The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 276
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WALTER PRESCOTT WEBB
This department cannot be a purveyor of current news, but
it must comment on the recent acquisition by The University
of Texas of the well-known Philpott collection of Texas books.
The importance of this acquisition could hardly be over-
emphasized and it certainly need not be exaggerated. The
Philpott books on Texas are of importance in themselves. Many
people have had the pleasure of seeing the fine volumes of
Texana which W. A. Philpott, Jr. of Dallas has gathered with
painstaking care over the years. The fact that few have been
permitted the pleasure of handling these beautiful volumes is
an index to the care exercised by Mr. Philpott in procuring
the most nearly perfect specimen of each book that he could
obtain and guarantees now that these books will come to The
University of Texas in what is known as "mint condition." If
any are not in mint condition, it is not Mr. Philpott's fault,
either as a purchaser or as a guardian of books. As a result
of his discrimination in the first instance and his utter relent-
lessness in the second, he has rendered a great service and we
are all willing to forgive him for withdrawing beyond range
some perfect volume as we instinctively reached for it, like a
fisherman who uses alluring bait but never permits the fish to
seize it. In saying this for and of Mr. Philpott I believe I speak
for all Texas book lovers and for most Texans.
The Philpott collection is important because it is the first
spectacular addition to the Texas Collection of books owned
by the people of Texas and preserved for them in the library
of the University. The Texas Collection in the University library
is the largest and most valuable of its kind in the world. It has
been built up by accretion over a long period of years, a book
here, a pamphlet there, a document or a packet of letters from
some obscure attic. There has been nothing to excite exclama-
tion about the Texas Collection or its acquisition up to this point.
Neither was there anything spectacular about the geologic proc-
esses that laid down the plains and crumpled up the mountains
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/310/?rotate=90: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.