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Patricia Smith Prather Collection

Identifier: MSS 0005

Scope and Content

The Patricia Smith Prather Collection houses the personal and professional papers of Patricia Smith Prather. This collection, which dates from 1931 through 2008, consists of personal and business correspondence with historical associations and various Houston businesses, news clippings, a Phillis Wheatley High School Yearbook, a poster, publications, articles written by Prather, awards that illustrate her works as a historian and author in preserving the legacies of African Americans in Texas history. Of importance are the research materials fashioned from her work as a consultant for Houston Public Library and the Texas Trailblazers Association book series. Other formats in the collection are photographs, a small number of negatives, transparencies, DVD documentaries about Our Mother of Mercy Catholic, CD of documents, floppy disks, an oral history interview about life in fifth ward Houston, and artifacts. Researchers interested in the African American experience in Texas will find this a valuable resource.


  • 1943 - 2008


This collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research. Some access to the materials are restricted due fragile condition of the materials. Please contact the archive for more information.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Patricia Smith Prather Collection must be obtained from African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Historian, author, co-founder and Executive Director of the Texas Trailblazer Preservation Association, Patricia Smith Prather has dedicated her career to preserving the legacies of the African American presence to Texas history. She was born in 1943 in Houston Texas at the Houston Negro Hospital, now known as Riverside General Hospital. Her parents, Clifford F. Smith Jr. and Hortense Dugar Smith, are both deceased. She has one sister, Brenda Smith Long. She graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston Texas, Class of 1960. Four years later she was awarded a B.S. Degree in Biology by Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. After graduating from college she moved to Washington D. C. and worked in public relations and communications for a number of organizations including the National Business League, The Associated General Contractors of America and the Republican National Committee. Also, many of her articles were published in “Black Viewpoint” which she edited in the 1970’s.

Ms. Smith Prather returned to her hometown of Houston, Texas in 1977 and worked in the Public Relations Department for Exxon Company U.S.A. In 1990, she cofounded the Texas Trailblazer Preservation Association, a non-profit organization with the mission of preserving Houston and Texas African American History. She is editor of the organizations’ series of biographical profiles, “The Texas Trailblazer Series." She is also coauthor of the book, From Slave To Statesman: the Legacy of Joshua Houston, Servant to Sam Houston, and the author of numerous articles for the Houston Chronicle, Who’s Who in Black Houston, Texas Highway Magazine and American Legacy, a national magazine. She currently resides in Houston, Texas where she continues her work on the “Texas Trailblazer Series” and has two children, Keiba Holt Stevenson and Robert F. Prather Jr.


12 Linear Feet (17)


This collection is arranged into 12 series by material type and subject, with the professional Activities and Research Materials series further arranged into subseries. Materials are physically arranged according to original order, as arranged by Patricia Prather. The original folder titles and alphabetical arrangement were retained in most cases regarding the research materials. When necessary for preservation, some materials have been rehoused and a separation sheet has been inserted into the original space.

Series I: Personal Materials

Series II: Professional Activities

Subseries I: Writings, Notes and Speeches

Subseries II: Resumes and Contacts

Subseries III: Publicity and Community Engagement

Series III: Correspondence

Series IV: News clippings

Series V: Awards

Series VII: Printed Materials

Series VIII: Publications

Series VIII: Funeral Programs

Series IX: Artifacts

Series X: Research Materials

Subseries I: Gregory Consulting

Subseries II: Texas Trailblazers

Subseries III: General Research

Series XI: Photographic Materials

Series XII: Audiovisual Materials

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Patricia Smith Prather, 2008

Related Collections

  • PH 0005 Patricia Smith Prather Photograph Collection
  • PH 0006 C.F. & Hortense Smith Photo Collection
  • MSS 0003 C.F. & Hortense Smith Collection
  • RG 0027 Texas Trailblazers Association Collection
  • MSS 0004 Nellye Joyce Punch Collection
The Houston Metropolitan Research Center holds related materials in the following collections:
  • MSS 249 C.F. Smith Collection
  • MSS 1021 Willie Lee Gay Collection

Processing Information

Processed by: Vince Lee, September 2009; Updated by Sheena Wilson in September 2018

MSS 0005 Patricia Smith Prather Collection
An Inventory of her Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
September, 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the African American History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002