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Dr. Carl Wrotenbery Papers

Identifier: Coll-209

This collection primarily consists of photos, documents, and newspaper articles involving the aftermath of Hurricane Celia, which struck the University of Corpus Christi (which would later become Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi) on August 3, 1970. It contains 204 photographic slides showing the destruction: mostly of the library. It also has dozens of newspaper articles immediately after Celia hit and stretching into the next year of recovery. There are recovery pamphlets, “Faculty Facs” newsletter from the Deans office, and a bound program for the 1971 Boston Athenaeum Seminar on the Application of Chemical and Physical Methods to the Conservation of Library and Archival Materials (May 17-21).


  • Majority of material found within none

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.


2 Linear Feet


The Dr. Carl Wrotenbery Papers is a small collection of historic documents that centers around the destruction of the University of Corpus Christi by Hurricane Celia in 1970. Included in this collection are over 200 photographic slides, dozens of newspaper articles, and other assorted ephemera. Dr. Wrotenbery worked tirelessly to get what would become Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi back on its feet in the face of catastrophic destruction, and this collection reflects his efforts in that microcosm while still touching on Celia’s destructive effects outside of Ward Island.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Carl Wrotenbery was the Library Director for Corpus Christi University, and later became Dean. He was born in Mount Pleasant, Texas, on December 14, 1929. After completing his undergrad at Baylor, he pursued and finished a Master’s in Library Science from The University of Texas-Austin. He then finished both a masters and PhD in Theology from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Wrotenbery married Julia Winn in 1952, and they had a son and a daughter. Their son, Houston Grand Opera musician Richard Alan Wrotenbery, was murdered in Houston in 1988, and the perpetrator was executed by lethal injection in 2010.

Dr. Wrotenbery wrote several journal articles and books. The book Baptist Island College: An Interpretive History of the University of Corpus Christi, 1946-1976 was published in 1998, and After the Last Song: Dealing with Violent Death was published in 1999. When he wasn’t managing the complexities of administering a library or college campus (or helping them recover from a Category 3 hurricane), Wrotenbery enjoyed wood working. He donated several of his pieces to the University of Corpus Christi, which is now Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. They can be viewed in the library conference room. He passed away at the age of 86 in 2016.


The collection is divided into two series, Documents & Photos, and Newspapers & Clippings. These series are further subdivided into nine categories. The Documents & Photos subcategories are Corpus Christi University Hurricane Celia documents, Photo slides: 204 photo slides of university after hurricane, 8 fiberboard photos with captions for display, and Library of Boston Athenaeum Seminar book. The Newspaper & Clippings subcategory has five subcategories that are separated by date.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged by Eric Christensen, Processing Archivist for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi’s Special Collections & Archive Department.

Dr. Carl Wrotenbery Papers
Eric Christensen
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository

6300 Ocean Dr.
Unit 5702
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States
361-825-5973 (Fax)