This page lists highlights from the UNT Libraries Special and Digital Collections. It is not exhaustive.

Larry Austin Collection

Larry Austin (1930-2018) was a member of the UNT College of Music faculty from 1978 until 1996, and served as director of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia (CEMI) from 1983 to 1991, and in 1995 and 1996. The Larry Austin Collection consists of 88 boxes of musical works by Larry Austin and includes his compositions, sound recordings, films and videos.

Artists' Book Collection

An artist’s book is a medium in which to convey artistic expression using the form and function of a book as the point of inspiration. The book is produced as a work of art in itself. Artists’ books are often created to be portable and interactive, and many call into question the formal role of a book and act more as sculptural objects. Artist's books can defy description and categorization. Often, artists' books are unique items or of limited editions. A good artists' book will truly be more than words on a page, and pages within covers.

Paul Bonneau Collection

Dr. Paul G. Bonneau was an alumnus of UNT, receiving his BM, MM, and DMA degrees from the College of Music. Bonneau was active in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as an instructor, conductor, and composer, teaching at UNT as well as at Richland College in Dallas. He was the founding music director of the Chancel Orchestra of Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church in Flower Mound, Texas, and music director of the Flower Mound Symphony Orchestra.

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Records

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) Records comprises 247 boxes of archival documents, video and photographs documenting the history and activities of the Dallas-based arts organization. TBAAL was founded in 1977 by Curtis King as on outgrowth of the New York City based, Black Academy of Arts and Letters. The mission of TBAAL is to create and enhance an awareness and understanding of artistic, cultural, and aesthetic differences utilizing the framework of African, African-American and Caribbean Arts and Letters.

Bell Helicopter Records

The Bell Helicopter Records document seventy-one years of Bell Helicopter’s corporate history. Bell Helicopter has become one of the largest manufacturers of both military and commercial aircraft in North America. The collection is composed of audio-visual recordings, photographic negatives, office records, press releases, ad scripts, reports, and presentation text.

Leon Breeden Collection

Leon Breeden was the director of Jazz Studies at North Texas from 1959 until 1981. He continued the efforts of his predecessor, Gene Hall, and facilitated the rise of the One O’Clock Lab Band to national and international prominence in spite of intense opposition to jazz in higher education.

Bindings Collections

The Special Collections department has been collecting fine or important historic bindings since the early 1980s. The goals in collecting these materials have been to allow students, researchers, and visitors to see how bindings have changed throughout history by showing historic examples, and to the artistic possibilities of bindings – both in terms of methods and decoration. To this end, Special Collections has tried to acquire the best examples of bindings possible.

Willis Conover Collection

A 1997 gift of the Willis Conover Jazz Preservation Foundation, Inc., the collection consists of over 22,000 recordings of numerous formats, correspondence, memos, magazines, record catalogs, manuscripts, program notes, memorabilia, photographs, books, and other personal items. The materials are not only from his work at the VOA, but also from his early career at WTBO and WWDC, and his correspondence with sci-fi and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft during Conover’s teen years. As Conover remained an independent contractor with the VOA for his entire career, his collection also contains numerous side-projects for radio and television, including work for WCBS in New York.

Donald Thomas War Poetry Collection

The Donald Thomas War Poetry Collection was acquired in 2015, and consists of over 1,000 volumes collected over 40 years. The Collection focuses on English and American poetry spanning the period from the American Civil War to the Iraq War. The majority of the Collection is focused on World War I and contains many important names and titles from the time period. The greatest strength of this collection, though, is the number of works by lesser known war poets whose works have become difficult if not impossible to find today.

Merrill Ellis Collection

Merrill Ellis (1916-1981), founder of the electronic music program at The University of North Texas, was born on December 9, 1916 in Cleburne, Texas, just south of Fort Worth. He began his studies at The University of Oklahoma in 1935, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1939, and a Master of Music in 1941, and studied composition privately with Roy Harris, Spencer Norton and Charles Garland. His master’s thesis at OU was entitled An Evaluation of the Oklahoma Federal Music Project. He pursued further graduate studies at the University of Missouri from 1948 to 1951, and continued to study privately with Spencer Norton (1940-1941), Roy Harris (1950-1960) and Darius Milhaud (1957).

