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Special Collections & University Archives: Port of Brownsville

This is the webpage for UTRGV Special Collections & University Archives.

Port of Brownsville Research Guide

Port of Brownsville Research Guide, compiled by Shannon Pensa

Summary & Background: Port of Brownsville

Summary

This research guide provides an overview into the 80+ year history of the Port of Brownsville. The purpose of this research guide is to offer students historical context though access to primary source materials house at UTRGV Special Collections & Archives as well as highlighting relevant secondary (books) and external (websites) resources.

Background

Conceived in 1906 as a deep sea port by local fisherman Louis Cobolini and dredged by U.S. Army Engineers, the Port of Brownsville began official operations in 1936. It is the only deep water port located on the U.S.-Mexico Border and offers multimodal international transport. The Port has been critical to the economic development and sustainability of the region, employing 51,000+ workers and contributing $3B+ to the state economy. Known as one of the top free trade zones in the U.S., it has evolved from shipping commodities like citrus and cotton to steel and petroleum. The Port also offers scrap metal recycling and ship dismantling, serving as the nation’s chief U.S. Navy aircraft carrier dismantling program (Port of Brownsville, n.d.).

Source: Port of Brownsville History. (n.d.). Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://www.portofbrownsville.com/about/history/

Primary Sources: Maps

Port of Brownsville, Brownsville-Matamoros Area  [MAP]

Brownsville-Matamoros Area [MAP]

Brownsville-Matamoros Area [Map]. Reference files, "Port of Brownsville" folder, "The Connecting Point" brochure. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives, Brownsville Campus. (Image below)

Industry: A key factor the port growth [Map]

Industry: A key factor the port growth [Map]

Industry: A key factor the port growth [Map]. Reference files, "Port of Brownsville" folder, "The Connecting Point" brochure. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives, Brownsville Campus. (Image below)

Port of Brownsville NAFTA 1999

Port of Brownsville, home port to NAFTA. (1999). [Map].

Port of Brownsville, home port to NAFTA. (1999). [Map]. Brownsville Navigation District. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives, Brownsville Campus.

Maps, see also

  1. Map showing general layout of the Port of Brownsville, Texas., May 8, 1950., Texas Department of Transportation, ELIBR-0058, Box 4, Folder 459. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives, Edinburg Campus.
  2. Texas, Stover Point to Port Brownsville, including Brazos Santiago Pass  (32nd ed., Jan./08. Corrected through NM Jan. 12/08, LNM Jan. 01/08.). (2008). [Map]. Coast Survey. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives, Edinburg Campus.

Primary Sources: Photos

Air view Port of Brownsville (post card)

Air view Port of Brownsville (post card)

Air view Port of Brownsville (post card). Brownsville Photograph Collection BLIBR-0044, Box 1, Folder 5. University Library, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas Southmost College, Brownsville, Texas.

Photograph of a group of men loading banana's onto rail cars at the Port of Brownsville

Photograph of a group of men loading banana's onto rail cars at the Port of Brownsville

Photograph of a group of men loading banana's onto rail cars at the Port of Brownsville (no date). Matilda Ninfa Guillen, 1918 - 1949. Brownsville History Harvest 2014, UTRGV Digital Library, The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley.

Four ships in Port of Brownsville channel, Monbaldo and Anubis

Four ships in Port of Brownsville channel, Monbaldo and Anubis

Four ships in Port of Brownsville channel, Monbaldo and Anubis. Brownsville Photograph Collection; BLIBR-0044, Box 1, Folder 5. University Library, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas Southmost College, Brownsville, Texas.

U.S. Coast Guard and Tug Boat Photo

U.S. Coast Guard and Tug Boat

U.S. Coast Guard and Tug Boat. Brownsville Photograph Collection; BLIBR-0044, Box 1, Folder 5. University Library, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas Southmost College, Brownsville, Texas.

Port Area photo

Port Area (Aerial Photo), 1950-08-01

Port Area (Aerial Photo), 1950-08-01. Brownsville Photograph Collection; BLIBR-0044, Box 1, Folder 5. University Library, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas Southmost College, Brownsville, Texas.

External Resources

Portal Square Logo for Web Search a database of over 1.5M digitized resources via UNT's Portal to Texas History, including the Texas Digital Newspaper Program.

Research Compiled by Shannon Pensa

Shannon Pensa currently serves as the Head of Special Collections & Archives (2019 - present). She joined UTRGV in 2016 as a member of the Access Services team in Edinburg. Shannon earned a Master of Public Affairs from UTRGV (2019), a Master of Library Science (2012) from Indiana University - Bloomington, and a Bachelor of Arts in history from UT-Austin (2003). Her previous work experience includes public libraries, records management, and scholarly publishing. She is passionate about history, preservation, and public service.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The research guides compiled by UTRGV staff and students are intended to assist patrons who are embarking upon new research endeavors. Our goal is to expand their knowledge of the types of resources available on a given topic, including books, archival materials, and websites. In so doing, our compilers have taken care to include collections, digital items, and resources that may be accessed not only through UTRGV but also via other institutions, repositories, and websites.

We wholeheartedly respect the research interests of others. Therefore, please contact us if you wish to submit a resource for consideration, or if you have a question about or an issue with a specific cited resource.