About Exploration & Expansion

Cushing Library contains extensive holdings related to geography and cartography, narratives of exploration, territorial expansion, and the history of military conflict. 

One of the primary strengths of the Mary and Mavis P. Kelsey Collection is its emphasis upon Western exploration, including many of the central documents of the Lewis and Clark expedition. One particular highlight of the collection is its many ethnographic studies of native peoples in the American West, including lithographic plate books and the works of George Catlin. Other collections within Cushing Library, including the Jeff Dykes Range Livestock Collection, deepen this focus upon the natural features and history of Western expansion. 

The Rex B. Grey Collection contains printed works related to the nineteenth-century search for the source of the Nile and exploratory expeditions in Africa in general. Important editions by John Hanning Speke, David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley, and other important figures detail the social, geographical, and natural history of Central Africa during this period. 

A selection of bound atlases and detached maps is maintained within Cushing Library, largely within the Rare Collection. These works support and extend the holdings of the Texas A&M Maps and GIS unit. 

The Ragan Military History Collection contains a wide range of material related to the history and technologies of battle, with particular focus upon the Spanish American War and later international conflicts. Unit histories, literary and personal narratives, and realia are all amply represented in this collection. 

Curators: Robin Hutchison r-hutchison@library.tamu.edu; Anton duPlessis duplessis@tamu.edu; Greg Bailey, gtbailey@library.tamu.edu.


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