Texas over Time: Carroll Library, Baylor University, Waco

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. 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.

CarrollLibrary• Home to the first library at Baylor University and The Texas Collection, the plans for the construction of F. L. Carroll Library were introduced in 1901 and the then Chapel and Library were completed in 1903.
• The Chapel and Library was a gift from F. L. Carroll and along with the Carroll Science Hall (funded by F.L.’s son, G.W. Carroll), the Lariat announced their constructions under the headline “Greater Baylor Begins.”
• The first floor housed the library with special book collections donated by several individuals, including Dr. A. J. Armstrong. The chapel was located on the second floor of the building covered by a dome and decorated with stained glass windows.
• On February 11, 1922, the Chapel and Library caught fire from an unknown source and destroyed the majority of the interior. Many students and faculty risked their safety to retrieve the library’s books and documents, saving over half of the total collection.
• The building was renovated between 1922 and 1924; the chapel was not reconstructed and a third floor took its place.  A basement was also added to the renovations, and many of the original stone and brickwork were kept intact on the architecture.
• With the building running out of room, the central library was moved to the new Moody Memorial Library in 1968.
• Over the years, various departments, the Strecker Museum, and the J. B. Tidwell Bible Library were located at Carroll Library for brief periods of time.
• In 1992, a severe hail storm damaged many of the windows so the building was once again renovated and fully functional in 1994.
• As of 2016, the building houses The Texas Collection, the Institute for Oral History, the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society, and the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies.


Fiedler, Randy. “The Carroll Library Fire.” Baylor Magazine. Baylor University, Fall 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.

Amanda Dietz, “F. L. Carroll Chapel and Library,” Waco History, accessed March 24, 2016.

GIF and factoids by Haley Rodriguez, archives student assistant. See these and other images of Carroll Library in our Flickr set.

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