roseopt.gif (8507 bytes) Special Collections Division
the University of Texas
at Arlington Libraries

Vol. XIII * No. 1 * Fall '99

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Celebrating the Donations of Jenkins and Virginia Garrett

On March 3, 1974, newspapers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area reported, "One of the nation’s most extensive collections of Texas history will be presented formally to the University of Texas at Arlington . . . . The Jenkins Garrett Collection of Texana and the Mexican War contains priceless books, broadsides, newspapers, manuscripts, original documents, currency, sheet music and other research items. The collection is a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins Garrett of Fort Worth." The gala opening of the Garrett Collection on the sixth floor of the Central Library in 1974 was attended by 500 people and hosted by UTA President Wendell Nedderman. Thus began the UTA Libraries’ close relationship with the Garretts.

To commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Garretts’ original gift and to recognize their major donations over the years, Special Collections has mounted an exhibition entitled "Legacies: Celebrating the Donations of Jenkins and Virginia Garrett." The exhibition opened on August 15 and will run through December 1999.

Sam Houston LetterThe exhibition graphically displays the Garretts’ broad collecting interests and their generosity to share their collections with others. Some of the "gems" currently on display in the exhibit include broadsides like the Texas Declaration of Independence (March 2, 1836) and a declaration of causes of the Texas Revolution titled "Declaration of the People of Texas In General Convention Assembled" (November 7, 1835). Texas currency in various denominations and from various years (1835-1862) as well as newspapers from the U. S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848, are on display. Sheet music was an interest of the Garretts, and it is represented in the exhibit, including an early edition of "Texas, Our Texas," the official state song designated by the Texas Legislature in May 1929.

Of course, Mr. Garrett began as a book collector, and books are well represented in the exhibit. Among the authors whose works are on display are J. Frank Dobie, Tom Lea, William A. Owens, Paul Horgan, and Frederick Law Olmsted. Mrs. Garrett’s interests in cartographic history and some of her many donations are also included. Strikingly beautiful and historically significant maps, such as Michael Mercator’s America Sive India Nova (1595) and Aaron Arrowsmith’s Map of America (1804), are displayed, as are a number of commercial atlases and school geographies from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Special Collections invites the public to view the "Legacies" exhibition and discover the rich historical legacy that Jenkins and Virginia Garrett have provided for current and future generations. If you have questions about the exhibition, please feel free to contact Katherine R. Goodwin at (817) 272-5329 (phone), (817) 272-3360 (fax), and email <>.

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Special Collections
The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries
Phone: (817) 272-3393 * Fax: (817) 272-3360 * E-mail: Reference Desk

This page last update on Wednesday, June 25, 2003