The depth and variety of the resources and collections in the Armstrong Browning Library are not easily expressed in a few phrases. In round numbers, the Library houses more than 27,000 books and over 11,000 letters and manuscripts--enough resources to take several lifetimes to explore.
The Library's greatest strength is in its materials focusing on the lives and works of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, including original letters and manuscripts, books from the poets' library, all of the first and many successive editions of their poetry, secondary works and criticisms, their poetry set to music, portraits, and memorabilia too numerous to list. The Armstrong Browning Library has become the world's largest collection of materials related to the Brownings.
In recent years, the Library has become known as a 19th-century research center after adding substantial book and manuscript collections on Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, Joseph Milsand, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Dickens, as well as on many other 19th-century writers and on most areas of 19th-century culture. Growing collections of 19th-century women poets and 19th-century theological pamphlets are among its newest avenues of expansion. Building on the nucleus of books given to Baylor University by A.J. Armstrong in 1918, the Armstrong Browning Library continues to acquire significant holdings for all parts of its collections. The founder's dream for a world-class 19th-century research center has become a reality.