The Small Collection Rundown, Part I


While roaming through the Southwest Collection stacks the other day, I noticed something. We have a large number of very small but unique collections. They don’t cover a wide variety of research topics, and as a result they might not always get the attention they deserve. That’s a shame, because they’re informative, interesting, and sometimes a little offbeat. Therefore today, in this blog, at least a handful of them have found their time to shine.

First off, the promised ‘offbeat’ item. Among the papers of Vaughn Monigold lie six buttons (six may seem like a little much, but as an archive we preserve everything.) They celebrate local underground celebrity Prairie Dog Pete, who some claim had a groundhog-like ability to predict the weather. The rest of Monigold’s papers are standard stuff, consisting primarily of photographs of prominent sights in Lubbock and the surrounding region. Our Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Records also mention a bit about Pete, but honestly, this folder full of prairie dog buttons? Surely that should make some researcher’s day.

AlphLambDelt combopack

The Alpha Lambda Delta Records, 1962-2008, are far more pedestrian than Monigold’s pile of rodent buttons. Alpha Lambda Delta was founded in 1924 at the University of Illinois to recognize academic excellence among freshmen women. The organization became co-educational in the 1970s in response to Title IX, and is still active today, having initiated over 850,000 students among its 260 chapters. All that being said, our collection of their materials is very small, consisting of only 2 boxes and assorted artifacts. In that small space, however, it documents much of the organizational and financial infrastructure of the group both locally and nationally. It also boasts a nearly-complete run of their publication, The Flame, from 1963 onward, the covers of which we’ve provided here.


The last sampling of our smaller collections comes from our  South Plains Quilters Guild Records. In July of 1976, an all-day quilting bee was held at the Mahon Library in Lubbock, Texas. Area quilt makers brought quilts for display and demonstrated methods of quilt making. The event aroused so much interest that several of those present decided to organize a quilting group. Originally named ‘The Quilting B’s’, in 1978 the group later changed the name to the South Plains Quilters Guild (SPQG). Many of its members competed in local and state competitions, contributing items such as a Hacienda Rose patterned-quilt that took home this ribbon from a Dallas-area event in 1996.


We have a host of correspondence, financial records, scrapbooks, and photographs of the SPQG’s activities for a span of nearly 40 years. We also have a sizable run of their Year Books, which contain member and event information for each year. I’m going to be honest: before scanning these Year Books, I arranged them in this vaguely quilt-like pattern on purpose.

spqgquilt photos004

We’ve saved the best of the SPQG records for last: actual quilts! Check out the one with the dragon on it. That’s some serious quilting, right there. Although these are only photographs of the organization’s creations, we have a couple of actual quilts carefully preserved among our other textile artifacts.

As always, our Reference Staff can get these collections into your hands if you’d like to give us a visit!