Mary and Jeff Bell Library

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Rafael, Sr. and Virginia Reyes Galvan Family Photographs

Rafael, Sr. and Virginia Reyes Galvan were two of the most prominent Hispanic community figures in Corpus Christi of their time. Their former residence, the Galvan House, was a center of local community life; it is now part of Corpus Christi's Heritage Park and is considered one of the city's most historic domestic structures. Businessman, civic leader, a founder of LULAC, and a Corpus Christi Mexican-American policeman during the early 20th century, Rafael Galvan, Sr. (1887-1966) was a force in civic affairs. Among his many endeavors, in 1949 he constructed and opened the Galvan Ballroom, which became a focal point of social life for residents of Corpus Christi and its environs. The Galvans produced several children, including Ralph, Jr., Eddie, and Robert, and Sam, who became accomplished musicians and had an impact on the musical development of their region.

The Galvan family photographs consist of approximately 317 images that date from the early 1900s through the 1990s and reflect many activities of the family over generations, organizations they belonged to, and especially events and musical groups at the Galvan Ballroom. These items form an important visual resource for South Texas Mexican-American history.

The Galvan family photographs were donated to Special Collections & Archives by the children and other descendants of Rafael, Sr. and Virginia Galvan, and were made available through funding from the TexShare Access To Local Holdings Program in 1997-1999.

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