FAQs

What is BCPM?
BCPM stands for the Baylor Collections of Political Materials. In 1979, the W. R. Poage Legislative Library Center was established to honor the public service of former Representative W. R. "Bob" Poage. The Center has been home to a number of departments including a unit of the Baylor Libraries focusing on legislative materials. On April 18, 1991 an official name was unveiled: Baylor Collections of Political Materials.

What do you have at BCPM?
Our primary holdings document Texas and national politics from the late 1940s to 2010. These include documents, photographs, memorabilia and books.

Who can use BCPM?
BCPM materials open for research are available to all patrons. Our Regulations for Use of Materials is available here. All are welcome.

Is all your collection online?
No. We do have some material available in digital format, please check out the Baylor Libraries Digital Collections to browse our holdings and to search for specific topics by keyword. The vast majority of our collections must be viewed in person.

I want to do research at BCPM, but I am too far away. What can I do?
Please feel free to contact us with questions. We may be able to help you remotely with what you're looking for. In addition, we do offer a research grant for qualified researchers. Please see our Researcher page for more information.

I want to use BCPM material in a book/article/blog/exhibit. What should I do?
Start by checking out our Regulations for Use of Materials. This covers general use.

Please be aware that BCPM may not hold the copyright for the material that we have, and permission may need to be obtained from the copyright holder. In some cases, BCPM staff can help identify a contact person for this process. It is, however, the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions prior to use.

I have material I would like to donate to BCPM. What should I do?
The mission of BCPM is to explore and study modern American politics. We seek to collect and preserve materials related to local, state and national governments and to facilitate research of those materials.

Things we generally collect: We are currently collecting material relating to local, state and national politics with a Texas connection.
  1. Political parties
  2. Grassroots organizations
  3. Journalists and media consultants
  4. Public policy research
  5. Congressional scholars
Things we generally do not collect:
  1. Artifacts and memorabilia (such as buttons and commemorative items)
  2. Framed items
  3. Papers or material primarily from published sources (such as newspaper clippings, magazine articles, etc.)

For more information, please refer to our Collection Development Policy.

If you have something that you think we might be interested in, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact us at bcpm@baylor.edu.

What is the Bullock Archive? Can I see it?
The Bullock Archive houses the Bob Bullock papers from 1972 to 1999. It documents Bullock's career in Texas state government as Comptroller of Public Accounts and then as Lieutenant Governor. In addition, Bullock also deposited personal materials such as family scrapbooks and other memorabilia.

The collection opened for research in July 2004; however, some portions of the collection are restricted.

Why are some collections closed or restricted?
The nature of political papers demands close examination as they are being processed. BCPM staff must be alert to the possible presence of classified materials. Members of Congress often have access to materials that are classified or otherwise restricted. Such materials often relate to foreign relations or the military. Our government makes clear to archivists handling congressional papers that sensitive documents will not necessarily be boldly stamped CLASSIFIED - it is the informational content of the documents that determines whether information is classified. Age isn’t necessarily a factor in whether or not a document might be classified.

Second, in dealing with contemporary records, BCPM staff need to be alert to the privacy rights of individuals reflected in our collections, such as constituents seeking help from their member of Congress with the federal bureaucracy. Constituents often lay bare the details of very personal matters and provide sensitive information such as social security numbers. Because collections can contain such sensitive information, BCPM staff must study materials closely.

Beyond that, however, political collections are complex, taking in a broad array of subject matter, types of records, etc., and staff must devise an arrangement plan that will make the collection useful for researchers. That takes time, which has led to our policy that no collection can be opened for study until it has been fully organized and described.

Have a question you didn't see here? Contact us at 254-710-3540 or at bcpm@baylor.edu