Research Center
For The Southwest


The Research Center for the Southwest houses approximately 27,000 items composed of books, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, and artifacts in its various collections. Please follow the following links to the:

Reading Room containing more than 9,000 books, artwork, and material culture pertaining to the history of the Southwest, Texas, and the Abilene region. Included are works by noted Southwest historians such as Rupert Richardson, Carl Coke Rister, and Walter Prescott Webb (Dr. Richardson purchased Webb’s personal library for the Research Center’s collection), as well as Hardin-Simmons University theses about the Southwest.

Betty Woods Room of Old, Rare, and Fine Books and Documents housing the:

  • Kelley Bible Collection: Consists of 13 early English translations of the Bible including the 1537 Coverdale, the 1538 Tyndale, the Matthew’s Bible , the 1566 Great Bible and two first editions of the King James Bible (1611, 1613).
  • Tandy Bible Collection: Comprises over 76 pieces, including complete Bibles, leaves and limited editions of important facsimiles, as well as secondary books related to the history of the Bible in English. The center piece of the collection is a first edition of the King James Bible (1611) sometimes referred to as the “Great He bible”, and a copy of the “Great She bible”, a 1613 edition of the King James Version.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Jake Barron William Faulkner Rare Books Collection of more than 300 Faulkner volumes.
  • Stanley S. Morton Thomas Wolfe Collection of some 200 items.
  • Clifton Caldwell Carl Hertzog Collection of Fine Printing of approximately 200 volumes illustrating Hertzog’s literary craftsmanship.
  • Fine Books Collection of more than 300 books exhibiting quality design and printing excellence.
  • Rare Books Collection of some 350 first editions and/or books of limited printings.

Simmons Special Collections Room has:

  • approximately 3500 books donated by the James B. Simmons family to Hardin-Simmons to begin its first library.
  • almost 1000 volumes of 19th century classics deemed to be too fragile for circulation.

Jesse Wallace Williams Map Collection of about 1000 maps used by and/or produced by Williams in his research and writing of Texas history and given to Rupert Richardson. The collection also includes maps drawn by Richardson for his publications. • Abilene Photograph Collection of some 10,000 historic photographs of Abilene and the region.

B.W. Aston Oral History Collection of oral and/or video interviews and lectures having to do with the history of Abilene, Hardin-Simmons University, and the region.

HSU 1891 Legacy Room houses 3500 historical volumes, documents, and artifacts related to the history of Hardin-Simmons University.

Archives of more than 50 linear feet of files containing the personal papers of Rupert Richardson; photographic slides of Hardin-Simmons buildings, people and events; Hardin-Simmons student newspaper The Brand; documents of Sam Houston, Elizabeth Custer, and Charles Goodnight; and other historic materials.



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  The following books about HSU History are digitized and available:
A Brief Document History of
          Hardin-Simmons University

Famous are Thy Halls
A Glimpse at Greatness
Hardin-Simmons University
          A Centennial History

HSU Bibliography
HSU History, Traditions
          and Landmarks

James B. Simmons,
          A Foundation Builder

Jefferson Davis Sandefer
          Christian Educator

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