The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 221
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Texana in the Nation's Capital
ferson's library sufficiently illustrate. Until that concept had
been broadened, and the process is perhaps not yet complete, it
was not easy to secure public funds for the purchase of rare
books as such. Since the nation would not buy them when they
were easier to come by and relatively cheap, it must now seek
them when they are far more scarce and dear. Even so, the
great general library is necessarily at a disadvantage in com-
peting with the specialist collector in his own field. He can
keep a sharper lookout for what he wants; he can act more
quickly when a desideratum shows itself on the horizon; and
he can afford to splurge on particular items, while the acquisi-
tions officers of the Library of Congress have to balance a multi-
tude of particular claims. For this situation, however, there
has proved to be a remedy; the Library of Congress is sometimes
fortunate enough to fall heir to, or to be able to purchase by
special appropriation, the life's work of a specialist collector.
The library was unremarkable for incunabula until it inherited
the Thacher and purchased by act of Congress the Vollbehr
collections; the collection of early printed books has acquired
a new distinction from the recent magnificent gift of Lessing J.
Rosenwald. So far as Texana is concerned, the Library of
Congress is distinctly a legacy-hunter. There is some hope
that the same pride in the state which has inspired the ac-
cumulation of a great collection of Texana can become the
motive for the endowment of the Library of Congress with
a collection of the first rank. The public-spirited citizens of
each state and region have a duty to see to it that the National
Library is as strong as possible in the materials of their own
Meanwhile, however, the Library of Congress will continue
to do the best it can with the means at its disposal. As a proof
of its effort to have a truly distinguished collection of Texana,
it may be noted that the Library in 1946 purchased two pieces
of Texana of the greatest rarity. One is the Political Consti-
tution of the Free State of Coahuila and Texas, printed at the
Natchitoches Courier office in 1827, of which only three copies
were known to Thomas W. Streeter and the New York Public
Library in 1936. The other is the Letters relating to the History
of Annexation, by Anson Jones, Ex-President of Texas, printed
at Galveston in 1848, of which two copies were known in 1936.
The Library of Congress is not the only library outside of
Texas which celebrated the anniversary of Texas statehood last
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/264/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.