Duke Ellington Collections

The UNT Music Library has three major collections related to Duke Ellington: The Duke Ellington Manuscript Collection, The Rhodes Baker Collection, and the Dennis Askey Collection. The Duke Ellington Manuscript Collection consists of one box of music manuscripts and dye-line copies of music by Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges, Cat Anderson, Lou Carter, and Paul Gonsalves, including a 1-page autograph music manuscript in Ellington’s hand of “Get It Over.” The Rhodes Baker Collection, named for a Houston-area attorney and Ellington fan, includes numerous unreleased performances by the Ellington orchestra, and rare records. The Dennis Askey Collection, named for a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, includes rare films such as footage from the 1962 First International Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C., as well as films from his travels in China and Afghanistan.

Environmental and Urban Studies

Environmental and Urban Studies in a growing area of collection development which encompasses science, geography, ecology, conservation, resource management and policy making.

Maynard Ferguson Collection

The Maynard Ferguson Collection at the UNT Music Library contains over 750 arrangements for Ferguson’s bands from the 1950s through the early 2000s, and includes the work of arrangers such as Willie Maiden, Don Rader, Slide Hampton, Denis DiBlasio, and Steve Wiest, among many others. The collection also includes copies of published arrangements, as well as Thai and Indian music that Ferguson collected. Access provided only by special arrangement with the Music Library.

Frankenstein Collection

The materials in this collection include 18th and 19th century books on science and technology which likely inspired Frankenstein, rare early editions of Frankenstein, and a variety of modern materials which document the impact of Frankenstein in popular culture.

Government Documents Collection

“Government documents” is a term used to categorize any information produced at government expense and disseminated by a government agency. As such, material produced by government bodies at the local, state, federal, and international level, in addition to government-funded agencies and organizations, are considered government documents. The Sycamore Library houses collections the UNT Libraries receive as a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the Texas State Depository Program. These collections cover a wide range of topics and subjects as well as time periods from colonial times to the present. The UNT Libraries committed to retain government publications as a Preservation Steward partner to the Government Publishing Office (GPO).

Don and Barbara Gillis Collection

Composer, arranger, and music educator Don Gillis was a producer for NBC Radio during the Toscanini era. This collection, donated to the University of North Texas Music Library by Barbara Gillis after her husband’s death in 1978, includes a complete set of tapes from the radio series Toscanini: The Man Behind the Legend. It also includes manuscripts, other copies, and tapes of Gillis’s works, an unpublished autobiography, papers, pictures, and scrapbooks.

Sycamore Library General Collections

The Sycamore Library serves as home to portions of the UNT Libraries’ general collections. These collections include Geography, Political Science, Public Administration, Business, and Law materials. The following call numbers can be found at the Sycamore Library – G, HA, HB, HC, HE, HF, HG, HJ, J, JA, JC, JF, JJ, JK, JL, JN, JQ, JS, JV, JX, JZ, K, KB, KD, KE, KF, KG, KH, KJ-KKZ, KL_KWX, KZ.

Gaming Collection

The UNT Media Library video game collection began in 2009 with a small grant and has grown to include services and collections to support student recreation, research, and coursework. The Media Library Collection includes video games for all major consoles, gaming equipment, virtual reality devices, legacy consoles, tabletop games, breakouts, and escape room supplies.

Dorothy Gray Mills Howard Collection

Dr. Dorothy Gray Mills Howard was a noted author and scholar of children’s games and folklore. She graduated from North Texas State Teachers College in 1923, and went on to teach in public schools and universities. She received a Fulbright post-doctoral research grant in 1954 to study the traditional play customs of Australian children, and has an extensive list of publications based on her research.

