Among the more distinctive and popular Baylor digital collections

March 20, 2013

The Browning Letters -- A collaboration between Baylor's Armstrong Browning Library and Wellesley College combined the ABL's more than 2,800 Browning letters and Wellesley's 574 love letters between Elizabeth and Robert Browning online, with enlargeable images of the letters accompanied by the text of those letters.

The ABL site enjoyed more than 167,000 page views in February 2012 when online access to the love letters opened on Valentine's Day. Many of the world's foremost Browning scholars live in England and other locations outside the United States, so Baylor's online collection is a crucial way for the Armstrong Browning Library to connect with its core researchers. Future Browning digitization projects include the couple's personal library and their sheet music collection.

The Black Gospel Music Restoration Project -- Forgotten recordings by black gospel singers in the period between the 1940s and 1980s make this Baylor collection one-of-a-kind. Founder Bob Darden, MSED '76, says collectors and researchers not only have started to tap its resources, but have expanded its titles by making their collections available to the project. The project may expand to include recorded sermons by black preachers during that time period, he said.

The Baylor Lariat, Roundup and administrative press releases -- A major undertaking by the DPG and the Texas Collection digitized every copy of Baylor's student newspaper, the Lariat, as well as The Baylor Roundup yearbook and more than 33,000 university press releases from 1925 to the present.

Texas Collection director John Wilson said the project not only will save wear and tear on the collection's single copies of the Lariat, but greatly aid researchers because the digital files are searchable and available to the public online. Researchers can examine Baylor student attitudes on topics as well as what university administrators felt was important in the news they shared with an audience outside the school. Baylor alumni and students also can search for family members named in Lariat and Roundup stories, Wilson added.

John F. Kennedy assassination studies -- The Poage Library's acquisition of the John Armstrong Collection (with its more than 100,000 pages of research) and the William Penn Jones Collection makes the library one of the largest repositories of Kennedy assassination conspiracy studies - larger than that of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. With the 50th anniversary of the assassination this November, Poage librarians anticipate a strong uptick in online traffic.

Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive -- This is one of the newer collections to begin digitization, led by materials donated by former Baylor football coach Grant Teaff.

The Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Sheet Music -- More than 30,000 pieces of sheet music of songs from the 19th and early 20th centuries, make this one of the largest collections of sheet music in America. Digitization of the collection is still in progress.

Baylor Institute for Oral History -- Transcripts for most of the Institute for Oral History's 5,000 interviews conducted since 1970 are available in PDF format and are searchable.

19th Century Women Poets Collection -- According to ABL Curator of Books and Printed Materials Cynthia Burgess, digitization of this collection of 437 books written by female poets in the 19th century gives an audience to lesser-known writers whose works might have vanished with time, due to small press runs and the chosen anonymity of some authors.

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