accession 2019.022 and discarded.

Title
Guide to the Parks and Recreation Department Collection, 1876-2008
Status
Completed
Author
Matthew Davis
Date
2021-04-16
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English (eng)

Revision Statements

  • 2019-02-19: 1st revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-04-04: 2nd revision was an accretion of photographs to the original collection.
  • 2021-04-16: 3rd revision was an accretion of materials from accession 2019.022.

Repository Details

Part of the Denton Municipal Archives Repository

Contact:
Emily Fowler Central Library
502 Oakland St.
Denton TX 76201 USA
940-349-8782