History of the Book

UNT Special Collections holds many rare artifacts, specimens, books, and manuscripts which enable students and faculty to trace the evolution of the book across human history. With roots in social, cultural and materials studies, book history plays an important role in a variety of disciplines.

Juvenile and Curriculum Materials Collections

The Juvenile collection at the Sycamore Library is a collection of fiction, nonfiction, and reference materials for readers ranging from preschool to young adult. The collection supports students and faculty in the College of Education and serves as a pleasure reading collection for faculty, students, and their children. The Curriculum Materials Collection includes textbooks, instructional materials, and instructional kits that support the curriculum needs of students and faculty in the College of Education.

Merritt Johnson Collection

Merritt Johnson (1902-1978) was a pianist, organist, and composer on the faculty at Northern State College (now University) in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and was a student of Joseph Lhevinne and Darius Milhaud. His collection at UNT consists of five boxes of music compositions, with numerous materials in the UNT Digital Library.

Journalism and News Media

The Special Collections department works to preserve newspapers, magazines, television news media, photojournalism, personal papers of journalists and publishers, and records which document the evolution of news media.

Bob Kap Collection

The Bob Kap Collection documents the amazing life of Yugoslavian immigrant and sports manager, Bob Kap. He is known for creating and managing the Dallas Tornado soccer team during their 1967-68 world tour, and for introducing soccer style kicking to the NFL. The Collection contains scrapbooks, photographs, and personal artifacts from his life, as well as a collection of ephemera and flags from soccer teams the Dallas Tornado played around the world.

Gordon Knox Film Collection

The Gordon Knox Film Collections contains over 100 films created by Texas-born filmmaker Gordon Knox (1906 – 1992) or Mr. Knox’s production company, The Princeton Film Center. The collection contains short and feature-length documentaries produced between 1937 and 1964 for the United States Armed Forces, state and federal government agencies, non-profit organizations and private sector clients. Currently, 67 films in the Gordon Knox collection are available through the UNT Digital Library.

Stan Kenton Collection

World renowned bandleader Stan Kenton bequeathed his entire orchestra library to the University of North Texas. The collection comprises more than 2,000 manuscripts representing the work of Kenton’s famous arrangers including Bill Holman, Pete Rugolo, Robert Graettinger, and Bill Russo. The Stan Kenton Collection is supplemented by a gift from Noel Wedder, Kenton’s publicist, of over six hundred photographs of Kenton and his orchestra and a collection of research materials related to Robert Graettinger, donated by his biographer Robert Morgan.

William P. Latham Collection

Composer William P. Latham served on the faculty of the University of North Texas College of Music from 1965 until his retirement in 1984, at which time he was appointed Professor Emeritus. Throughout his extensive career, he taught both theory and composition. The collection consists of dozens of boxes of Latham’s compositions, related materials, and papers; numerous items are also available in the general, circulating collection of the UNT Music Library.

Latino and Latina Collections

Latino and Latina Collections at the University of North Texas document the diverse cultural history of Texas, Mexico, and Latin America. This major collection initiative seeks to develop rich primary source documentation to better represent the cultural history of these typically under-represented communities.

Jean-Baptiste Lully Collection

This project was conceived in 1996 both as a multimedia thematic catalog of the UNT Music Library’s collection of early editions of operas and ballets by the French Baroque composer Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), and as a nucleus for collecting information useful to anyone studying those works. A pilot version of the Lully Web Project has been on the web since 1997.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Archive

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Archive at UNT is a collaborative project to document the history and culture of the LGBTQ communities in the South and Southwest. This major collecting initiative can help scholars explore the stories of Southern and Southwestern LGBTQ communities which have historically been underrepresented in LGBTQ studies.

Media Library General Collection

Established in 1976, the Media Library collection contains materials covering all academic disciplines and all genres of film & games in a variety of formats. This collection includes DVDs, video & tabletop games, and online videos. Older formats such as laser discs, reels of motion picture film, filmstrips, audio cassettes, CD ROMs, and individual slides can also be found in this collection.

