Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Elizabeth Howard West:

An Inventory of Her Papers, 1835-1939 and undated, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator West, Elizabeth Howard
Title: Elizabeth Howard West, Papers,
Dates: 1835-1939 and undated
Abstract: The papers of Elizabeth Howard West, a librarian, educator and historian, who served as the first librarian at Texas Technological College in 1925 and founded the Lubbock branch of the American Association of University Women in 1926.
Collection # U 47.1
Quantity: 1 box (1.0 linear feet)
Language English.
Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Biographical Sketch

A librarian, educator and historian, Elizabeth Howard West served as the first librarian at Texas Technological College in 1925 and founded the Lubbock branch of the American Association of University Women (1926). Born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, on March 27, 1873, West received a degree from the Industrial Institute and College at Columbus, Mississippi. She taught in the public schools before moving to Texas in 1895. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Texas in 1901. She began her library training in 1905 and became a cataloger at the Texas State Library in 1906. West also worked as an assistant at the Library of Congress, was the Texas State Library archivist (1911-1915), the director of the San Antonio Library (1915-1918), and elected as State Librarian in 1918, making her the first woman department head in the Texas state government.

West had actively pursued research in Spanish and Mexican archives, and from 1930 to 1932 worked as a Library of Congress research assistant on the European Historical Mission. She published frequent articles in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and the American Historical Review. She was a charter member of the Texas State Library Association and served as its president from 1914 to 1916. She also helped to found the Southwestern Library Association and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Kappa Gamma, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Philosophical Society of Texas. West also directed the Southwestern Library Association's Regional Literature Program in Texas. She retired as college librarian at Texas Tech in 1942 and then worked as a historical research assistant for the Tech history department until 1947. Following a heart attack, West completely retired and moved to Pensacola, Florida, where she died on January 4, 1948.

Scope and Content

The West collection bulks with correspondence and research notes compiled during her chairmanship of the Southwestern Library Association's Regional Literature Program SWLA) in Texas (1934-1936), her career as librarian at the Texas State Library and Texas Technological College, and materials related to West's master's thesis, Cartography of the French and Spanish Expansion. The Regional Literature Program materials provide information on the purpose, scope and organization of a national movement in Texas and the surrounding states. West's Texas Tech correspondence pertains to library business from the 1920s and 1930s. The Texas State Library materials consist of transcribed correspondence to and from Texas state offices (1906-1907), Texas State Library preliminary letter registers, and miscellaneous items related to library operations (1918?-1935?).

The microfilmed material contains transcribed Spanish documents pertaining to William Panton, a Scottish merchant and frontiersman along the Spanish borderlands during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The collection also includes West's research correspondence.


Access Restrictions

Open for research

Index Terms

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.
Subjects (Persons)
West, Elizabeth Howard, 1873-1948
West, Elizabeth Howard, 1873-1948--Archives
West, Elizabeth Howard, 1873-1948--Correspondence
Subjects (Organizations)
Southwestern Library Association. Regional Literature Program
Texas Library Association
Texas Technological College. Library
Lubbock (Tex.)--History
Academic libraries--Texas
College librarians--Texas
College librarians--Texas--Lubbock
Federal aid to libraries--Texas
Libraries and community--Texas
Library administrators--Texas
State libraries--Texas
State library agencies--Texas
Universities and colleges--Texas--History

Related Material

Goldia Hester Papers, 1901-1965, 1931-1964

Virginia West oral history interview [sound recording], 1964

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Elizabeth Howard West Papers, 1835-1939 and undated, 1946-1988, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Gifts, undated

Processed by

Lynn Whitfield, 2000

Additional Sources

Hester, Goldia Ann. Elizabeth Howard West: Texas Librarian. Austin: University of Texas, 1965.

