2013 is a major milestone in the history of The Texas Collection and a cause for celebration. This is our 90th Anniversary. The Texas Collection was officially founded in 1923 with a gift of nearly 1,000 volumes of Texana from Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hazen Aynesworth of Waco, Texas. Dr. Aynesworth was an alumnus of Baylor, a scholar and a local surgeon. In a statement made at the time of the gift, Dr. Aynesworth said, "Because of the pride I have in the preservation of the noble heritage bequeathed to us by the daring and scholarly builders of Texas and because of the devotion I bear to Baylor, the oldest university on Texas soil, I cheerfully donate this collection with the hope that the coming years may reveal a saner culture and happier life because of the spread of knowledge of the history of our great state." Up until his death on October 30, 1944, Dr. Aynesworth and his wife continued to donate books, papers and provide funds for the purchase of materials. The Texas Collection and Baylor University are deeply indebted to Dr. and Mrs. Aynesworth for their philanthropy.
The Frances C. Poage Map Room was established by an Endowment during the 1980s by former Congressman W. R. 'Bob' Poage in honor of his wife, Frances C. Poage. The Endowment enables growth of the map collections by providing funding for additional cartographic holdings.
In 1982, Ruth Shick Montgomery, former journalist and White House correspondent, donated money to The Texas Collection to set aside space for emerging mediums to be utilized. Today, there are thousands of cds, dvds, cassette tapes, vhs tapes, records, cd-roms, pneumatic tapes, as well as the equipment needed to view these materials in a newly redesigned space. There are also large flatbed scanners connected to computers for patrons to scan high resolution images of materials. If a quick, medium resolution scan is desired, the patron can use the innovative KIC scanner. The staff here at The Texas Collection is willing to train patrons on the various pieces of equipment if they are not already familiar with them.
Over the years, pivotal staff such as Guy B. Harrison, Kent Keeth, Ellen Brown and Michael Toon expanded on Aynesworth's vision and helped shape the collection into a first class research institution with a global patronage. Today, we remain committed to providing access to the unique resources in our reading room as well as reaching out to patrons using new technologies.