Three Questions is an initiative to share the value that our faculty, students, and others in the UNT community derive from using the Unique Collections at UNT Libraries.


1. How important are Unique Collections in your teaching, learning or research?

For the past 12-plus years, I have been researching my family history. All eight of the basic lines in my family tree converge in Texas. Discovering the Portal to Texas History has been a boon to my genealogical work, as I have found information about relatives in the Portal that I would not have had access to previously.

2. How have Unique Collections changed the way you approach your research, teaching or learning?  

A number of my family members have lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, East Texas and Northeast Texas, dating back to the mid-to-late 1800s. Whether I am looking for information on an individual or a particular family in Texas, one of my first stops after establishing basic facts is the Portal. Every time I visit it, I learn something new and often make an unexpected discovery.

3. What do you want others to know about your research?

The extensive newspaper collection on the Portal to Texas History has been helpful for collecting factual information as well as providing insight into everyday life. Older newspapers, and particularly those in smaller communities, often have run more extensive articles about marriages, accomplishments and deaths than modern newspapers do. The slice-of-life that newspapers provide is wonderful. I look forward to learning more as more collections are added.

Jean Ann Cantore is editor of Texas Techsan magazine at the Texas Tech Alumni Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English (technical writing) and Spanish and a master’s degree in English (comparative literature) from Texas Tech University. For the past 19 years, she has worked on the magazine, but prior to that position, she ran a writing center for engineering students and served as a development officer  at Texas Tech.

Her genealogical research has led her to discover ancestors who came to The Colonies from England in the early 1600s, settling in Jamestowne. She also has ancestors who helped settle Oklahoma Territory. Many of her relatives have served in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War and wars in the 20th Century.