Research Ready: January 2014

Each month, we post a processing update to notify our readers about the latest collections that have finding aids online and are primed for research. Here’s the scoop for January:

Detail of Sneed-Patton divorce settlement, 1860 January 10
Detail of 1860 Sneed-Patton divorce settlement. The legal document provides a detailed plan for the separation of Mary Sneed and James Patton’s property, and the future yearly annuities that James was to pay. In this excerpt, the kitchen furniture is addressed–Mary keeps all that she brought to the marriage, and half of what they acquired during their short union.
  • Sneed-Woodward-Patton family papers: Correspondence, legal documents, financial records, and literary productions produced by the extended Sneed-Woodward-Patton Family in nineteenth century Texas.
  • Reverend Samuel Pascal Wright papers: Legal and personal documents pertaining to the family of Reverend Samuel Pascal Wright, a Texas pastor and president of Waco Female College from 1883-1887.
Samuel Pascal Wright family, 1930s (see Ford Model A in the background)
Descendants of Samuel Pascal Wright pose for a family photo, circa 1930s. (See the Ford Model A in the background.)

Connecting Resources in BARD

By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

BARD BannerIn our last post on BARD, we learned how to get to the database, where the finding aids are to different collections, and how to navigate within the finding aid to find the materials you want to see. In this post, we will discover how subject terms work in BARD, how to print or make a PDF of your search results, as well as how to navigate to related web pages.

You can enter the BARD system by clicking the link on our home page. Once in the system, you have several options for finding resources. For this example, let’s say you want to see all the collections that have anything to do with Baylor University at Independence. To look for this, you could enter the words “Baylor at Independence” in the search field in the center of the screen.

BARD screenshot-search Baylor at Independence

When I did this search, 55 results came up! Click “Display Finding Aid” under each entry to view further information about each collection.

Since we have thousands of collections in the database, you may wish to narrow your search by using the subject terms under the “Top Subject Clusters” on the left side of the page.

BARD screenshot--subject clusters

For example, you could click on the “Baylor University – Presidents” term to bring up just the collections on Baylor presidents that have to do with Baylor at Independence…

BARD screenshot--Baylor at Independence-Presidents-Preview view

…and this page will come up. Displayed are the five collections that have to do with Baylor University at Independence and also have something to do with Baylor presidents during that time.

You can click the “Select Format” menu on the upper-left side of the page to toggle between different views (Brief, Preview, or Full) that will give you more or less information. (The view above is Preview.)

BARD screenshot-change view

Let’s say that you have found some collections that you would like to examine at The Texas Collection. Since you are looking for something to do with Baylor University presidents at the time Baylor was at Independence, you probably want to see all five collections listed here, but you may not have time right now to peruse all the finding aids. Rather than writing down all five collections, you can print or save this list. Click on the “Brief” view under “Select format” on the left, and then click “Print/save” to open a window to print, or Print/save PDF to open a file to save.

BARD screenshot-Printing Brief view

By opening this view, you can then print using your browser’s print function, or save a PDF file to your flash drive. Now you can remember which specific finding aids to look at later and figure out which boxes you’ll need to use, which will help you set your research appointment with our staff.

BARD screenshot-Print screen

You can also explore collections that are filed under the same search terms from within a finding aid. Let’s say that you were intrigued by the BU Records: Baylor Historical Society finding aid from above. Go back to the main search page from before, and click on “Display Finding Aid.”

BARD screenshot-subject terms in finding aid

From within this window, go down to all the terms in blue under “Subjects.” These are all keywords that you can use to find similar collections within The Texas Collection. For example, you can click “Baylor University – Presidents” to see all the collections that we have indexed with that term.

BARD screenshot-BU presidents

This way of moving across connected collections can be very valuable, since many of our collections are connected to other collections.

You can also see resources consulted for the finding aids that you see in BARD. For example, let’s say you were reading along in the BU Records: Baylor at Independence finding aid.

