Author Biographical Info

The McGovern Historical Center (MHC) is the historical and special collections department for The TMC Library. The MHC maintains rare book and archival collections. Artificial collections have been created to provide access to materials without clear provenance in order to increase discoverability. Soon after his arrival in Houston, Dr. McGovern became one of the Library’s most staunch supporters, annually supplying funds for the purchase of rare books and travel support for the librarians to attend meetings of the American Association for the History of Medicine. In 1977, The Library formed a new department with new quarters to collect historical materials and to enhance the rare book collections. In 1982, Dr. McGovern donated his personal collection of rare and historical books to the Library. In 1996 the Library’s Board of Directors named the historical department in his honor.


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431 Franklin Street (near I-45 and Washington Avenue). Built in 1887, replaced in the 1934 by the Art Deco station that is now incorporated into Minute Maid Park, and demolished in 1960.

For many years, Houston advertised itself as “The City Where 17 Railroads Meet the Sea” to emphasize that it was a modern, technologically progressive city, capable of handling the bounty of crops the state produced. The locomotive was included on the city seal when it was adopted in February, 1840. The city fathers were optimistic: Houston wouldn’t have an operational rail line until 1853. The Buffalo Bayou, Brazos, and Colorado Railroad was the first railroad in the state and only the second west of the Mississippi. It was also the earliest branch of today’s Southern Pacific.


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