The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 108
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Southwestern Hiistorical Quarterly
establishment of that first award, some twenty-three other institu-
tions of higher learning have instituted similar prizes. Among
these schools are Wellesley, Smith, Purdue, University of Cali-
fornia, University of Oklahoma, University of Pennsylvania, and
many others. To this group must now be added the name of the
University of Texas, which, thanks to the State Historical Asso-
ciation, sets the precedent in the Lone Star State.
The credit for instituting such a competition in Texas goes to
Dr. Walter P. Webb, who saw the values inherent in such an award
and who secured the sponsorship of the State Historical Associa-
tion and the co-operation of local firms who made the awards.
The rules of the competition were kept as simple as possible.
Students wishing to enter their libraries merely registered with
Dr. Webb. Only undergraduates of the University of Texas were
permitted to compete. Each student who registered was asked to
submit to the judges a list of approximately twenty-five books in
his library with an informal essay describing the formation of the
collection, principles governing the selection of books, and the
approximate cost of each volume. Eleven students registered and
submitted entries. Of this eleven, eight turned in essays and had
their books examined by the judges. The judges visited each con-
testant, inspected the books themselves, and asked the student a
series of informal questions relating to the contents of the books
and the formation of the library. On the basis of the essays, the
oral examination, and the books themselves, the judges made their
The libraries ranged in size from ten to approximately four
hundred volumes, the average being one hundred. All of the
libraries showed some one field of specialization in addition to books
of a more general nature. The judges found collections built around
the life and literature of Texas and the Southwest, around folk-
lore and music of the same region, around choice Spanish and
Mexican imprints. Other collections contained books pertaining
to the growth of the English language and the Anglican Church,
books relating to Spanish and American art, and biographies of
the presidents of the United States and famous Americans. There
were also general libraries showing a fine array of modern fiction
and poetry, and one library based on the history and practice of
medicine. All in all, the collections revealed a variety of interests,
high standards of taste, and a deep love of books as gateways to
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/116/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.