Fall 2021 Poage/GRC Semester Recap

This blog post was written by Processing Archivist Thomas DeShong and GRC Operations Manager Jonathan Tomes.


As a former student and current university employee, it is astounding how fast time slips by once the academic semester starts. In the upcoming days, as students take their final exams and staff attempt to wrap up projects before the break, let’s take a quick look back at some of the things Poage Library was able to accomplish in the Fall 2021 semester.

Classes and Researchers

Photo of students looking in archival boxes
Dr. Turpin’s HIS 5369 students looking at the collections

There is no better feeling for an archivist than when researchers use your collections and find materials they can work with. This past September, Dr. Andrea Turpin of the History Department brought her HIS 5369 Graduate Seminar on the Historian’s Craft to the reading room where staff demonstrated proper reading room etiquette and the basics of how finding aids work. Researchers from across the country have sent in research requests for the Bob Poage, Bob Bullock, Chet Edwards, Jack Hightower, and Dick Russell collections. This particular author even had the opportunity to give a tour of the library to one of Bob Poage’s relatives. How cool is that?


One of the highlights of the fall semester was the panel on redistricting that Poage Library co-hosted with the Baylor Institute for Oral History on November 1st. This virtual discussion, entitled “2021 Redrawing Texas: Who Chooses Whom”, featured several prominent speakers including former Representative Chet Edwards, former Mayor of Waco Mike Morrison, political science professor Patrick Flavin, and the League of Women Voters of Texas Redistricting Issue Chair Stephanie Swanson. The panel explored the history of redistricting, talked at length about the shortcomings of the current system, and discussed possible alternatives to apportioning congressional seats. If you are interested in watching a recording of this panel, click here.


Processing marches on for several of our key legacy collections. Staff and students are working diligently on the Jack Hightower papers, the O.C. Fisher papers, the Hyde Murray papers, the Bob Poage Congressional papers, and an addition to the Chet Edwards papers. Between September and November, staff and students processed approximately 245 boxes worth of materials. A finding aid for the Theresa Seay papers is currently in review and should be published to BARD this month. Thanks everyone for all your hard work!


Our graduating senior Lauren Campbell

It is not every fall that the library gets the chance to celebrate a graduating senior, but this semester, Poage is happy to announce that Lauren Campbell is graduating in a few days! Lauren, a Child and Family Studies major, has worked at the Poage Library for 4.5 years on a variety of projects. Thank you, Lauren, for all your hard work and good luck on the next step of your journey!


The Graduate Research Center continues to show steady growth As indicated by our user statistics, the GRC is a popular space for Baylor’s graduate students. Through 2021, the GRC supported 2,209 new users, supported 8,883 bookings for a total of 24,877 hours across all our spaces. For the fall semester specifically, the GRC supported several events in partnership with the Graduate School Association including multiple outreach events.


As 2021 concludes, we here at Poage Library are thankful for another year of learning, growth, and safety for our students and staff. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and look expectantly to the opportunities Spring 2022 has to offer!

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