Friends of the Texas A&M University Libraries

  • Collection
  • Spaces
  • Preservation

The Friends of the Texas A&M University Libraries exist to cultivate student success with research collections, digital technology and study spaces; to assist in fundraising for library priorities and to promote membership in the Friends.

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Current Projects

This year the Friends are asking that you join in helping the Libraries with a critical need as well as a distinguished project. Your membership dues will support the Libraries’ pandemic response and The Folger Institute “Road Show” featuring the University Libraries’ Book History Workshop:

  • The COVID-19 virus has drastically changed the way Texas A&M provides both physical and virtual resources to Aggies while maintaining a healthful environment. Safety and wellness are the utmost priority for the students, faculty and staff at A&M. A&M’s budget has been cut for at least the next two fiscal years and additional funding is needed to cover the cost of protecting the scholars and staff who use our facilities. This year your Friends membership will go towards covering a portion of the extra cost associated with the Libraries’ pandemic response (protective barriers, signage, furniture for outdoor study spaces and real-time occupancy monitoring, to name just a few.)
  • The Folger Institute is an outreach wing of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. There are 40+ academic institutions in the US and UK who are members of this consortium and Texas A&M has the privileged position of being one. The Folger Institute offers first-rate seminars and programs during which leading scholars and advanced graduate students can discover more about the culture and legacies of the early modern world. Typically, these programs would take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library, however it is closed for the next couple of years due to renovations. So, the Folger Institute proposed a “road show” of sorts and invited members to pitch ideas for teaching a class. The proposal pitched by Kevin O’Sullivan (Cushing Memorial Library & Archives’ Curator for Rare Books and Manuscripts and Director of the Book History Workshop) in connection with Margaret Ezell (Distinguished Professor of English at Texas A&M) titled “Making Meaning: Hands-on Basic Paleography and Book Production” was unanimously voted by the Institute to be featured and will be hosted in the new Printing Press Classroom in the Evans Library Annex next summer. This year your Friends membership dues will support this immersive experience of manuscript production by underwriting a portion of the cost for writing desks and other equipment to facilitate innovative instruction.

Partner with the Friends of the Texas A&M University Libraries and help preserve the spirit of Texas A&M.

Equipment

As part of a $150,000 initiative for the University Libraries’ Preservation Unit, the Friends funded the purchase of a high-resolution book scanning system – the fastest, highest quality book scanner utilizing two camera systems with a dual pedal-operated book cradle. Some book bindings are fragile and cannot be placed on a flat scanner. This technology digitizes through photography while protecting the original material. This type of digitization not only preserves items, but also allows the Libraries to make collections accessible globally.

Friends Preservation Assistance Program

Part of the Preservation Initiative was also used to establish the Friends Preservation Assistance Program Fund which will be used to aid other A&M organizations and/or departments in reviewing, identifying, and preserving collections crucial for academic success and protecting items that are historically significant to Aggie history.

The Preservation Unit is currently collaborating with the College of Architecture to work on several items in the Ernest Langford Collection. Many items from the collection are being considered, but Mr. Langford’s 1913 A&M diploma will almost certainly be among them.

Past Friends Projects

Art Restoration

The Friends funded the restoration of the Desert Traders artwork.

Before Treatment
Before Treatment: Most of the damage to the piece was around the woman and the rug beside her.
After Treatment
After Treatment.

Conservation

The Friends funded the conservation of the World War I service flag and the Corregidor flag. The conservator was able to stabilize both flags and prevent any further damage to the treasures.

University Libraries’ 6 Millionth Volume

The Friends funded the purchase of the University Libraries’ 6 millionth volume: Extracts from the Votes and Proceedings of the American Continental Congress, 1774, 1775. The final and most complete version of the Extracts condenses the most important proceedings of the First Continental Congress and adds the proceedings of a Pennsylvania convention of January 1775. This final, complete version of the Extracts is significantly rarer than any of the version published later in 1774.