Bob McGrath Collection

Bob McGrath is a singer, composer, and actor best known for his role as Bob Johnson on Sesame Street from 1969 until 2016. Mr. McGrath donated a collection of 24 boxes of band and symphonic works to the UNT Music Library in 2017, and the collection is currently being processed for detailed description.

Miniature Book Collection

Miniature books are defined as those books under 4” (3” in some places) in any dimension. Books in small sizes have been produced since antiquity, and continue to be produced to this day. They are all “real” books with pages, printing, illustrations, etc. –just very small.

Maps and Posters

The Sycamore Library has a modest but diverse collection of maps and posters produced by U.S. federal and Texas state government agencies as well as by commercial publishers such as National Geographic. Map holdings include geologic, topographic, and historic county plat maps of Texas; thematic maps showing features such as climate, population density, and industrial activity; WWII-era news maps; and literary maps depicting locations and journeys in classic fiction. We even have maps and atlases of other planets in our solar system, and star charts that map the entire known universe. Posters include World War I and II propaganda as well as educational and promotional materials from NASA, the U.S. Defense Department, and many other government agencies.

NBC 5/KXAS (WBAP) Television News Collections

UNT Libraries house the complete news archive of NBC 5/KXAS (formerly WBAP), the oldest television news station in Texas. The archive contains historic broadcast footage, scripts, advertisements, still photography, and research files dating from 1950 through 2012. A Major initiative to digitize and preserve these original format materials has allowed documentation of north Texas history to be revealed for the first time since the stories originally aired.

Online Media

The UNT Libraries provides current UNT students, faculty and staff with access to hundreds of educational films that can be viewed entirely online. By making these films available online for anytime/anywhere access, the Libraries continue to improve the support of distance, hybrid and traditional education at UNT.

Oral History Collection

Oral histories fill in the gaps in the written record by preserving the memories of individuals who have been eye-witnesses to, or participants in, historic events. The UNT collection consists of nearly 2,000 bound volumes of interviews. The transcripts were generated by the UNT Oral History Program in the UNT History Department and the UNT College of Business Administration.

The Portal to Texas History

This gateway to Texas history materials contains unique collections from Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical and genealogical societies, and private family collections. The Portal features digital reproductions of photographs, maps, letters, documents, books, artifacts, newspapers, and more. In addition, the Portal’s Resources4Educators pages provide relevant materials for students and classroom teachers. To learn more about the Portal’s contents, please explore by collections.

Photography and Visual Materials Collections

Visual representation forms an important part of many academic disciplines including art, anthropology, history, and cultural studies. The Photography and Visual Materials Collection documents the history of photography and visual representation through the works of both traditional and vernacular artists. The Collection includes fine art photography, studio and commercial work, specimens of early photography, and other types of visual art such as paintings, posters, illustrations, sculpture, and folk art.

Source: Music of the Avant-Garde Magazine

The archives contain materials submitted to the seminal avant-garde magazine Source: Music of the Avant-Garde during the years 1967-1973. Submissions to the magazine range from the indeterminate, graphic, conceptual, performance art, electronic and multimedia. The collection includes scores, photographs, recordings, articles and correspondences both published and unpublished. In addition to original materials from issues 1-11, the collection includes scores, photographs, and layouts for the never-published issue 12.

Julia Smith Collection

The collection consists of approximately 66 boxes of music books, scores, correspondence, memorabilia, manuscripts, photographs, and recordings relating to the career of composer and University of North Texas alumna, Julia Smith (1905-1989). Best known for her six operas and biography of Aaron Copland (1955), Smith spent over fifty years as a composer, pianist, and advocate of American music. The collection was bequeathed to the University of North Texas Music Library upon her death in 1989.

Photo credit: UNT Portal to Texas History.

Arnold Schoenberg - Hans Nachod

This collection contains items that once belonged to Schoenberg’s cousin Hans Nachod, an operatic tenor for whom the role of Waldemar in Gurre-Lieder was created. It includes many letters from Schoenberg to Nachod, a few from Nachod to Schoenberg, as well as a number of music manuscripts in Schoenberg’s hand, among which are early songs and arrangements.

