The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983

"A Work Peculiarly Our Own":
Origins of the Barker Texas History Center,
1883-1950
DON E. CARLETON and KATHERINE J. ADAMS*
U NIVERSITY OF TEXAS PRESIDENT THEOPHILUS S. PAINTER WAS
there to honor his lifelong friend, and Herbert P. Gambrell, di-
rector of the Dallas Historical Society, was "tickled pink to have a part
in the program." Two who could not attend sent their best wishes.
J. Evetts Haley, rancher and historian on vacation in Europe, wrote that
though he could not physically be there his heart certainly would. Gov-
ernor Allan Shivers sent a telegram calling the day "one of great sig-
nificance both for students of Texas history and for the state of Texas
in general . 1.."1
The date was April 27, 1950, the place was the Old Library Building
on the campus of the University of Texas, and the occasion was the for-
mal opening and dedication of the Eugene C. Barker Texas History
Center. The new center brought together for the first time two depart-
ments of the University Library: the Archives department and the
Texas Collection Library, as well as the offices of the Texas State His-
torical Association. It was an affair to remember. Guests from all over
the state attended festivities, which included a late-afternoon open
house and tea at the center, tours of the new facilities, and a special
viewing of the newly acquired Vandale Collection of Texana and west-
ern Americana. A formal dinner and ceremony at the Stephen F. Aus-
tin Hotel that evening honored the people whose efforts had made the
center a reality: past and present regents, University administrators,
librarians and archivists from the University, Texas State Historical
* Don E. Carleton is director and Katherine J. Adams is assistant director of the Eu-
gene C. Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
1Theophilus S. Painter to H. Bailey Carroll, Mar. 24, 1950, University of Texas Presi-
dent's Office Records (Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas, Aus-
tin; cited hereafter as BTHC); Herbert P. Gambrell to Carroll, Dec. 2, 1949; J. Evetts
Haley to Carroll, Feb. 17, 1950; Allan Shivers to Carroll, Apr. 27, 1950 (telegram), Texas
State Historical Association Records (BTHC). The latter records are hereafter cited as
TSHA Records. The University Records at the Barker Texas History Center are currently
controlled by two access files: a checklist of the University of Texas President's Office Rec-
ords, hereafter cited as UTPOR, and a card file called "University Records," hereafter
cited as UR.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed April 2, 2015.