Collection Development Policy

Materials collected by the Texas Collection are primary and secondary source materials regardless of format in the nature of manuscripts, diaries, scrapbooks, photos, books, audio-video materials, sheet music, and maps. Collections will, to the extent possible, anticipate future research needs. Current collecting interests are listed below under Strengths of the Collection.


The Texas Collection primarily collects English-language materials. However, the institution possesses items in a variety of languages. Non-English language items will be collected when materials are deemed important and beneficial to the mission of the collection.


The Texas Collection has steadily grown over the last 88 years making it a significant special collection. The print collection consists of 132,000 volumes and the archival collection is in excess of 4,300 collections. The holdings occupy two floors of Carroll Library and four floors of Morrison Constitution Hall, an off-site storage facility.

Types of Materials

The following materials are kept in a variety of formats:

  • Baylor University Archives
  • Manuscripts
  • Monographs
  • Serials
  • Reference Works
  • Maps
  • Visuals

Strengths of the Collection

The Texas Collection has numerous strengths due largely to its unique origins and development. Materials in the collection range from Texas cookbooks to Leon Jaworski's Papers.

Texas Materials include:

  • Cooking
  • Baptist History
  • Baptist Missionaries
  • General Texas History
  • City and County Histories
  • Education
  • The Civil War
  • Authors, Literature, Poetry, Periodicals, and Sheet Music
  • Branch Davidians and Seventh Day Adventists
  • Historic Maps
  • Genealogy
  • State Documents
  • Historic Post Cards

Waco Materials include:

  • Judaica
  • Urban Renewal
  • Local Business histories
  • Family and personal papers and histories
  • KWTX broadcast archive
  • Authors
  • Archival and photographic history of Rocketdyne
  • Historic Photographs, Negatives
  • Maps

Baylor Materials include:

  • Department and administrative records
  • University publications
  • Event promotion materials
  • University Presidential collections
  • Faculty, staff and alumni papers and materials

The Texas Collection also participates in the Regional Historical Records Depository program, and has extensively cataloged vertical files.

Current Collecting Interests

Baylor University:

  • History
  • Administration Records
  • Culture
  • Departments
  • Publications
  • Promotional Materials
  • Presidential Collections and Personal Libraries
  • Faculty, Staff and Alumni papers


  • Cooking
  • Baptist History and Missionaries
  • Texas History
  • City and County Histories
  • Education
  • Civil War
  • Authors and Periodicals
  • Texans of Interest


  • People
  • Places
  • Community Life
  • History
  • Businesses
  • Urban Renewal
  • Genealogy
  • Maps
  • Photographs

Other Interests (When of enduring value to support researcher needs)

  • Postcard Collections
  • Photograph Collections
  • Extensive Map Collections
  • Pat Neff Papers
  • Branch Davidians Collections
  • Leon Jaworski Papers
  • KWTX Video Collection

The Texas Collection actively seeks out collections either by donation or purchase to enhance our holdings. We seek materials and collections that build regional, national and internationally recognized collections, add significant rare and unique materials to the collections, and support academic programs.

Current Collecting Levels

Collecting levels for archival holdings are different for special collections than they are for print collections. The Library of Congress collecting level definitions in some way help with an understanding of levels, but again, cannot be taken as necessarily applicable to an Archival collection.

Library of Congress Collection Levels

1 Minimal

2 Basic

3 Study

4 Research

5 Comprehensive

The Texas Collection chooses to administer levels on the area of collecting priority. The archive collection levels are:

Area of the Collection Levels

5 Baylor University

5 Waco

4 Texas/Texana

3 Other Interests

Level 5 -collections are those most often received by gift or regular donation from Baylor and the Waco community. This includes University Archival material.

Level 4- collections consists of Texas and Texana materials and are sought out for their relevance, research usage and because they support existing collections in the archive.

Level 3 -collections are those that come to the Texas Collection by word of mouth, networking introductions, because of Texas Collection Web 2.0 programs, internet searches, or simply phone calls to see if we might be interested in the items.

Gifts and Donation Policy

The Texas Collection benefits from the generosity of alumni, faculty, and friends whose gifts enhance the quality and scope of our collection. We welcome and encourage gifts of selected materials that support the mission of The Texas Collection. Due to space limitations and the cost associated with processing acquisitions, The Texas Collection reserves the right to decline an offer of materials that duplicate items already in our collection, are in poor condition (especially if they exhibit signs of mold or mildew) , carry restrictions, or fall outside the scope of our collection. Materials that require considerable restoration or conservation, or unique storage can only be accepted if funds to support that activity accompany the gift.

The Texas Collection also reserves the right to dispose appropriately of materials that, after receipt, are deemed unsuited to the collection or contain sensitive information such as social security numbers or financial documents with active accounts.


Once donated, gifts become the property of The Texas Collection.