Texana Collections

UNT Special Collections houses unique items that showcase the diverse history, culture, and art of the Lone Star State. We utilize a broad definition of Texana to collect materials not just about Texas, but also works by Texas writers, works printed/published in Texas, and the work of Texas artists. Materials represented in the Collections include early explorer accounts, the history of Dr. Pepper, signed documents by Sam Houston and Santa Anna, laws and decrees, biographies, memoirs, and archives of artists and authors.

Texas Society Sons of the American Revolution (TXSSAR) Archive

The Texas Society Sons of the American Revolution (TXSSAR) Archive includes materials documenting the history of the Society in Texas including newsletters, official records, photographs and scrap books documenting the activities of the Texas Society, Sons of the American Revolution.

University Archive

In 1975, President Calvin Cleve “Jitter” Nolen established UNT’s University Archive. The archive currently holds thousands of photographs, documents, and artifacts that tell the story of UNT from its earliest days as the Texas Normal College and Teachers Training Institute, to what is now the University of North Texas. The materials in this archive range from important documents and artifacts, like an original handwritten copy of President Chilton’s speech announcing the opening of the College in 1890, or class rings from as early as 1901, to campus newspapers and documents from student organizations. This archive documents the history of the university, notable alumni, and acts as a reference for cultural changes from the time of the founding of the university to the present.

To learn more about the University Archive, and for information on how to donate materials, visit the University Archive Page.

UNT Scholarly Works

UNT Scholarly Works is a special collection of items contributed by the UNT Community and hosted in the UNT Digital Library. This collection brings together articles, papers, presentations, books, chapters, reviews, academic posters, artwork, and other scholarly and creative works and makes them readily accessible to showcase UNT’s research and creative achievements to a worldwide audience. The UNT Scholarly Works collection also serves as the open access repository for UNT. For more information on open access services and initiatives, please visit our Open Access @ UNT website.

About the Scholarly Works

UNT Digital Library

The UNT Digital Library is home to materials from the University’s research, creative, and scholarly activities, and it also showcases content from the UNT Libraries’ collections. Materials include theses and dissertations, artwork, performances, musical scores, journals, government documents, rare books, historical posters, the CyberCemetery of defunct government agency web sites, and much, much more. To learn more about the Digital Library’s contents, please [explore by collections][].

Vann Collection of Victorian Literature

Special Collections has important holdings in Victorian literature, 19th century British fiction, poetry and relevant periodicals. Much of the Vann Collection of Victorian Literature was donated by UNT Emeritus Professor J. Don Vann and his wife, Dolores. Highlights of the Collection include a first edition of A Christmas Carol, the periodical All the Year Round which contains the first serialization of A Tale of Two Cities, and other serialized first editions including Our Mutual Friend, Bleak House, and David Copperfield.

Byrd Williams Family Photography Collection

Four generations of photographers – all named Byrd Williams – documented more than 100 years of North Texas history with their work. Now, UNT Libraries has acquired their collection, consisting of over 10,000 prints and 300,000 negatives. The materials include commercial and studio photography, western landscapes, documentary studies, and fine art photography. Family correspondence, artifacts, and a collection of cameras were also donated by Byrd Williams IV.

Gustine Courson Weaver Collection

The Weaver Collection, originally donated in the 1930’s, is an extensive collection of materials documenting the life of Ms. Weaver and her decades long interest in children’s education, juvenile literature and Texas History. The collection includes dolls, manuscripts, pop-up books, miniature books, journals, newspaper clippings, and “Heidi” materials, among other things, including some artifacts.

Pat Warde Memorial Collection of Southern Letters

Pat Warde was an integral part of the intellectual and political life of UNT and the entire Denton community. Warde’s husband Bill established the Pat Warde Memorial Collection of Southern Letters for the UNT Libraries in 1992, in memory of his wife’s love of literature and her dedication to the highest ideals incorporated in the great literature of the South.