BARD screenshot-Baylor at Independence finding aid

When you get down to the “Related Resources” part of the finding aid, there is a list of resources consulted for this finding aid. Many of these are in blue to indicate a hyperlink and can be clicked to take you directly to that resource or a catalog listing to tell you how to find it. If you clicked on “Murray, Lois Smith. Baylor at Independence. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 1972” the link would take you to that resource in BearCat, our library catalog. You would then have all the information you would need to request that book the next time you come to The Texas Collection.

BearCat screenshot-Baylor at Independence

When you are done viewing finding aids in BARD, be sure to close down the system properly. In the main search page, on the upper right corner, click the red “Log Out” to exit from BARD. Leaving the system in this way is very important to ensure the proper functioning of the system.

BARD-LogoutStay tuned for one more entry with helpful hints about using BARD!

In November 2013, the Baylor University Libraries officially opened BARD (Baylor Archival Repositories Database). This is the second post in an ongoing series to celebrate the opening of this digital research database, and show some of the new ways to find resources.

Texas over Time: Waco Hall Construction

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph collection. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of gifs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

Waco Hall construction

  • In 1922, Carroll Chapel and Library had a fire that gutted the building. The library was rebuilt, but without the chapel, so Baylor held its chapel services in other facilities. As the student body grew, it became increasingly difficult to find an adequate space.
  • Due to such building limitations and financial challenges, by 1928 Baylor was considering a move to Dallas—the city had offered $1.5 million in funds and land. In an effort to keep Baylor in Waco, the citizens of Waco pledged $1 million, conditional on the Texas Baptists also pledging $1 million.
  • The first $350,000 was to be raised quickly for the construction of a chapel. Just three weeks later Waco had raised $400,000.
  • Baylor officials broke ground for Waco Hall on June 25, 1929. Work commenced quickly and on May 27, 1930, at commencement, Waco Hall was officially dedicated and named in honor of the city that made the building possible.
  • The building looks a little different now—Roxy Grove Hall (the west wing) was added to the building in 1955, and the east wing was completed in 1965.


Fred Gildersleeve album, Waco Hall construction. Featured photos dated October 23, November 21, December 5, and December 26, 1929.

“Waco Hall Narrative” by David Eckenrode. Buildings–Waco Hall, Baylor University Subject File.


Baylor Quiz Time

by Amanda Norman, University Archivist

A "slime" (freshman) scrubs the Baylor seal in the foyer of Pat Neff Hall, 1951
Fortunately, freshmen aren’t imposed on anymore to use the toothbrush method to keep the Pat Neff Hall seal clean–and the seal is roped off to keep people from walking on it.

It’s back to school today—time for a quiz! These Baylor trivia questions are drawn from things I’ve learned through assisting patrons with reference questions. Test your knowledge of the green and gold—or learn more about Baylor’s past!

  1. When did Baylor have its first female yell leader?
  2. In the 1950s-1960s, AFROTC cadets practiced their rifle shooting in an indoor range in what building? a) Bill Daniel Student Center b) Rena Marrs McLean Gymnasium c) Penland Hall
  3. What does legend say is buried near the swing in Burleson Quadrangle?
  4. How many years elapsed between when Tidwell Bible Building was first proposed and when it was completed?
  5. True or False—A Baylor student designed the Baylor seal in the floor of the Pat Neff Hall foyer.
  6. How much money did George W. Truett raise to eliminate Baylor’s debt in his role as financial agent in the early 1890s?
  7. Sociology is a part of the College of Arts and Sciences now, but it hasn’t always been housed there. In what school did it reside in the 1920s?
  8. What subject did the first African-American professor at Baylor teach?
  9. How many classes celebrated their graduation at Baylor Stadium (now Floyd Casey Stadium)?
  10. Who coined Baylor’s motto, Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana?
Yell Leaders at Baylor (Floyd Casey) Stadium, circa 1970
The female yell leaders in this 1970s photo were not the first.
Vivienne Malone-Mayes in the classroom, undated
Vivienne Malone-Mayes in the classroom, undated


