Curated and hosted by the North Richland Hills Library, Birdsong's mission is to collect, preserve, and share historical photos and documents that record our region's story through the lens and voices of its residents. In Birdsong, our community can explore our region's past and present through online exhibits, photos, and documents that tell the story of the people, places, and events that have shaped our local history.
Birdsong was an evolution of a project that was started soon after the completion of the book The History of North Richland Hills: Where Families Live, Work, Worship, and Play was completed. At that time, Library staff began to organize and digitize large quantities of donated photos and materials that were located in the Library’s Local History Room. Over the years, several different staff members have worked on this digitization project as time allowed. Originally, the photos were digitized and available only to staff on CDs. In 2019, Librarian Brandon Farner took a deep and committed interest to make these photos available online. “The history of our area is as important as it is interesting and I am grateful for the opportunity to help preserve it,” says Brandon, who has now digitized, uploaded, and added searchable metadata to over 500 photos.
For Birdsong's first exhibit, we chose to highlight the life of Clarence Jones who was fundamental in forging the North Richland Hills community. Jones "came to Fort Worth in the 1910s as an apprentice machinist; by the time of his death on April 25, 1966, he had started a water company, a lumber company, a bank, built a community, a shopping center, a business park, a masonic lodge, and became a member of the Fort Worth Club" Green, G. N. (1999).
Our goal is to continue to add new content through crowdsourcing while continuing to digitize the remainder of our local history collection, including what we believe to be the only remaining microfiche copy of the Mid-Cities Daily News that includes all issues from 1962-1997. Because our local history collection extends beyond our city to include the entire Mid-Cities area, we chose the name Birdsong to reflect the connection with Birdville ISD and have extended the project scope to the Northeast Tarrant County area while keeping the emphasis, through exhibits and highlighted collections on North Richland Hills.
The North Richland Hills Library gladly accepts donations of personal collections relating to the history of Northeast Tarrant County. We are very interested in documenting all aspects of our region’s history, especially the lives of Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinx, and other ethnic/cultural groups. If you have any materials that you are willing to donate or allow the Library to copy, please email us or call 817-427-6814.
1. Green, G. N. (1999). The History of North Richland Hills: Where Families Live, Work, Worship, and Play. North Richland Hills: Smithfield Press.