The Unexpected Collections is a digital humanities project that traces the connections between Texas, Spain and the Caribbean during the Spanish-American War. Taking as a starting point the 36 chromos collection of the Spanish Chocolates Juncosa (archived at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection), we map the links between the Texas Volunteers, the places of the battles, the propaganda, and lack of historical accuracy of the Spanish discourse during and after the war.
For Explore UT, the Unexpected Collections event will showcase how special collections in The University of Texas connect the State of Texas to the world. The showcase uses digital maps and images about the Spanish American War in the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection of UT and the Texas Volunteers to demonstrate how historical materials come to life in our classrooms. Using freely available images and tools, the audience will see where real life volunteers came from and catch a glimpse of how they may have experienced the Spanish American War of 1898, all through an interactive digital map. Not only will the audience see the map, but they will also experience how this activity is normally done in our courses through a walk-through. Honoring the rich and unique history of Texas and UT, the event also demonstrates the diversity of ideas and languages that exist on our campus, as well as the kinds of creative and innovative projects that our students and staff are creating.