The Texas Collection

The Texas Collection is one of the special libraries at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Situated in the Carroll Library Building, the Texas Collection serves as a collection of various documents, items and artifacts significant to Texas history.[1]

The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX
LocationWaco, TX
Access and use
CirculationSpecial Collection (rare materials): most materials do not circulate
Population servedstudents, faculty, staff, general public


The Texas Collection, founded in 1923 by a gift of several hundred items from the personal Texas history collection of Dr. Kenneth Hazen Aynesworth, is one of the specialized libraries of Baylor University.[2] From its early beginnings, The Texas Collection has grown to the largest privately held collection of Texana, containing nearly 200,000 volumes, more than 3,000 current serial subscription titles, and over 13,000 audio-visual pieces. In addition, there are over 1.4 million photographs, over 3,600 oral history tapes/transcripts, approximately 15,000 maps, and over 2,500 archival collections.[3]

The original materials, along with other Texas-related holdings of the Baylor University Library, were housed in a single room of the Carroll Library Building until 1939,[4] at which time it was moved to occupy an entire wing on the second floor of Pat Neff Hall. By the end of another 15 years, The Texas Collection was in need of yet more space. In 1955, The Texas Collection returned home to Carroll Library building, this time with the entire third floor designated for the collection. In 1968, with the completion of the Moody Memorial Library, the general collection moved out of the Carroll Library Building, leaving three floors solely to The Texas Collection. In 1993, the University renovated the Carroll Library Building, forcing The Texas Collection into a temporary home in the basement of Roxy Grove Hall.[5]

The collection of print materials contains nearly 200,000 volumes concerning Texas and Texans.[6] The collection is strong in Texas history, genealogy, popular literature, Baptists and their institutions, religious denominations, and Texas cookery.[7]

Print materials come in a variety of formats including books, periodicals, vertical files, microforms, and audiovisual materials.[8] The collection is a regional depository for Texas state documents and receives publications from state agencies.[9] It is also a depository in the Regional Historical Records Depository program and provides these microfilmed county records for both in-house use and Inter-library loan patrons.[10]

Manuscript Archives

The Texas Collection preserves and makes accessible manuscript collections about the diverse lives of Texans—their faith, politics, struggles, and triumphs. These daily events, recorded in the collections from before Texas’ birth as a Republic to the present, link Texas and Texans past with those of today. This rich history includes diaries, letters, photographs, and other materials on all things Texas. Collection strengths include early Texas, Baptist and missionary history, the Civil War, World War I and World War II, Branch Davidians, and the Central Texas region.[11]

University Archives

The University Archives is Baylor University’s memory, providing insight into the rich heritage that gives context and meaning to the university’s future. Holdings include Board records, presidential papers, office/departmental records, university publications, student organization records, and other materials that are invaluable resources in documenting Baylor's past.[12]

Photograph Collection

From daguerreotypes to digital and over two million strong, the ever expanding photographic holdings of The Texas Collection capture the lives, events, and scenery of Texas and its citizens.[13] With emphasis on central Texas and Baylor University, holdings also include various Texas cities and parts of the U.S. Collections of several prominent central Texas photographers are also represented, such as Fred Gildersleeve. The Texas Collection is home to several thousand pieces of his photographic works.[14]

Map Collection

The majority of maps available at The Texas Collection focus on the state of Texas. The collection contains over 17,000 maps [15] that show the geographic region through its various transitions into the present day state.[16] The map collection in housed in the Frances C. Poage Map room on the second floor of Carroll Library at Baylor University, a gift from former Congressman W. R. Poage.[17]


Collection holdings include:


  1. Baylor University Libraries: The Texas Collection]
  2. The Baylor Lariat, October 9, 1974
  3. "Texas Collection History." The Texas Collection, Baylor University. Accessed 18 Dec. 2013. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Texas Collection" brochure
  6. Oliver, Amie. “A Day in the (Texas Collection) Life: Amie Oliver, Coordinator for User and Access Services.” The Texas Collection. Edublogs, 31 July 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
  7. “What is The Texas Collection?” Texas Collection and University Archives, Baylor University. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2009-10-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. “The Texas Collection: Baylor University.” Print.
  9. Keeth, Kent. “The Texas Collection of Baylor University.” Print.
  10. Vercher, Paula. “Texas Collection: 10,000 Volumes and Black Foot’s Hand.” Baylor Lariat. 9 Oct. 1974: 1A. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.
  11. Dennis, Regina. "Social media extending reach of 90-year-old Texas Collection at Baylor." The Waco Tribune-Herald. 11 August 2013. Accessed 18 December 2013.
  12. Fogleman, Lori. “The Texas Collection Designated as Baylor's Official Archive.” Baylor University Media Communications. 15 August 2007. Accessed 17 December 2013.
  13. Hunt, Geoff. "A Day in the (Texas Collection) Life: Geoff Hunt, Audio and Visual Curator." The Texas Collection. Edublogs. 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
  14. Keeth, Kent. "Making the Most of The Texas Collection." Print.
  15. "Texas Collection Quick Facts." (2013, August 11). Waco Tribune-Herald (Waco, TX).
  16. Baylor University. (2010). Baylor University Hosts Frances C. Poage Map Room Dedication, Exhibit and Lecturer [Press Release]. Retrieved from
  17. Hooda, Samreen. (2010, October 28). Historic maps to debut at library. The Lariat (Waco, TX). Retrieved from

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