DeGolyer Library has over 2,500 separate manuscript accessions, from single letters and documents to sizable corporate archives. We estimate there are over 2,000,000 items in the manuscripts department. In collecting manuscripts, we generally follow the collecting profile for the library as a whole. Great strengths include Western Americana, business history, and railroad history. There are also some notable accessions in literary studies and women’s studies.

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Western manuscripts (view digital collection) are extensive, and include the papers of John Kingsbury, trader in Santa Fe; the diary of Lucy Pier Stevens from Civil War Texas; the letter book of General William Jackson Palmer, treasurer of the Kansas Pacific Railroad; and the John N. Rowe and B.B. Barr Collection of Texas Manuscripts and Documents.

Our business history collections have some outstanding accessions, including the papers of E.L. DeGolyer, Sr. on the oil industry; Baldwin Locomotive Works; Samuel Vauclain, a locomotive builder; John Insley Blair, a capitalist and railroad builder; the Muskogee Corporation, a railroad holding company; Stanley Marcus, retailing; J.C. Penney, retailing; and Texas Instruments, electronics and other high-tech endeavors.

Notable political collections include the papers of Texas Congressmen Earle Cabell and James Collins as well as the papers of J. Erik Jonsson, former mayor of Dallas. The Stanley Marcus papers also contain a sizable number of letters to and from major figures in the Democratic Party.

Literary scholars have found the papers of Paul Horgan and Horton Foote useful. DeGolyer Library has substantial archives for both of these Pulitzer-prize winning authors. Other recent accessions include the papers of Ermance Rejebian, book reviewer; Lon Tinkle, author and critic; and Blackie Sherrod, the dean of Texas sportswriters.

The Archives of Women of the Southwest houses some valuable materials for research, including the records of Kidd-Key College; the papers of Ebby Halliday, realtor; the papers of Maura McNeil, activist; and the papers of Lee Cullum, journalist.

After converting old checklists, card files, and other databases, we now have records for each manuscript accession available online in the online catalog. Keyword searching is the best way to find records for relevant manuscript material online. Researchers should also consult with DeGolyer staff to determine whether we might have manuscript material for particular topics. Finding aids, or inventories, to some collections are now available electronically through Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO), a cooperative program sponsored by the major research libraries in the state. Many more finding aids will be posted with TARO as we continue to convert older guides to the new electronic format. Selected manuscripts are also enumerated on our checklists of recent acquisitions.