Jack Hightower learned the values of personal and official papers through a mentor, Guy B. Harrison, founder of The Texas Collection at Baylor University. When Hightower was initially elected to the Texas Legislature he began a practice of sending special records to The Texas Collection. These records provide a full picture of his involvements in the Texas Legislature: 1953-1954 (House), 1955-1974 (Senate). When he was elected to the U.S. Congress (1975-1984) Hightower continued sending materials to Baylor. He also provided us with a superb collection of the 19th century legislative bills. On his retirement from the U.S. Congress, he instructed his staff to send all his office files directly to Waco, and his local offices were consolidated and sent down.
Hightower has also donated his papers from the years he was a Texas Supreme Court Justice (1988-1996). Since 2000 he has been transferring additional papers and many books from his personal collection. The Jack Hightower Book Vault was constructed in 2006 to house Hightower's signed collection as well as other special and rare books.
Baylor University is fortunate to have a legislative and judicial research resource with the richness and completeness of the Hightower Papers. We are grateful that Jack Hightower's early Baylor experience provided him with the incentive to house his papers and books here.