Special Collections and Archives

Aquarena Collection

This collection is a sampling of digitized materials from the University Archives holdings related to the former Aquarena Springs (c.1950s-1990s) , an amusement park in San Marcos, Texas, located on Spring Lake.

Board of Regents Agendas

This collection consists of meeting agendas released by the Texas State University System. The agendas document their quarterly meetings. Agendas include general motions, committee reports from curriculum, planning and construction, finance, rules and regulations, minority enhancement. Also contain reports on personnel, contracts, miscellaneous, and other business.

Board of Regents Meeting Minutes

This collection consists meeting minutes from Texas State University System board meetings. Meeting minutes also contain reports from universities. Beginning with fiscal year 1943, the report format changes to include more details. Documentation includes reports submitted by each school in the system, financial activities of each school, and the items voted on by the board in each meeting.

Board of Regents Regulations

Rules and regulations released by the Texas State University System.


Consisting of 117 issues published internally over 11 years, this newsletter contains information about institutional events, programs, research projects, and other news of interest to the campus community. Readers were provided with updates on topics such as enrollment, budget concerns, construction projects, grant funding announcements, concerts, and guest speakers. These newsletters provide a snapshot of the Texas State campus in the 1990s.

Constituting Documents

The institution was founded in 1899 by the 26th Legislature with SB260. Texas State University was established by the 26th Legislature in 1899 as the Southwest Texas State Normal School; in 1903-04 first year classes were held. Includes one complete and one incomplete draft of House Bill 696 of the 26th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature (1899), as well a compilation of laws establishing and maintaining Texas state teachers colleges.

Craddock Oral History Collection

Long-time faculty member and two-time San Marcos Mayor, Dr. Emmie Craddock was dedicated to preserving history. She and her History students conducted dozens of interviews with members of the community. The subjects of these interviews were often older residents, who talked about their experiences growing up in the 1910s and 1920s.

Department of Political Science Publications

This accession consists of two publications: Alumni NewsWire highlights the Political Science program, while Public Matters focuses on the Master of Public Administration program.

Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative Oral History Collection

The Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative was established in 1938 with funds from the Rural Electrification Administration. Its purpose was to provide electricity to rural areas in the vicinity of Guadalupe and Gonzales counties, east of San Antonio, Texas. In 1986-1987, students in Professor Ron Brown’s oral history courses conducted a series of interviews with long-time customers, employees, and board members.

Hays County Area Newspapers

These fragile and rare newspapers from San Marcos and Hays County papers date from the mid-1800s, and are significant because they tell the story of Hays County as it developed from a small agricultural area, to a growing center for education and training. The newspapers in this collection were digitized by the Portal to Texas History, thanks to a 2014 TexTreasures grant, awarded by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Individual Oral History Interviews

Throughout the years, a number of oral histories were conducted individually rather than as part of a larger project. These individual participants are gathered here.

Laws Establishing and Maintaining Texas State Teachers Colleges

A compilation of laws establishing and maintaining Texas state teachers colleges.

LBJ Collection

This collection consists of materials relating to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s relationship to his alma mater, as compiled by the University News Service. The bulk of the collection consists of original photographs of Johnson’s many visits to campus and newspaper articles covering the events of Johnson’s political career, especially as they related to the university. This includes the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Make Your Mark Student Audio Project

A collection of StoryCorps-like audio clips of students discussing their experiences at Texas State University. The pilot program for this project was conducted during the Spring 2021 semester and was limited to graduating seniors who were asked to reflect on their time at Texas State. Future iterations of the project will explore a wider range of students and topics. So stayed tuned for opportunities to make your mark!

NASA Oral History Project

From 1999-2001, NASA partnered with History students at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) to conduct interviews with former employees who lived in the Central Texas area. Over the three years of the project, Texas State graduate students conducted approximately 60 interviews with NASA retirees.

The Pedagog

Published annually most years from 1904 until 1999, Texas State University’s student yearbook features portraits, images of campus and student life, extracurricular activities, and notable events during the academic year. The Pedagog is a rich source of historical information and photographs, especially for the early years of the University.

Pennington Funeral Home Ledgers

The Pennington Funeral Home is a family-owned business in San Marcos, Texas, that began over a century ago with Mr. A.B. Rogers. The Pennington family purchased the funeral home in 1943 and three successive generations have run the business since. This collection consists of the funeral registers from the Pennington Funeral Home from 1902-1944 as well as a ledger from the San Marcos Cemetery Association.

Postcard Collection

Postcards in this collection depict the university and its campus. But also includes visual renderings of the surrounding area including the fish hatchery, San Marcos Baptist Academy, City of San Marcos parks such as Rio Vista and Riverside (Sewell), and Aquarena Springs. Some of the postcards have messages written on them and postal stamps.

President's Reports

Administrative reports from the President of Southwest Texas State University (presently Texas State University) to the Texas State University System's Board of Regents. These reports cover a wide variety of topics, including budget information, campus construction, and high level planning initiatives. This type of report merges into the Board of Regent agendas after 1993.

Public History Gray Literature Collection

Research and reports created by the Public History program at Texas State University. Also contains other documents produced by public historians related to Texas.

Residence hall Scrapbooks

This collection is a sampling of digitized scrapbooks created by students residing in residents halls on Texas State University's campus. These scrapbooks commemorate student life.

Retta Murphy

Retta Murphy came to Southwest Texas State Normal College as a professor of history in 1919. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 1938, and became the first female professor at Southwest Texas State to hold a Ph.D. She taught in the History Department until her retirement in 1956. This is a sample of materials from the Retta Murphy collection.

Student Newspaper Collection

The student newspaper began in 1911, and was originally named the Normal Star. As campus grew and changed names, so did the paper. In 1923, the name was changed to the College Star, and in 1969, the name changed to the University Star.

Texas 150 Oral History Collection

As Texas marked its sesquicentennial in 1986, Southwest Texas State University students made their own contributions to celebrating the state’s 150th year. From 1985-1986, history students in Dr. Ron Brown’s oral history courses interviewed current and former faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. The interviewees shared their memories about the university and life in Central Texas, offering a glimpse into the important people, places, and events that define Texas State University.

University Course Catalogs

The course catalogs (or bulletins) contain information about degree requirements and course descriptions and numbers. Also includes general information such as registration dates. Prior to the late 1960s, catalogs contained both undergraduate and graduate classes. The Graduate Catalogs became their own separate publication beginning in 1966. Early editions contains list of graduates from previous year and information about programs.

Woodmen of the World

The materials from San Marcos Camp 3270 of the Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society. It contains ledgers, minute books, constitution and manuals, and financial materials. Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society was founded in Omaha, Nebraska 1890 as a fraternal benefit society. The organizational structure consisted of a top Sovereign Camp and state-level Head Camps. Local chapters were called simply Camps.