Texas State University’s Wittliff Collections have acquired one of the largest known collections of Tejano music materials and memorabilia from renowned musicologist Ramón Hernández.
“This archive is vast,” said Wittliff music curator Hector Saldaña. “There are thousands of items dating back to the beginnings of the Tejano art form. Hernández was one of the first to see that Tejano music was not receiving broad historical recognition, and he decided to do something about it.”
Hernández has built his collection over 35 years while working as publicist, writer and photojournalist covering Tejano, and conjunto music. Notable items include historic photographs, vintage concert posters, rare recordings, performance clothing, artifacts and instruments from leaders of the genre including Lydia Mendoza, Isidro López, “Little Joe” Hernández, Sunny Ozuna and Selena.
“This is a dream come true,” Hernández said. “It’s been an honor and privilage to work with the Wittliff Collections. The icing on the cake came when Bill Wittliff and David Coleman offered me a home for my collection. Now I know that my materials are in the best of hands, and they will serve as valuable research material for generations. I’m elated and thankful for this blessing.”
“Hernández is a legendary figure,” said Wittlif director David Coleman. “He has singlehandedly saved and preserved the legacy of so many iconic musicians. In the process, he has built one of the signature music collections in America.”
Hernández’s archive is a major addition to the Wittliff’s newly-formed Texas Music Collection, a collection that already has materials from Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Asleep at The Wheel.