The Research Center for the Southwest is composed of five rooms, and each room houses specific collections.

The five rooms are:

1891 Legacy Room: this room is dedicated purely to Hardin-Simmons University history and materials. Many of the items in this room are searchable through the HSU Library Catalogue and the West Texas Digital Archives.

Reading Room: this room is dedicated to the stacks of non-circulating books pertaining to history of the Southwest, region, and state. Search the HSU Library Catalogue to find what you’re looking for. There are tables and chairs for researchers in this area.

The Abilene Photograph Collection is housed here, as well.

Simmons Special Collection: consists of the university’s first library donated by the Simmons family, and almost 1000 volumes of 19th century classics. These books are non-circulating and can be viewed inside the Reading Room. Search the Simmons Collection through the HSU Library Catalogue.

The Jesse Wallace Williams Map Collection is also stored in this room. View digitized maps here.

The Rare Books Collection is also stored in this room. View the collection here.

The Betty Woods Room of Old, Rare, and Fine Books and Documents: includes, but is not limited to the: Kelley Bible Collection; Tandy Bible Collection; Dr. and Mrs. Jake Barron William Faulkner Rare Books Collection; Stanley S. Morton Thomas Wolfe Collection; and rare Books Collection of some 350 first editions and/or books of limited printings.

Archives Room: this room houses many collections regarding local and HSU history in various states of processing and digitization. View the list below (information will be added as collections are processed):

Aileen Culpepper
Art Forum Scrapbooks
Civil Pilot Training Program
Confederate Veterans
Gib Sandefer
Hardin Letters
Lantern Slides
Local Newspapers
Louise Kelly
Mildred Paxton Moody
Roy Crane
San Simon
Sandefer Scrapbooks
Simmons College Letters
Simmons Family Letters
Student Army Training Corps
Williams Maps

Understanding Finding Aids: A finding aid is a detailed record of an archival collection. Finding aids are created to help researchers get an idea of what’s in a collection so that they can figure out whether it will be useful for their research. Not all collections have a finding aid, but do not let this deter you from asking for help.

What kind of information is in a finding aid?

  • Collection Summary provides an overview of a collection, including its title, collection number, and creator
  • Biographical or Historical Note provides the context or background information of a collection
  • Scope and Content Note provides a short description of the collection's contents (scrapbooks, photographs, letters,etc.)
  • Organization or Arrangement provides information about how the contents of a collection are arranged. This note will also list the subgroups or series within a collection
  • Subjects or Access Terms reflect the predominant topics represented in a collection
  • Container List provides a listing of the storage units that contain collection materials and facilitates retrieval
Located on the 2nd floor
of the Richardson Library
Open by appointment only Contact:
Jeremy Maynard, Instruction and Special Collections Librarian
jmaynard@hsutx.edu 325-670-1237

Research Roundup!
Search On-Line Catalog

View full text journals on-line.

The West Texas Digital Archive (WTDA) is a digitized collection of items of historical significance from Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene Christian University, McMurry University, Howard Payne University, and the Abilene Public Library, along with items from the surrounding communities.

Search WTDA:

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