Construction workers retrofitting the former San Antonio Public Library and Hertzberg Circus Museum into the National Western Art Foundation’s Dolph and Janie Briscoe Western Art Museum at 210 W. Market St. were recently able to access an abandoned and forgotten room on the third floor of the building.
When they did, they uncovered a cache of previously unknown and uncataloged library items, including an early-edition King James Bible, dated 1615, and a Civil War-era photo album.
Judging by dates on magazines found in the old closet, staff at the San Antonio Public Library, which owns the building and is leasing it to the National Western Art Foundation, estimate that the area was walled off sometime around 1952 and then forgotten.
Why the books, photographs and other articles were left in the sealed room is unknown.
- World War II posters from Canada, the Free French, the Philippines and the United States, and an extremely rare group of Japanese posters
- An 1861 proclamation from the Governor of the Territory of New Mexico calling out the militia to repel Confederate troops invading from Texas
- General Orders by Confederate Major General J. Bankhead Magruder outlining strategies to export Texas cotton past the Union blockade
- A photo album belonging to Union officer Colonel Town containing not only family pictures, but also photographs of the Union commanders, including General Ulysses S. Grant, General Philip Sheridan, and General George Gordon Meade, who was the Union commander during the Battle of Gettysburg
- Engravings and photographs, including scenes from old San Antonio
Bible photo courtesy of Creative Commons