In Special Collections at Southwestern University, we create physical and virtual spaces to experience the history of Southwestern University and Texas as well as the heritage of the printed and written word. We aim to use these spaces and our collections to create meaningful experiences for anyone, regardless of purpose.
To this end, special collections holds books, manuscripts, and objects of historical and scholarly value that support undergraduate teaching and research, research by Southwestern faculty members, and research by the wider community of scholars. Though we collect with these groups in mind, our collections are open to all who want to use them.
As of September 2015, Special Collections holds 13,052 titles, in addition to 1,390 linear feet of archival and manuscript collections. We also have several pieces of furniture in the Special Collections space as well, made be the Belford Lumber Company, or related to the Alamo and San Jacinto societies. The two areas most comprehensively collected are Texana and Texas History, in addition to the history of Southwestern University and her four root colleges – Rutersville, Wesleyan, Soule, and McKenzie. Special Collections also holds the professional papers of Senator John Tower, and continues to selectively collect objects, books, and papers related to the life and career of John Tower. The department holds and collects books and objects related to J. Frank Dobie. Special Collections holds a collection of fine press books, especially those printed by Arion Press, and The Book Club of Texas. Also, the department holds a number of fine press books related to Texas.
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