What is Poage Library?
From the outside, passers-by might easily mistake Baylor’s W. R. Poage Legislative Library Center for just a part of Moody or Jones libraries. If you attended Baylor in the last 40 years, chances are good that you walked by Poage countless times — but you might not have even noticed it, and you very likely never set foot inside.
But the building houses one of Baylor’s most interesting collections — more than 100 years of diverse congressional history. As Poage turns 40, here’s a look at what exactly this library has to offer Baylor students, faculty, and other researchers.
Poage Library was dedicated on Sept. 21, 1979, as a collection of political materials for graduate students. Featuring a congressional research center, the library was named for Baylor graduate William R. Poage (AB ’21, LLB ’24), who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1937-78. Poage Library houses Rep. Poage’s congressional papers and those of more than 20 other national, state and local leaders, from U.S. and Texas congressmen to prominent judges to diplomats and more. One highlight of the collection is the archives of former Texas Lieutenant Governor (and Baylor alumnus) Bob Bullock. The Bullock Archives contain 26 volumes of the 1958 Baylor Law grad’s speeches, spanning the years 1975-98.
Poage Library also features a highly active Graduate Research Center dedicated to supporting and inspiring Baylor’s graduate students by providing rooms for collaborations, conferences, and even a special visualization studio with a 20- by 4-foot VizWall.
Over the past 40 years, Poage Library has greatly expanded its collections. Besides the collections of papers mentioned above, the library also includes the records of the Libertarian Party of Texas and the McLennan County Democratic Party and the Jack E. Hightower Book Vault, which features many rare and collectable books. Many of the library’s records have been digitized for easy viewing.
Sic ’em, Poage Library!