In 2018, Moody Memorial Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary as Baylor University’s main campus library. In advance of that significant milestone, the Baylor Libraries have secured a $100,000 grant from the Moody Foundation to begin renovations and upgrades to the historic structure’s first floor.

With this gift, the Moody Foundation – which provided a sizable lead gift in 1964 that helped finance the building’s construction in 1967 – has pledged its support to revitalize the building’s interior with the creation of an innovative instructional learning space complete with flexible furnishings, upgraded interiors and the latest in instructional technology.

“This gift will serve as a significant catalyst for our long-term plans to reimagine and renovate Moody’s first floor as we continue to meet the needs of our 21st century patrons,” said John S. Wilson, interim dean of University Libraries. “The Moody Foundation saw the importance of continuing to provide a high level of service to Baylor students, faculty and staff through innovative learning spaces, and we are excited to partner with them on this project.”

The space, which will be located behind the library’s main circulation desk, is envisioned as an active learning space. The multi-purpose area will fill the growing need for dedicated areas in the library that support a variety of instructional needs.

Beth Farwell, director of Central Libraries, noted that the planned space is an important jumping-off point for grander plans for Moody. “We hope to see the entire first floor reimagined to include the kind of spaces students have told us are important to their success, like individual study spaces and aesthetically pleasing areas that inspire creativity, collaboration and academic success,” she said.

Work on the instructional learning space is expected to begin during the fall 2017 semester. Updates on progress will be posted on the library’s website at and on the libraries’ social media channels, including Twitter @baylorlibraries and Facebook at


The Central Libraries’ book shelves are full!  As Moody nears its 50th anniversary since the groundbreaking in 1968, the print collection has grown significantly to include over 2 million physical volumes.  After significant review and planning, the libraries will begin a collection project this summer to withdraw and shift targeted areas to relieve our space constraints.  Our statistics indicate low usage and duplicate online availability for many of the print science journals on Jones 2nd floor, located mostly on bays 1-5.  These journals will be removed to create space for monographs which will move from Moody 1st floor to the Jones 2nd floor journal shelves.

Monograph collections that will be moving from Moody 1st to Jones 2nd include:

F – History of the Americas
G – Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
H – Social Sciences
L - Education

As we move these materials, we will update our maps and provide signage to assist patrons who need to access these collections.  Regular updates will be posted at the websites and social media channels listed below.  If you have any questions please contact Ken Carriveau ( or Beth Farwell (

Thank you for your patience!

Beth Farwell
Director, Central Libraries

Get Regular Project Updates at

@BaylorLibraries on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

by Casandra Barragan-Melendez

When you are surrounded Baylor Libraries by books in a library, what is it about a book that makes you want to grab it?

Maybe you were already looking for a specific category or one recommended by a friend, but what if that is not the case? Doesn't that narrow it down to basic looks- if it’s old or new, colorful or dull?

I’m pretty sure that a book with one-of-a-kind artworks from the 15th century would grab your attention.

Casandra with rare booksThe Très Riches Heures is an illuminated manuscript of the Book of Hours, a prayer book popular in the Middle Ages. The book was specifically made for Jean Duc de Berry, illustrated by the Limborg Brothers. Jean Duc de Berry spent his early life studying the construction of important buildings. He eventually encouraged other field artists to illuminate manuscripts as his passion changed. The Limbourg brothers are Pol, Jan, and Herman (Pol is known as the master of the group). They were well known for their international gothic art style of the 15th century.
The Très Riches Heures has psalms, lessons, hymns, responses, prayers, and antiphons. It also contains a calendar representing activities that surrounded the duke and his castle in the town of Mehun-sur-Yevre.

Casandra with book of hoursIt is one of the most well-preserved books of that century and it has examples of first attempts to modern landscape and sectioning the months of seasons.
Although the Limborg brothers did most of the illuminations, they died 1416 and never finished the book. Unfortunately that was the same year Jean Duc de Berry died, without enough money to pay for his funeral since it all went to his art collection. One of Duc de Berry's two daughters married Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy. Amedeus’s direct descendent, the Duc Charles I of Savoy inherited the Très Riches Heures. In late August 1485, Duc Charles I payed Jean Colombe 25 gold ecues to finish the illuminations.

If you would like to visit the Central Libraries Special Collections to view this treasure (Polk Oversize ND3363.B5 M8 2010) or find other inspirations, please visit the Special Collections website and make an appointment.

These rare materials are available for anyone; and with over 10,000 items, we know we can find something that can illuminate your passion. We look forward to working with you!