Collection Inventory

box folder
1 1 Biography and Photos, 1939



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1 2 Correspondence, 1926-1935
3 Correspondence: Crane, R. C., Judge, 1933-1935
4 Correspondence: Haworth, Edith Stow, in regards to Anson Jones, 1925
5 Correspondence: Bynum, S. K.- Reminiscences, undated
6 Correspondence: Spur and Matador, 1933-1934
7 Correspondence: State of Texas, 1906-1907



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1 8 Legislation: Texas Livestock Sanitary Commission, 1911
9 Legislation: Texas Penal System, 1911
10 Legislation: Texas Senate Bill 230, 1913


Letter Registers

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1 11 Letter Register: Correspondence with Mexican Govt., 1835-1836
12 Letter Register: Jones, Anson, 1836-1947
13 Letter Register: Texas Consular, 1838-1845
14 Letter Register: Miscellaneous, 1835-1912
15 Letter Register: Secretary of War Transmitting, 1836
16 Letter Register: Texas Diplomatic Correspondence, 1836-1845
17 Letter Register: Texas Navy Papers, 1842-1844

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1 18 Library: Floor plans and Descriptions, undated

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1 19 Publications by Elizabeth Howard West, 1922-1927

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1 20 Roster: Texas 13th Legislature, undated


Southwestern Library Association (SWLA)

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1 21 Southwestern Library Association (SWLA), 1935-1936
22 Southwestern Library Association (SWLA), 1935-1936
23 SWLA: Literature Program, 1935-1936
24 SWLA: Literature Program- Abilene, 1935
25 SWLA: Literature Program- Amarillo, 1935-1936
26 SWLA: Literature Program- Austin, 1936
27 SWLA: Literature Program- Beaumont, 1936
28 SWLA: Literature Program- Big Bend, 1936
29 SWLA: Literature Program- Brownsville, 1935
30 SWLA: Literature Program- Commerce, 1935
31 SWLA: Literature Program- Corpus Christi, 1935
32 SWLA: Literature Program- Corsicana, 1936
33 SWLA: Literature Program- Dallas, 1935-1936
34 SWLA: Literature Program- El Paso, 1935-1936
35 SWLA: Literature Program- Fort Worth, 1936
36 SWLA: Literature Program- Galveston, 1936
37 SWLA: Literature Program- Houston, 1935
38 SWLA: Literature Program- Lubbock, 1935-1936
39 SWLA: Literature Program- Nacogdoches, 1935-1936
40 SWLA: Literature Program- Palestine, 1936
41 SWLA: Literature Program- San Angelo, 1935-1936
42 SWLA: Literature Program- San Antonio, 1935-1936
43 SWLA: Literature Program- Texarkana, 1936
44 SWLA: Literature Program- Tyler, 1936
45 SWLA: Literature Program- Waco, 1935-1936
46 SWLA: Literature Program- Wichita Falls, 1935-1936
47 SWLA: Regional Bibliography Contributors, 1934-1936

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1 48 Texas Map Notes, undated

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1 49 Texas State Library: Expenses, 1918-1925

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1 50 Texas State Library: Reports, 1905 and undated



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1 51 Thesis: The Cartography of French and Spanish Expansion, undated
52 Thesis Bibliography, undated
53 Thesis Notes: American History, January-March 1901
54 Thesis Notes: Cartography- 16th Century Lists, undated
55 Thesis Notes: Cartography- 17th Century Lists, undated
56 Thesis Notes: Cartography- 18th Century Lists, undated
57 Thesis Notes: Cartography- 19th Century Lists, undated
58 Thesis Notes: Cartography- Geographical Ideas, undated
59 Thesis Notes: Cartography- Mississippi Valley, undated
60 Thesis Notes: Cartography- Names, undated
61 Thesis Notes: Cartography- Tracings, undated
62 Thesis Notes: Cartography- Voyages, undated
63 Thesis Notes: French Explorations, undated
64 Thesis Notes: La Salle and Penalosa, undated
65 Thesis Notes: Missions Among the Great Lakes, undated

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1 66 Wallace, William A. "Big Foot", 1934-1935

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1 67 Yacqui Indian History, 1931 and undated