Special Collections: Archives and Manuscripts
UNT Special Collections holds hundreds of archival collections, each of which tells a unique story of the people and events that shaped north Texas. Major collecting areas include Texana, University Archives, LGBTQ Archives, Latinx Archives, and Women’s Archives. Collections include personal and family papers, organizational records and business records; consisting of scrapbooks, organizational records, correspondence, photographs, newspapers, flyers, audio/visual materials, and much more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.