Casandra work

Many thanks to Casandra for creating a beautiful hand-painted illumination for Baylor Libraries. Thank you also to Waco High School, Prosper Waco and many Baylor Libraries peoples who helped pull this important initiative together!
Beth Farwell
Andrea Turner
Vance Woods


by Beth Farwell

What could possibly be so interesting to these beautiful dogs?

Just a minute.

Why are there dogs in the special collections' room reading a book?

While a little unorthodox, one of these dogs has visited the library before. As a therapy dog, Sadie helped bring comfort to our students during finals week. This semester, Sadie and her sister were invited to present some wonderful rare books to you.

Sadie & LibbyThese precious dogs spent the afternoon looking at a couple of the Central Libraries Special Collections' bestiaries. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a bestiary is a "descriptive or anecdotal treatise on various real or mythical kinds of animals, especially a medieval work with a moralizing tone."

Animals have been used in stories to teach lessons throughout history. Peterborough bestiaryAesop's fables were told in ancient Greece, and Christian literature used animals to illustrate religious morals. Many of these bestiary tales continue to be used in modern literature. For example, the phoenix's burning itself to be born again found in Harry Potter is a tale derived from bestiaries.Peterborough bestiary

Baylor owns two beautiful bestiary facsimiles. The Oxford bestiary from the late 12th century, and the Peterborough bestiary from around 1300. Both are excellent examples with ornate, gilded illustrations. You are most welcome to visit for a closer look. Sadie and Libby may not be around, but you never know! For more information, please visit our webpage.

Libby & Sadie

Sadie and Libby are both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Sadie is 10 years old and Libby is 6.Sadie & LibbyThey are pets of Diana and Jon Engelhardt. Both girls were adopted as adult dogs. Sadie the tri-color (black and white) and Diana work together as a team with Angel Paws doing animal assisted therapy visits. Angel Paws is an affiliate of Pet Partners, Inc. Libby is planning on becoming an “Angel Paw” in the near future. The breed is known for being great companion dogs as they enjoy being with people, making new friends and bringing cheer to others.
Sadie is one of the dogs featured on the Angel Paws website click on the About Us tab at the top right of the home page for more information about Sadie.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog and are inspired to research more into the rich world of bestiaries.

Many, many thanks to Sadie, Libby, Diana and Jon Engelhardt for their time and patience! We had a wonderful afternoon with you in the library.

Our amazing photographer, Ben Johansen, was able to make magic once again for us! Thank you!
Thanks also to our two photo/puppy wranglers, Sarah Schmuck and Andrea Turner!

by Brady Odom

Valentine’s Day is the one day a year completely dedicated to the expression of romantic love. A candlelit dinner, flowers and chocolate, sometimes it is as simple as cuddling on the couch to watch a movie (probably based on a Nicolas Sparks book).

Not all couples get to celebrate the day of love with one of these special dates. Long distance relationships add a whole new level of complexity to Valentine’s Day romance. Those who have to keep the romance alive from afar are dependent on pictures, videos, and especially words to express their affections to the ones they love.

In 1858, words were especially important for long distance romance. One of the most prominent figures in Texas History (who happened to be fairly prominent in Baylor’s history as well) exemplified this idea. Tucked away in the Central Libraries Special Collections is a beautiful fine press volume titled A Valentine in a Rough Winter: A Newly Discovered Letter from Sam Houston to his wife, February 14, 1858. Created by John Holmes Jenkins III, this book highlights a facsimile of a letter from Sam Houston to his wife, Margaret Lea Houston, written on Valentine’s Day 1858.

In the book, Jenkins provides the backstory of Houston’s political struggles leading up to the letter to Margaret Lea. She was pregnant with their seventh child and Houston longed to be home with her and their family in the midst of growing frustration with the political situation he found himself in at Washington. Houston shares his frustrations with Margaret Lea in the letter; as well as some general advice about how to treat a coughing fit. What stands out most about the letter, though, is Houston’s expression of love.

What captures the essence of Valentine’s Day at Baylor University better than a long distance letter from Sam Houston to his wife which reads in part:

    “I look with boundless desire to be with you. My desire arises from a disposition to enjoy your society, when the evening will steal upon us and a portion of the world’s cares will be shut out...”

The Central Libraries Special Collections staff wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day. If you’d like to read more about this letter (Hughes Oversize F390 H83325x), please visit our website and set up an appointment.

If you are interested in a digital kind of love, check out out Megan Martinsen's blog here.

Many thanks to Brady Odom for this post. Brady is our Special Collections Assistant and Baylor graduate (BA'15)! Sic 'em!