Special Collections

Significant collections include Southwestern University archives, Texana, Methodism, hymnals, 19th century American and British works, and works related to travel and description. The oldest item in Special Collections is a cuneiform from approximately 2000 BCE. 

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Southwestern University Archives

The library’s archival holdings include Southwestern University historical records and documents, personal papers of individuals associated with the university or Texas Methodism, photographs, prints, maps, microfilm, and audiovisual materials. The department attempts to collect materials that document the history of Southwestern University and its heritage as well collections that support the teaching curriculum. There is a small collection of materials related to Georgetown and Central Texas, although most materials of local interest have been transferred to The Williamson Museum.

SELECTED COLLECTIONS (ALPHABETICAL ORDER BY COLLECTION TITLE)

Jessie Daniel Ames Collection 
Ames was a well-known suffragist and anti-lynching activist. This small collection reflects her retirement interests and activities and primarily contains clippings, articles, and cartoons related to politics and social issues. She placed many of these into scrapbooks on specific subjects, such as “The Negro and the Schools, 1954-1956” and “Foreign Policy and Foreign Relations, 1954-1958.” One document case contains personal notes and correspondence, most of which is with family members, especially her daughter, Lulu.    Ames, a Southwestern University alumna (1902), also donated a large portion of her library to the University.

Thomas Bewick Collection 
The Thomas Bewick Collection of 33 volumes contains works by the English naturalist and wood engraver Thomas Bewick. Some of the titles in this collection include his General History of Quadrupeds and History of British Birds. Also included in the collection are letters and other printed materials containing Bewick’s engravings.

William Blake Collection 
The William Blake Collection contains works by and about the poet and printer William Blake (1757-1827), many donated by alumna Margarett Root Brown ’17 before her death in 1963.  Most notable is a complete set of Blake’s engraved illustrations of the Book of Job  that is likely from the 1874 strike, the fourth and last use of Blake’s copperplates.  Two works published during Blake’s lifetime are John Gay’s Fables, with a life of the author, and embellished with seventy plates (1793) containing 12 plates by Blake and Robert Blair’s The grave (1813), illustrated with 12 large water colored plates.  The collection also holds 7 titles of the well-known Trianon Press facsimiles, and two of these include a set of hand-colored plates showing progressive stages, color collotype proofs, and an original guide sheet and stencil. 

Brown Collection 
The Brown Collection, donated by Margarett Root Brown, contains over 200 volumes including the Bewick Collection (above), Bibles, English histories, religious books, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine and descriptive books on Europe and the Middle East. Included are books by several prominent authors such as Stephen Crane, Daniel DeFoe and Emile Zola.

Edward A. Clark Australia Collection 
Collected during the time that Edward A. Clark was ambassador to Australia in the 1960’s, this collection of 240 titles includes works on natural history, social life and customs, art, literature, ethnology and history.

Edward A. Clark Burr Collection 
Chronicled in a collection of 49 printed works is the life of Aaron Burr with highlights of his career, trials and memoirs. The collection was donated by Ambassador Edward A. Clark.

Edward A. Clark Texana Collection 
One of the largest special collections in the nation among schools of Southwestern’s size, the Edward A. Clark Collection was a gift of more than 2,400 volumes donated in 1965 from the private collection of Ambassador Edward A. Clark. It is rich in basic, printed materials for the period of the Republic of Texas (1836-1845), the annexation by the United States (1845) and Reconstruction (1865). Also included in this collection are a number of periodicals, photographs and other printed materials. Since Clark’s original gift, the collection has grown to more than 10,000 items, including more than 7,000 books.

Cox Map Collection
A large set of maps, the Cox Map Collection features maps of early 19th century through the mid-20th century. Maps of all parts of the world are included.

Bertha McKee Dobie Collection
The Bertha McKee Dobie Collection contains a large collection of her correspondence, memorabilia, manuscripts, personal documents and books from the personal library of the wife of the noted author, J. Frank Dobie.

Isabel Gaddis Collection of J. Frank Dobie 
A collection of 542 titles rich in early J. Frank Dobie materials, it included contributions made by the noted folklorist and author to the university’s yearbook, the Sou’wester, proof copies and manuscripts of many of his books, and a complete collection of all his printed works.

Jackson/Greenwood Collection 
The Jackson/Greenwood Collection is very large and consists of several areas of interest including literature, religion and Methodism among others. The Collection features 19th century English and American literary titles; Wesleyana materials focusing on the extensive Wesley family; history of religion, including an English translation from the Greek of Eusebius’ History of the Church; Methodism and church history, including journals, such as the Arminian Magazine and Martin Luther’s Artzneybuch(Doctor Book); books issued to German prisoners of war in San Antonio; and books about China. A collection of correspondence, issues of The Emancipator, picture postcards and personal papers belonging to Bishop John Cowper Granbery and his family are part of this collection. A large collection of youth titles including an extensive selection of Horatio Alger’s books and Martha Finley’s Elsie Dinsmore stories, as well as a number of works by L. Frank Baum, is included.

Henry E. Meyer Hymnal Collection 
The Henry E. Meyer Hymnal Collection of 106 volumes contains hymnals, Bibles and religious texts. Some of the items unique to the collection are a hymnal in the Delaware Indian language, an EnglishOld Version Psalm Book and the first Wesleyan Hymn Book. Many of the books are more than 100 years old and have fine leather bindings handsomely embossed with gold.

      Osborne Collection of Herman Melville 
The Duncan E. Osborne Collection of Herman Melville, on loan, contains papers and memorabilia pertaining to his great-great-grandfather. Of particular note is a letter from Herman Melville to his aunt Lucy Melville written in 1828 when he was 9 years old.

May Peterson Collection
May Peterson was an internationally acclaimed opera singer whose career flourished in the early 1900s. Her collection includes her sheet music as well as her personal papers.

Additional Collections 
Through the years complete libraries of several ministries were given: Rev. Homer S. Thrall, Rev. R.G. Mood, Rev. C.M. Bishop, Dr. H.L. Gray, Rev. F.L. Batchelor and Rev. Bruce Galloway. Some of the libraries include Methodist Conference Minutes and other books that help form the present-day valuable collection on Methodism.

Other large gifts were received from the following friends: Dr. Decherd Turner, Dr. and Mrs. Donald Klein, I. Edward Tonkon, Roger M. Busfield, Elizabeth Beaver, Dr. William E. Barnes, and Jessie Daniel Ames. Other donors include Dr. King Vivion, Dr. J.W. Bergen, Dr. J.N.R. Score and Dr. Durwood H. Fleming. In 1933, Mrs. J.T. Sneed gave copies of the Methodist Conference Minutes from 1773-1813. In 1946, Dr. Carl Bergquist gave a set of rare works of John Wesley.