Types of Donations Desired

The Texas Collection is especially interested in donations relating to

  • History of Waco businesses and business people
  • Records of Waco religious institutions
  • Selected photographs and postcards of Baylor, Waco, and Texas
  • African-American history, businesses, and culture in Texas
  • Hispanic history, businesses, and culture in Texas
  • Jewish history, businesses, and culture in Texas
  • Native Americans in Texas
  • Texas Culinary History
  • History of Baylor University
  • History of the railroad industry in Texas and especially in Waco
  • Military related items regarding former bases and air fields located in Waco and Texas including non three dimensional items such as correspondence, postcards, photographs, and related documents.

The Texas Collection accepts donations of materials including, but not limited to:

  • Audio recordings
  • Photographs
  • Correspondence, personal or professional
  • Diaries and journals, memoirs and reminiscences
  • Films and videotapes
  • Financial records
  • Postcards
  • Maps
  • Oral history tapes and transcripts
  • Organizational newsletters, records, yearbooks, scrapbooks
  • Sheet music

Potential donors should contact the Director of the Texas Collection. They may also wish to consult the Society of American Archivists publications for further information.

  • Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository

  • A Guide to Donating Your Organizational Records to a Repository


Donations to The Texas Collections will be formally acknowledged in writing, and a record of the acknowledgment letter is maintained in our files. All donations should be accompanied by a Deed of Gift.


Since the mission of the Texas Collection includes preserving and providing access to its collections, staff will create finding aids and frequently digitize original materials. These materials may be made accessible on the Internet. Therefore, whenever possible, a donor who holds the copyright to original materials should assign nonexclusive rights to the Texas Collection. Donors who hold copyright include photographers; composers; authors of manuscripts, letters, and diaries; performers and the like.

The Texas Collection is not liable for infringement of copyright by patrons using our materials.

Valuation of Donations

It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the donor to keep accurate records describing the individual items donated and the value attached to each item. The Texas Collection does not provide itemized lists of donations, nor do we appraise gifts. However, we may be able to facilitate in locating an appropriate appraiser.

The IRS requires an independent appraisal if a donor plans to claim a charitable deduction above a certain value. Donors are encouraged to consult knowledgeable tax experts regarding current IRS regulations. IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property may be helpful.

Deaccession Policy

Deaccessioning is the process of permanently removing items from the collection after they have been assessed and determined that they no longer fulfill the needs of the institution. Deaccession in special collections is governed by principles different than those in general library deaccession.

When considering deaccessioning, the following criteria must be met as reflected in these questions:

  1. Is this item of enduring value to the research needs of The Texas Collection and its patrons?
  2. If so, are those research needs best served by preserving this item in its current condition in perpetuity?
  3. Does this item fall within the scope of current collection policies?
  4. Is this item a duplicate or does it contain duplicate information found in another format?
  5. Has this item deteriorated beyond repair and usefulness?
  6. Does this item post a preservation hazard to other materials (e.g. active mold, insects, water damage, etc.)
  7. If damaged, can another copy of the same edition in better condition be acquired?

The Texas Collection upholds the following guidelines set forth by the Rare Book and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries in the document, Standards for Ethical Conduct for Rare Book, Manuscript, and University Archives Librarians, with Guidelines for Institutional Practice in Support of the Standards

Guidelines for the Deaccessioning of Materials:

  • In the deaccession of rare books and manuscripts, the collection must weigh carefully the interests of the public for which it holds the collections in trust, the interests of the scholarly and cultural community, and The Texas Collection's own mission.
  • The Texas Collection must consider any legal restrictions, the necessity for possession of valid title, and the donor's intent in the broadest sense.
  • Procedures for the deaccession or disposal of materials must be at least as rigorous as those for purchasing and should be governed by the same basic principles. The decision to dispose of materials must be made only after full and scrupulous consideration of the public interest and the needs of researchers; the process of deaccessioning should be carried out in as open and public a manner as possible.
  • Mandatory restrictions on disposition which accompanied a donation must be observed unless it can be shown clearly by appropriate legal procedures that adherence to them is impossible or substantially detrimental to The Texas Collection. When statements of donor's preferences accompanied the acquisition, any departure from them must be carefully considered and negotiated with the donor or the donor's heirs or settled by appropriate legal procedures.
  • Responsibility to the needs and reputation of The Texas Collection requires that, in preparing for and accomplishing any deaccession, the collection must take care to define and publicly state the purpose of the deaccession and the intended use of monetary or other proceeds of the deaccession, to avoid any procedure which may detract from the library's reputation for honesty and responsible conduct, and to carry out the entire process in a way which will not detract from public perception of its responsible stewardship.

The following points must be taken into consideration:

  • The Texas Collection must ensure that the method of deaccession will result in furthering the agreed purpose of the deaccession, whether this is monetary gain or more appropriate placement of scholarly resources.
  • The Texas Collection must disclose to the potential new owner or intermediary agent any action, such as the retention of a photocopy of the material, which may affect the monetary or scholarly value of the material.
  • To the fullest extent possible, the collection must make public information on the disposition of deaccessioned materials.
  • The Texas Collection must not allow materials from its collections to be acquired privately by any library employee, officer, or volunteer, unless they are sold publicly and with complete disclosure of their history.
  • Due consideration should be given to the library community in general when disposing of items. Sales to, or exchanges between, institutions should be explored as well as disposal through the trade.