Alkek Library

Texas State University’s primary library is the Albert B. Alkek Library. On the seventh level of the Alkek Library are the Wittliff collections on Southwestern writers and Southwestern and Mexican photography.

In 1991, Albert B. Alkek, a former student who became an oilman, rancher, and philanthropist, was honored with the naming of the university library. The Texas State University (formerly known as Southwest Texas State University) community relies on the Albert B. Alkek Library as its primary, campus-wide academic resource. The library is a depository for federal and state papers, so it receives a lot of federal and state publications. By providing patroncentered services, comprehensive and diverse collections, individual and collaborative learning environments, innovative technologies, and opportunities to learn, create, and discover, the library is able to further the University’s teaching and research mission and support students, faculty, staff, and the greater community.

Over 1.5 million print texts, 2 million microfilm & audio-visual resources, 546,700 e-books, 471 databases, 110,800+ e-journals, University Archives, and Texas Education Agency-approved curricular materials for K-12 can be found across the Library’s seven floors. Not only does the Library house an enormous number of books and journals, but it also has specialized collections that can only be found at this particular University. The King of the Hill archives, the works of famous authors like Cormac McCarthy, Sandra Cisneros, and Sam Shepard, and the Lonesome Dove collection are all part of the Library’s extensive collection.

Accessing the Library

Anyone can search the library’s digital catalog for books, movies, journals, and more. The general public can often access library materials. The TexShare initiative makes it possible for many Texans to borrow books, not simply those enrolled at Texas State or employed there. Only current students, staff, and faculty of Texas State University are permitted access to electronic books and databases. The 1st level has instructional technologies, which aid teachers and students with things like multimedia creation, classroom support, Internet rollout, and website building.

The Wittliff Archive

William D. Wittliff established the Wittliff Collections in 1987 on the seventh floor of Texas State University’s Albert B. Alkek Library. Both the Southwestern Writers Collection and the Southwestern and Mexican Photography Collection are housed in the Wittliff Collections.

Southwestern Writers Collection

Included in the Collection are the papers of several prominent authors from the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Jim Hightower, Rick Riordan, Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, Willie Nelson, Sam Shepard, Sergio Troncoso, Bud Shrake, Texas Monthly magazine, and William D. Wittliff.

The film collection includes complete production archives for some well-known films, such as the TV serial Lonesome Dove, and more than 500 screenplays for movies and TV shows. Primary source collections of Progressive country, Tejano music, Texas Blues (featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan), and Western Swing are just a few examples of the wide range of popular Texas sounds represented in the library’s music holdings.

Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection

From the early 1900s to the present day, the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection compiles a wide variety of photographic work from the Southwestern United States and Mexico. The focus is on modern visuals. Books, manuscripts, serial publications, and ephemera relating to photography are also included.

Collections of significant size by such photographers as Keith Carter, Russell Lee (vintage pictures), Mariana Yampolsky, Kate Breakey, Rocky Schenck, Graciela Iturbide, Lázaro Blanco, Yolanda Andrade, and others can be found in the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection.

San Marcos

San Marcos, Texas serves as the administrative center for Hays County. Caldwell and Guadalupe counties are also included in the city’s limits. There is a direct route between Austin and San Antonio via San Marcos, as the city sits on Interstate 35. From a population of 44,894 in 2010 to an expected 67,553 in 2020, the city is growing rapidly. Located on the banks of the San Marcos River, this area is widely recognized as one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the Americas. In addition to being home to Texas State University, San Marcos is also where the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment can be found.

In 2010, Business Week’s fourth annual research found that San Marcos is one of the “Best Places to Raise Your Kids.” The US Census Bureau identified it as the city with the highest rate of growth in the country in both 2013 and 2014. On Business Insider’s list of the “10 Most Exciting Small Cities in America,” it came in at number nine in December 2013.

In 1689, a group of Spaniards led by Mexican native Alonso de Leon set out to discover Texas and establish settlements there through the construction of missions and forts. The Camino Real (now known as Old San Antonio Road) was laid out by De Leon’s group, which eventually gave place to the streets of today’s Hunter Road, Hopkins Street, and Aquarena Springs Drive (the route later shifted four miles to the south; it is now followed by County Road 266, known locally as Old Bastrop Highway). De Leon’s party arrived on April 25—the feast day of St. Mark the Evangelist—and the river was renamed the San Marcos.

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Next Point of Interest: LBJ Museum in San Marcos