Since our Reading Room is closed, we wanted to take a moment to provide an anchoring blog post for researchers interested in continuing their work remotely. Below are some links and general guidelines for accessing Southwest Collection materials from the comfort of your home.
Though our Reading Room may be closed, many archival materials can still be accessed on our digital repository.
Our digital repository contains materials from all special collections in our building: Southwest, University Archives, Crossroads of Music, Rare Books, the Sowell Family Collection, and Oral History. Click on any “community” to browse collections generally, and then there is the option to browse “sub-communities.” https://collections.swco.ttu.edu
Specifically regarding newspapers: Our dspace contains over 126 different newspaper titles from across West Texas that encompasses 264,000 text-searchable issues, with more added daily. The direct link for these newspapers is: https://newspapers.swco.ttu.edu (click the community “newspapers” for a full list of titles).
Tips for navigating dspace:
- Each community will display the most recent submissions first at the bottom.
- Sub-communities allow our departments to group archival material by collection or topic. They are incredibly helpful if you are trying to find specific thematic materials.
- For more general research, the search bar on the right side allows you to search the entire digital repository. Once you click on any community, you can further narrow your search to the specific community you are currently browsing.
- The search function crawls titles of files, as well as any text-searchable documents.
- Further, the tool bar on the right allows you to filter or narrow the material you are viewing by author, subject, and date within the community.
- Because of the variety of ways to describe archival materials, we highly recommend searching utilizing different keywords and terms. Alternative phrases might allow you to find information in multiple collections that you would not have anticipated. Also, sometimes it is helpful to just browse entire collections—with extra time at home, you never know what gems may be lurking in our digital repository!
- Once you click on an item, click on the “view/open” link below the thumbnail to access the file. Most materials are either .pdf or .jpg format, and your browser setting will determine if the file opens in a new window or if you are prompted to download.
- For more information and metadata on each file, scroll down on the page and click on “show full item record.”
- The URI link on each item page provides a permanent web link if you need to access the file again. We recommend you use that link for any research citations.
Many empty tables await researchers for when our building reopens!
Digital Resources for Collections Accessible Only In-Person
If you want to jump-start your next research trip to Lubbock, here are a few places you’ll want to check out to get started.
TARO Finding Aids
The Texas Archival Resources Online provides finding aids for collections throughout the SWC/SCL. These materials will not necessarily have been digitized, but they do provide detailed inventories and general information on collections housed in our building.
More information on how to use finding aids can be found in this previous blog post.
The Southwest Collection also has many collections without TARO finding aids at this time. More general information about those collections can be found here.
The Reading Room has over 14,000 files with general information about West Texas and the greater Southwest region. These reference files contain news clippings, brochures, inventories, and oral history information. They can normally be photocopied in-house, and provide an excellent starting point for researchers.
More information on the Southwest Collection’s prodigious oral history collection of over 6,500 interviews can be found on our oral history wiki. These recordings have traditionally been abstracted, which are included on this site. If an interview has been transcribed, it will be housed on dspace.
The SWC also has donated oral history collections (with thousands of recordings); a preliminary list is found here. Any links to finding aids or other information are given when available.
If a more traditional card catalog is your preferred method of research, here is the direct link to the Texas Tech University Libraries online catalog.
Tip: if you want to search for just SWC/SCL materials, click the “advanced search” link to the right of the search bar. It will allow you to limit the scope of your search, and from there you can choose either “Southwest Collection/Special Collections” which focuses on physical materials in house (books, collections, oral histories) or “Southwest/Special Collections Digital Content” which focuses on our dspace holdings.
As always, our Reference Staff is a phone call or email away with any questions researchers have. Feel free to reach out to them, as well as any employee of the Southwest Collection. Our contact information can be found here.