Baylor University Poage Library

Mary Ferrell

Mary Ferrell was one of the most knowledgeable and respected historical researchers of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. She compiled a series of chronologies that record important events and activities by the principal players in the Kennedy Assassination.

Mary Elizabeth McHughes Ferrell was born in Memphis, Tennessee on October 26, 1922. She married Hubert Afton "Buck" Ferrell in 1940, and together they had four children. Mary and Buck moved to Dallas with their family in 1957, where she worked for more than thirty years as a legal secretary for a law firm and also in the Governor's office in Houston.

Upon hearing the news of the assassination of President Kennedy, Mary thought the crime would be difficult to solve, and was astounded when the police arrested a man, Lee Harvey Oswald, hardly more than an hour later. Mary had three teenage sons at home, and she told her husband Buck to place one boy at the loading dock of both papers in Dallas to get a copy of each edition that weekend.
Mary and her boys obtained a complete set of all the editions of the Dallas papers from that weekend, and thus began what turned into a legendary collection of books, newspapers, magazines, reports, and declassified documents, now held by the Mary Ferrell Foundation. Mary Ferrell died in 2004 at the age of 81.

The Mary Ferrell Library and Archive is the result of an unusually single-minded gathering over the past thirty-eight years of materials documenting the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The collection includes original research materails created by Mary Ferrell and by a host of other historians and researchers involved in a pursuit of the truth about the Kennedy assassination. In addition to printed materials, the Ferrell Collection contains extraordinary files of documents created by the FBI, CIA, Texas Department of public Safety, the Texas attorney General, and other state and U. S. Government agencies. Photographs, videotapes, recorded speeches, and other research materials further enhance the comprehensiveness of the Ferrell Library and Archive.
As a whole, the Mary Ferrell Library and Archive is the most comprehnesive and most widely recognized collection of Kennedy materials in private hands.

The Mary Ferrell Foundation has donated a substantial portion of Mary Ferrell's collection to Baylor University. This donation consists of:

  • 25 boxes of newspapers and newspaper clippings
  • 20 boxes of magazines
  • 9 boxes of journal issues
  • 7 boxes of government reports
  • 42 boxes of government documents


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