The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the conception and consummation of this building, the writer
found it necessary to establish to himself a sound frame of refer-
ence. First, history was defined as that branch of knowledge
which records and explains past events as steps in human prog-
ress. Then, the term library was taken as describing a center of
recorded knowledge assembled for dissemination to the public.
To the discipline thus established it was necessary to add a com-
munal understanding of the science of architecture, and from the
beginning page of its history the tenet laid down stepped forth,
recalling that it is the Most Useful of the Beautiful Arts, and the
Most Beautiful of the Useful Arts. Thoughtfully, and pondering
many years of experience in the practical field, the writer would
transpose this phrasing, for while a robot can produce utility,
beauty can be produced only in the flames of imagination and
inspiration, and one will be forgiven inutility in a structure,
whereas no one will forgive the offense of awkward ugliness. And
here this opinion is given credence, for above everything Cass
Gilbert's Old Library Building is reverenced for its refinement
and its beauty.
With these guideposts set, the steps in human progress lead-
ing to Cass Gilbert's Old Library can be retraced, and this center
of recorded knowledge may then be viewed in the full light of
In order to understand the urgency of the founders and de-
velopers of Texas, one should review the experience of life where-
in one learns the anities and the inanities of many things, among
them the thirst for the advantages to be drained from the flagon
of education. Of this science in particular, one learns that it may
be described best as the furbisher of the faculty of intelligence,
that quality God-given, in varying degrees, to man. To those to
whom education has not been given, it appears as a panacea for
all their personal ills, and thus an advantage to be given to all
for whom they are responsible.
In the epic of Texas, the obligation to provide educational
facilities is early recognized. When in 1839, the seat of govern-
ment was set upon the site of the town of Waterloo, and this
capital of the Republic by statute enacted of its Congress was
given its name, the "City of Austin," Edwin Waller, the govern-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/14/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.