Collections Overview

Special Collections consists of two general components: archives and rare books. The archives contains both records of the university and historic manuscript collections. Past issues of the Horned Frog yearbooks and The TCU Daily Skiff (link goes to TCU Publications Index search) along with photographs of campus and university activities and numerous TCU publications document the history of the university. The collections of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Jim Wright, and prominent Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter highlight the manuscripts portion of the archives.

The William Luther Lewis Collection is the heart of our rare book holdings. Composed of approximately fifteen hundred titles, nearly nine hundred of which are first editions, the Lewis Collection represents over three hundred principal authors of English and American literature. Our rare book collecting interests include the work of Southwest writers and children’s literature.

The Pate-Newcomer Collection contains well over 1,200 items covering all aspects of the people, life, and culture of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and rounds out our collection of unique and diverse resources.

Other collections of interest include the Mayfield Collection of books and pamphlets on Western outlaws and gunmen and the George T. Abell Collection of antique maps. There is also an important collection of the works of Anthony Trollope. Located in the Pate Room are collections of books on Abraham Lincoln, the American presidency, vice presidency, and first ladies—a gift of Dr. and Mrs. A.M. Pate, Jr.

Finding Aids

The archives at TCU contains over 2000 linear feet of original materials documenting the history of TCU, prominent Fort Worth citizens such as Jim Wright and Amon Carter, and various other topics including Southwestern writers and aviation.

Special Collections staff have created finding aids for many of these collections. A finding aid lists and describes the contents of a collection. It describes the way a collection is arranged and provides information about the person or organization responsible for creating or collecting the records.

Researchers may now search across all our archival collections using our new ArchivesSpace database. We have transferred our finding aids into this system and are continually adding and updating our resources. If you have any questions about this new search tool, please contact us at

Manuscript Collections are largely non-TCU-related records. The records we have for Jim Wright, Amon Carter, and Southwestern writers fall under this category. Because their papers tend to be more focused on personal activities than professional ones, we place the records of TCU professors in this category.

University Records is where we have grouped collections of materials generated by TCU administrators, offices, committees, and other campus groups. The University Records link is filed under the TCU Archives and Historical Collection menu item.

Reviewed May 25, 2012 by Special Collections staff.