Weather-Related Collections in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Digital Repository

By: Rob King, Assistant Librarian, Technical Services

The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library’s digital repository contains more than 215,000 items, including newspaper issues, maps, and monographs. Out of 11,211 subject headings (i.e. keywords) attached to those items, 114 are weather-related. This article highlights some of the largest and most significant digitized holdings attached to weather-related subject headings and includes a list of those headings as an aid to researchers.

The most relevant items come from the Dr. Tetsuya Theodore “Ted” Fujita Papers. Dr. Fujita was a world famous scientist who created the F-scale for grading tornado strength. Robert Weaver provides an in-depth look at this collection as part of this issue of Archivation Exploration. Photographs from the Crosbyton Solar Power Project, begun in 1974, document the West Texas region’s foray into alternative energy. Under “Weather – Texas, West,” a researcher will find two oral histories wherein the interviewees offer first-hand accounts of their memories of weather in the region, and a land promotion tract for Spur, TX, from 1908.

Beautiful Valley West Texas, the Land of Opportunity

Land promotions provide interesting perspectives on the weather of a region as claims to the health benefits of the climate were often inflated to incite interest in for-sale properties. A further example of this is Hagerman Orchards: Located in the Famous Pecos Valley Five Miles Southeast of Roswell Chaves County New Mexico, a land promotion boasting that “The climate is unsurpassed … For all pulmonary and throat troubles there is no better climate anywhere.”

Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute focuses on wind energy and hazard mitigation. Two oral histories – Mark Harral, and Charlie and Suzanne Davis – discuss the impacts of wind turbines on community, wildlife, landscape, and the development of wind power. And, of course, no digital repository in Lubbock is complete without photographs documenting the tornado of May 11, 1970. It is inevitable with such a concentration on wind and tornadoes that dust storms are prevalent to the area or West Texas as well. One particular article found under the subject heading “Dust Bowl Era, 1931-1939,” lends an unexpected opinion from 1938 as found in the Texas Tech Technical College student newspaper The Toreador. In the article, a former missionary to China from Brownwood scoffs at the dust storms of West Texas, claiming north China dusters belonged on a class of their own, revealing Texas duster to be diminutive by comparison.

To facilitate research using digital collections, included with this article is a list of all pertinent subject headings for weather-related topics that can currently be found in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library Digital Repository.


Air conditioning. [1]

American Wind Energy Association. [1]

Apples -- Irrigation -- Pecos River Valley (N.M. and Tex.) [1]

Cielo Wind Power--Employees--Interviews. [1]

Cielo Wind Power. [1]

Claude (Tex.)--Climate. [1]

Cyclones [422]

Cyclones--United States [422]

Disaster relief--Texas--Lubbock. [1]

Droughts--Texas--Big Bend National Park. [1]

Droughts--Texas--Claude. [2]

Dust Bowl--Texas. [1]

Dust storms United States. [1]

Dust storms--China. [1]

Dust storms--Oklahoma. [1]

Dust storms--Texas--Claude. [1]

Dust storms--Texas--Gem. [1]

Dust storms--Texas--Lubbock. [1]

Dust storms--Texas. [1]

Dust storms. [2]

Dwellings--Flood damage. [3]

Earth Day. [6]

Eco-Action Day. [1]

Ecology--Texas--Houston. [1]

Ecology--Texas--Texas Hill Country. [1]

Ecology. [3]

Events- Tornado [29]

Fire ecology--Texas. [3]

Fires--Texas--Amarillo. [1]

Fires. [4]

Flood damage. [3]

Floods--Mexico--Panalachic. [1]

Floods--Texas--Marathon. [1]

Floods. [5]

Fujita, Tetsuya Theodore [422]

Fujita, Tetsuya Theodore. [4]

Hurricane Katrina, 2005. [3]

Hurricanes [422]

Hurricanes--Louisiana--New Orleans. [2]

Hurricanes--United States [422]

Hurricanes--United States--Research [422]

Lubbock (Tex.) Tornado. [422]

Meteorology [422]

Meteorology--United States [422]

Rain and rainfall--Texas--Claude. [1]

Rain and rainfall--Texas--Marathon. [1]

Rain and rainfall. [1]

Rain. [1]

Rainbows. [1]

Sandstorms--Texas, West. [3]

Sandstorms--Texas--Lubbock. [2]

Satellite Meteorology [422]

Satellite Meteorology--United States [422]

Sky--Pictorial works. [7]

Snow. [37]

Solar collectors--Design and construction. [76]

Solar collectors. [120]

Solar energy in agriculture. [27]

Solar energy--Texas--Crosbyton. [92]

Solar energy--Texas--New Deal. [27]

Solar energy. [3]

Solar power plants--Texas--Crosbyton--Design and construction. [1]

Solar power plants--Texas--Crosbyton. [2]

Texas Tech University. Wind Science and Engineering Center [422]

Thunderstorms [422]

Thunderstorms--United States [422]

Tornado damage. [5]

Tornadoes--Forecasting--Research--United States [422]

Tornadoes--International [422]

Tornadoes--New Mexico. [1]

Tornadoes--Photographs [422]

Tornadoes--Research--United States [422]

Tornadoes--Texas, West. [1]

Tornadoes--Texas--Claude. [1]

Tornadoes--Texas--Lubbock. [19]

Tornadoes--Texas--Marathon. [1]

Tornadoes--Texas. [3]

Tornadoes--United States [422]

Tornadoes. [422]

Typhoons [422]

Typhoons--Pacific Ocean [422]

Weather Forecasting [422]

Weather Forecasting--History [422]

Weather--Texas, West. [3]

Weather-General [35]

Weather. [4]

Wind energy. [1]

Wind power -- Machinery. [2]

Wind power -- Patents. [1]

Wind power industry--Political aspects--Texas. [1]

Wind power industry--Public relations. [1]

Wind power industry--Texas--Texas Hill Country. [1]

Wind power industry. [2]

Wind power plants--Costs. [1]

Wind power plants--Economic aspects. [2]

Wind power plants--Environmental aspects. [2]

Wind power plants--Florida. [1]

Wind power plants--Law and legislation. [1]

Wind power plants--Nevada. [1]

Wind power plants--Public opinion. [2]

Wind power plants--Technological innovations. [1]

Wind power plants. [4]

Wind power--Economic aspects. [2]

Wind power--Research--Law and legislation. [1]

Wind power--Texas--Lubbock. [1]

Wind power--Texas--Lynn County. [1]

Wind power--Texas. [3]

Wind power. [9]

Wind turbines. [1]

Windmills -- Machinery. [2]

Windmills -- Patents. [1]

Windmills--History. [1]

Windmills--Texas--Claude. [1]

Windmills--United States. [5]