The Blucher Collection: A Worldwide Research Puzzle

The Blucher collection includes papers from an early Texas family who was instrumental in the development of the Coastal Bend area. The Bluchers arrived in the mid 1800’s, saving their correspondence, legal paperwork, photos, and artifacts from their arrival until the late 1900’s. A prominent member of the family, Conrad Blucher, eventually left a sizeable endowment to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

While processing the Blucher collection, I have been able to experience history through the eyes of others through their writing, photos, and legal documents. A comprehensive picture of the lives of a family across generations, through different regions, and during important historical events has solidified during my work with this collection.

Initially thinking that the collection would be of interest to history students at the University and area historians, I soon discovered its worldwide importance; I was simultaneously made aware of individuals preceding the major generations included in the collection.

After unsuccessfully searching archives throughout Germany, a researcher contacted TAMU-CC Archives and Special Collections staff regarding an early Blucher. Kill-Mar Blucher was a German who never came to Texas but remained in contact with the family, leaving a significant inheritance to the Texas Bluchers at his death. Although I was initially unable to fulfill much of the research request, I began finding more and more documents relating to Kill-Mar Blucher. Because they were written in German, it was difficult for me to process the items. While information was being made available to the researcher regarding his research target, information was given to me that allowed me to properly describe and place the items.

While the Blucher collection initially appears to be a massive chunk of history, a puzzle that is slowly being put together over the years, it is also just a small piece of history extending back to Napoleon’s defeat at the battle of Waterloo and beyond. This collection is not only extremely valuable to Texans, as it depicts the evolution of culture as Texas was being settled and the United States was taking shape, but it is a target of research to individuals worldwide.

Last year, the Blucher collection was processed and entered into Archives Space. As this fiscal year continues, selections of the Blucher collection are being digitized and made available to the public thanks to the Texas Treasures 2021 and 2022 grants.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission (Grant #LS-249990-OLS-21). (2021)

Andrew Karnes

Graduate Assistant, Special Collections & Archives

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