The family of Thomas Baker Slick Jr., founder of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute and other science organizations in San Antonio, has donated his papers to the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Libraries Special Collections.
Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti (Faber and Faber, 1989) was the first book documenting the Texas millionaire’s life. The work was based on correspondence, documents, and news accounts that had not been harvested for information since Slick’s death. The newly released correspondence makes accessible letters and other material previously shared on a limited basis by the Slick family with researchers like myself.
The 75 boxes contain papers related to Texas Biomed, Southwest Research Institute, Mind Science Foundation, and other partnerships, and corporations. They include documents relating to the disbursement of the estate assets and the trusts of Slick, who died in a plane crash in 1962 at age 46. The collection also reflects Slick’s interest in world peace, cryptozoology, Arabian horses, Abominable Snowmen, breeding cattle, the birth control pill, Indian mystics, and more.
The papers will be available to scholars and researchers who are interested in the origins of the biomedical and scientific enterprise in San Antonio and South Texas, the oil and gas industry, the history of the research institutions that Slick established, and his varied other interests. Slick left a vast set of correspondence spanning from 1938 to 1962, and this donation represents the first time in nearly 40 years that it will be available to the general public and scholars. The documents had been housed and preserved at the Preston G. Northrup Memorial Library at Texas Biomed, formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.
“We are very pleased that these papers, which are so important to the history of San Antonio, will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility where historians and others will have access to them,” said Kenneth P. Trevett, Texas Biomed’s president and CEO. “Tom Slick was a remarkable visionary who really thought San Antonio would become a city of science and health, which indeed it has.”
“This gift is important to UTSA for a number of reasons,” says Krisellen Maloney, Ph.D., UTSA’s dean of libraries. “The addition of Tom Slick’s papers to our special collections will enhance the work of any researcher interested in the urban development of San Antonio. The materials are particularly valuable to us, given our status as a rising premier research university with strong engineering and biotechnology programs.”
The University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries preserve the legacies of San Antonio and South Texas through special collections featuring a rich array of primary resources. The transfer of the Slick correspondence to the UTSA occurred on August 12, 2011.
The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, has an extensive collection of Tom Slick Yeti items, as well. A forthcoming (Fall-Winter 2011) episode of Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum will focus on the Tom Slick material at the ICM.
Thanks for the UTSA newstip from Dennis Stacy.