Baylor University Poage Library

Collection Statement

The bulk of Poage's congressional papers were deposited with the Texas Collection at Baylor University beginning in the 1960s and continuing until Poage's retirement in 1978. At that time, these papers were stored in Hollinger boxes and an initial inventory was made. These materials contained the basic series from a typical congressional office: Agencies, Commissions, Legislation, Topic files, and Constituent Correspondence. In addition, there were numerous personal materials, artifacts and memorabilia along with personal correspondence and printed materials.

In 1979, the W. R. Poage Legislative Library for Graduate Studies and Research was dedicated on the Baylor University Campus to house not only Poage congressional papers, but papers of eight other former U. S. Congressman also. These papers were moved from the Texas Collection to the new library now designated the Baylor Collections of Political Materials.

After Poage's death and after the initial deposits had been processed, additional Poage materials were discovered in an old storage shed. These additions documented his early law practice in Waco, his years in the Texas Senate in the 1930s, and the family ranch/farm enterprise. Many of these papers had been damaged by rain, rot, and rodents. Careful fumigation and handling allowed about half of these papers to be processed and added as a supplement.

With the addition of these new materials, the BCPM staff undertook the task of evaluating the entire collection and of creating a box listing of all file folder titles. This involved the sampling and discarding of much of the materials. During processing, news clippings were photocopied, paper clips and envelops discarded, and publications removed for cataloging.

The materials have now been arranged into the following seven series: Texas State Senate Files, U. S. House of Representatives, U. S. Government, Political and Campaign Materials, Rural Electrification Administration/ Brazos River Authority, and Personal Materials. There are also Historic Newspapers, Maps, Awards, Scrapbooks, Photographs, Speeches, and a five-volume Oral Memoir.

Currently there are 1659 Hollinger size boxes along with hundreds of awards, framed photographs, and certificates.