A Decade of Promise
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Over the decade since the renovation and dedication of Cushing Memorial Library and Archives as the repository of special collections and the university archives, the Texas A&M University Libraries as a whole experienced remarkable growth. This period witnessed the acquisition of some one and a half million volumes, and the attention to collection building among the special collections at Cushing Library resulted in the acquisition of remarkable—and in some cases unique—collections and items. The maturation of the Cushing Library’s special collections within an improved space in which to use them not only demonstrated the library’s progress, but paralleled, in many ways, the ambitions of the university as a whole.
Featured in the exhibit and catalogue are newly acquired items such as a copy of the Shakespeare second folio (1632); first edition of Donne’s collected poems (1533); the first complete edition of Don Quixote, parts I and II (1617); and George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio (1844). Items were also drawn from many of the collections acquired by the library during the decade, including the Harrison T. Meserole collection, which includes the first edition of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems (1773); the Larry Mitchell collection, featuring modern British literature with a special emphasis on the Powys and Garnett families; the Dawson French collection, featuring material from the later fifteenth to the early twentieth century; and the Al Lowman printing arts library, focusing on the work of the El Paso printer, Carl Hertzog.