Headline for Featured Item #1 Associate Director for Special Collections and Archives Retiring After 22 Years at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
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Associate Director for Special Collections and Archives Retiring After 22 Years at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

July 03, 2012

Dr. Tom KreneckCORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Thomas H. Kreneck, associate director for Special Collections and Archives at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, will retire on Friday, Aug. 31.

During his 22 years at the University, Kreneck, an expert in Texas history, administered the University's rare Texana books and manuscript collections dealing with Corpus Christi and its South Texas environs. He curated the Dan Kilgore collection and worked with Carol Isensee Kilgore to create the Daniel E. and Carol Isensee Kilgore Endowment for Texana.  In 2012, he initiated the effort to name the Special Collections reading room in honor of the late Mr. Kilgore.

Kreneck was also instrumental in increasing the University’s manuscript holdings by acquiring the surveying records of three generations of Blucher family surveyors, the records of former Nueces County Surveyor William W. Green, and several other important professional surveyors.  He likewise acquired such notable historical collections as the Charles F.H. von Blucher family papers, the W.E. Pope papers, the Mayor Emeritus Luther Jones papers, and historically-valuable documents of former U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz (D–Corpus Christi) spanning more than a quarter-century career in Congress.

With a specialty in Mexican American archival resources, Kreneck was especially proud of working with many local Hispanic families to acquire their materials for the University.  For example, he concluded the University’s acquisition of and curated the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers.  In his role, he collaborated in many book and film projects about Dr. Garcia’s life.   Kreneck likewise acquired such notable collections as the Rafael and Virginia Reyes Galvan family papers, the Dr. Clotitlde P. Garcia papers, the E.E. Mireles and Jovita Gonzalez Mireles papers, the Antonio Rodriguez Fuentes & Josefina Barrera Fuentes family papers, the Rodolf and Dora Cervera Mirabal papers, the Hi-Fairnessee Girls Club records, the Tony Bonilla papers, the Ruben Bonilla papers, the Victor Lara Ortegon Papers, and others.

A native of South Texas, Kreneck holds a B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in History from Bowling Green State University. Before coming to A&M-Corpus Christi, he was assistant director of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC), an institution which documents the history of the Houston urban region, where he pioneered in the field of Mexican American archival collecting. He taught United States history at various colleges and universities in the Houston area.

He is the author of books and articles and has made many presentations on history, special collections, and archives.  He is a charter member of the Academy of Certified Archivists, and is active in the Texas State Historical Association. In 2006, he was selected as a TSHA Fellow.  Locally, he served as president of the Nueces County Historical Society.  

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