  1. Weta Timmons was elected a yell leader in 1923 and is heartily commended for her efforts in the Lariat. However, after her term and up to 1968, there were no female yell leaders. The decision to break that gender gap was much debated throughout the 1960s.
  2. a) Bill Daniel Student Center. From 1953 to about 1964, the AFROTC competitive shooting team carried rifles up four flights of stairs to the attic of the Student Union Building and practiced target shooting. Apparently you could hear the shots outside the building (through air vents) but not inside.
  3. An “Indian princess” from the Huaco Indian tribe. When Colonel Joseph Warren Speight owned the property, his daughters found turquoise beads beneath a tree where they were playing. Speight investigated and found the skeleton. According to a Huaco legend, a plague befell the tribe. The chief’s beloved daughter helped nurse the ill but eventually died herself, and the bones are hers. In the 1930s, a marker declaring the grave to be that of “an Indian Princess” was erected on the site but was later removed and then returned in 1988.
  4. Twenty-one years. The building was first conceived in 1933 but wasn’t completed till 1954. It was delayed due to fundraising challenges, including World War II and other building priorities like Baylor Stadium, Armstrong Browning Library, and the Student Union Building. Architectural problems also delayed the project—an overly ambitious initial design, leading to a new architect being engaged and a lawsuit. Check out BU Records: Tidwell Bible Building Campaign Committee at The Texas Collection
  5. True. Enrique Ramirez designed the seal for the building, which was completed in 1939. Ramirez was an art student who did various art and design projects for the university throughout his time at Baylor.
  6. Truett raised $100,000 in two years. Benajah Harvey (B.H.) Carroll, the president of the board of trustees, offered the job of financial agent to Truett, who accepted the position but suffered a bad case of the measles before he could start the job.  After completing the fundraising project, Truett enrolled at Baylor as a student in 1893, and, of course, went on to become a major figure in Texas Baptist history. In 1990, Baylor claimed his name for a future seminary, and in 1994, the first students began classes at George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University. Check out the George W. Truett papers at The Texas Collection. We also have many of the books he authored and audio recordings of his sermons.
  7. The School of Commerce and Business Administration, which was founded in 1923 (and now is known as the Hankamer School of Business). Political science and journalism are a few other departments that were housed in the new program but eventually were moved to the College of Arts and Sciences.
  8. Vivienne Malone-Mayes was hired as a mathematics professor at Baylor in 1966—only five years after she had been denied admittance to the school as a graduate student. She was among the first black women in the nation to earn a PhD in mathematics. Check out the Vivenne Malone-Mayes papers at The Texas Collection and her oral memoirs from the Institute for Oral History.
  9. Five. The classes of 1951-1955 celebrated commencement exercises at Baylor Stadium. In 1956, President Eisenhower came to Baylor and gave the commencement address. According to the Lariat, his advisors “much preferred that he speak in a completely enclosed building,” so the venue was moved that year to the (un-air conditioned and thus very warm) Heart O’ Texas Coliseum. Commencement was held there until 1988, when the Ferrell Center was constructed.
  10. Rufus Burleson. When he accepted the presidency of the university in 1851, he included an outline of institutional policies. Number eight on the list was, “The mottoes of Baylor University shall be, “Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana;” “Dulce et Decorum, pro patria Mori.” The Baylor seal still boasts the first motto, which translates to “For Church, For Texas.” The latter quote is attributed to the Roman poet Horace, and roughly translates to, “It is sweet and proper to die for your country.” It fell out of use as an official slogan—really, it’s not clear if it ever was adapted. Check out the Rufus C. Burleson papers at The Texas Collection.

You can read more about these stories and many others in the digitized Lariats, Round-Ups, and press releases, just a few of many Texas Collection items that can be found on the Baylor Digital Collections site. And if you want to investigate even further, drop me a line at The Texas Collection—we have archival records on many of these people and places.