The Places

The Texas Collection originally called a single room in the Carroll Library home. After some 15 years of growth, it became clear that The Texas Collection had completely exhausted the space its single room could afford. In 1939, with the completion of Pat Neff Hall--envisioned by President Neff as the home of campus "Historics"--the library had the opportunity to occupy an entire second-floor wing of that building. Retaining its two reading tables and free-standing, glass-doored bookcases, which had been gifts to the collection from the Class of 1929, the library furnished its enlarged quarters by ordering four additional tables with sufficient new chairs for all, and commissioned the construction of built-in bookcases with leaded-glass doors to line its walls. At the same time, the library began to acquire a collection of three-dimensional objects that would eventually grow to include pianos, flags, statuary, and other artifacts related in various ways to Texas history.

With the continuing interest and support of President Neff, The Texas Collection systematically expanded its holdings, adding new materials at a rate that rapidly began to fill the space it had gained by its move to larger quarters. By the end of another fifteen years, the library would again need to relocate to an even more spacious facility. Completion of a new building for the School of Law in 1955 permitted the Law Library to vacate its former home on the third floor of Carroll Library. Into that space The Texas Collection moved, this time occupying a full floor of the building instead of a single room.

Bringing not only its books but also its tables and chairs, bookcases, pianos, flags, and other materials, the library essentially recreated its reading room from Pat Neff Hall, right down to the blue tile floor. In addition, the new location afforded several separate areas for shelving, offices, and work rooms.

It appeared that The Texas Collection would enjoy ample accommodations for the foreseeable future. But while the library eventually began to seek alternative homes for many of its larger artifactual holdings, its other collections continued to grow, expanding into separate holdings of personal papers and institutional records, photographs, oral history memoirs, audio and videotapes, maps, and other forms of resource materials.

The removal in 1968 of the university's main library from the Carroll Building to Moody Memorial Library came none too soon. The Texas Collection spread immediately into the newly vacated stacks and second floor. Under this configuration the Library Division's offices, work rooms, and most of its books occupied the third floor, while the newly formed Archives Division had its offices, reading area, and many of its materials on the second. The stacks were divided between the two units.

In 1993, the university announced that it was ready to remodel Carroll Library to provide additional space for The Texas Collection. During most of that year the library's staff, with portions of its materials, occupied temporary quarters in former music practice rooms in the basement of Roxy Grove Hall.

After the 1993 renovation, the F.L. Carroll Library and Chapel building was rededicated and officially became the home of The Texas Collection, Institute for Oral History, J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, and University Historian. Carroll Library is now home to The Texas Collection, the Institute for Oral History, and the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society.