Today@Sam Article

Museum Awarded Grant From The Summerlee Foundation

June 1, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

Michael Sproat, curator of collectionsWith funding from a new grant, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum plans to expand its digital content to enhance the Sam Houston Republic of Texas Presidential Library, an online resource for scholarly research. 

The museum received a $15,000 grant from the Dallas based Summerlee Foundation for the support of digitizing the museum’s collections and creating metadata for Sam Houston documents. The Summerlee Foundation is a private charitable foundation with two purposes:  the promotion of Texas History and the protection of animals.

This grant will assist in the accessibility of the Sam Houston Republic of Texas Presidential Library. In 2017, the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas approved a resolution for the creation of the library at SHSU. In 2021, the museum made its official announcement of the planned approach it would take with the designation. 

“It is important to digitize our objects and documents written and used by Sam Houston,” said Michael Sproat, curator of collections. “It is just as important to do the very same for all known repositories of Sam Houston documents and artifacts held in museums, archival centers and libraries across the state of Texas and the United States, with the intent to place everything that Sam Houston touched in a digital format under one website.”

Through the digital content created and shared, the museum hopes to facilitate scholarly research with the expanded access to historically important resources.

“We are thankful for the support of the Summerlee Foundation as it will allow us to share the story of Houston with a greater online audience and help to make the Sam Houston Republic of Texas Presidential Library more accessible to scholars and members of the public at large,” said Derrick Birdsall, museum director.

To learn more about the Sam Houston Republic of Texas Presidential Library or to support the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, email Derrick Birdsall, museum director, at

About the Sam Houston Memorial Museum
As part of Sam Houston State University, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum is an important educational institution for the benefit of local, state, national and international audiences.  The museum’s primary focus is the life of Sam and Margaret Houston, their family and other individuals and events important in the early history, cultures and development of Texas and the Southwest, particularly during the period of 1832-1863 and as they relate to Texas today.  The museum complex is located on the property once owned by Sam and Margaret Houston, which is today on the corner of Sam Houston Avenue and 19th Street in Huntsville and open Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m.  

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