What: “Byrds of Texas: Four Generations of Photographers” — The Friends of the University of North Texas Libraries’ annual Paul R. Voertman Lecture, presented by Byrd Williams IV, professor of photography at Collin County College

When: 6 p.m. March 27 (Thursday)

Where: The Forum on the first floor of UNT’s Willis Library, 1506 W. Highland St.

Cost: $40 per person; $75 per couple. Includes a buffet dinner. Reservations must be made by 5 p.m. March 24 (Monday).

  • Please click here to pay for your reservation online.

Contact: Kristin Boyett at 940-565-2486 or Kristin.Boyett@unt.edu.

In 1905, Gainesville resident Byrd Moore Williams Jr. started a career in photography while he was still earning an engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He later documented many major engineering projects in the state with his camera, including the construction of San Antonio’s River Walk during the 1940s.

Williams’ grandson, Byrd Williams IV— the fourth generation in the Williams family with an interest and career in photography — will discuss his family’s collection of photos March 27 (Thursday) at the annual Paul R. Voertman Lecture sponsored by the University of North Texas’ Friends of the UNT Libraries.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Forum on the first floor of UNT’s Willis Library, 1506 W. Highland St. Following a buffet dinner, Williams will present his lecture, “Byrds of Texas: Four Generations of Photographers,” at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $40 per person and $75 per couple. To make reservations, contact Kristin Boyett at 940-565-2486 or Kristin.Boyett@unt.edu. Reservations must be made by 5 p.m. March 24 (Monday).

  • Please click here to pay for your reservation online.

All proceeds will benefit the Friends of the UNT Libraries, which was established in 1981 to improve and increase the physical resources of the libraries’ Special Collections, formerly the Rare Books and Archives collections.

The Friends regularly contribute funds for the purchase of materials for the collections and sponsor receptions, poetry and short story readings, workshops and other events to help to make the collections a recognized part of the cultural benefits of the Denton area. The Voertman Lecture was established by and named for a life member of the Friends.

 In 2013, the UNT Libraries acquired the Byrd Williams Family Collection, which consists of more than 10,000 prints and more than 300,000 negatives of photos shot by Byrd Moore Williams Jr.; his father, Byrd Moore Williams, owner of a Gainesville hardware store who also operated a darkroom in his home; Byrd Williams III, the son to Williams Jr. and the owner of an artistic photo service in Fort Worth; and Williams IV, who developed the photography program at Collin County College and has taught there for 26 years.

The Byrd Williams Family Collection is part of the UNT Libraries’ Special Collections. The photos include Byrd Moore Williams’ depictions of Gainesville at the end of the 19th century; scenes of everyday life in Fort Worth during the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, shot by Williams III, and his series of prints documenting women at work in the city during the 1930s; and Williams IV’s images of some of the same places in Fort Worth 40 years later. Williams IV also created portraits of some celebrities, including televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and author Larry McMurtry at his Archer City, Texas, bookstore.

The collection includes commercial and studio photography, western landscapes, documentary studies and fine art photography, as well as family correspondence, artifacts and cameras.


Thursday, March 27, 2014 -
6:00pm to 9:00pm


Willis Library
The Forum, Room 140