Alamo Colleges faculty and students still will be able to access the collection at Texas A&M University.
By Rebecca Salinas
Despite the fourth floor of Moody Learning Center being closed for construction, librarians from Texas A&M University, College Station, packed up the Lois Goddard Morrison Collection Thursday to transfer to their university’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.
The Alamo Colleges board of trustees approved the donation of the 18th-century collection during their December regular board meeting.
Director Eileen Oliver said the collection was lightly used since its 1968 establishment.
“It’s kind of a waste to have a valuable collection of materials sitting there, we felt it would be better used at a university where there is research and more in-depth research takes place,” Oliver said.
According to an interlocal agreement, “The advent of the Internet has reduced the demand for physical access to such collections as the (Morrison) Collection …”
It also states the Internet has reduced the value of the collections and value lies upon cataloguing such items for the Internet.
Oliver said this college first initiated the transfer because the collection was lightly used, although, she said English professors wanted it to remain because of its value.
The McAllister Collection, which has Texas-related materials, will remain on the fourth floor of the library, along with the Daughters of the American Revolution’s collection.
Oliver said a rare books dealer evaluated the Morrison collection several years ago and he found several institutions that could make good use of the collection.
The Ranger reported that the collection was valued at $444,503.99.
She said Texas A&M already has a 17th-century collection of books, so they also wanted to have an 18th century collection of materials.
“I’m very happy that it is going to a research institute where it is going to be used, because that is the purpose of the collection, not to just sit in a room and not be used,” she said. “I think it’s a very positive outcome for the collection.”
Only the original material Morrison donated is being transferred to Texas A&M, Oliver said.
“No materials that are being donated have been added to it from us,” Oliver said.
There are about 4,200 items in the collection and 1,100 of them are from Morrison herself.
Morrison was a former dean of women at this college for 14 years who retired in 1968.
The collection contains British literature pieces from the mid-17th to 18th centuries with items such as The Spectator, The Tatler and The Bee.
Works from authors Edgar Allan Poe, Eustace Budgell and Joseph Addison are also featured in the collection.
Oliver said the collection had to remain under lights to prevent mildew and mold, and a special air conditioning unit had to be installed to house the collection in the Baskin Suite.
The fourth floor of Moody is under construction and the air conditioning unit will have to be upgraded for the other collections.
Oliver said the extra space will be used for a reading area with large tables to look at material from the other collections and a meeting area.
According to the agreement, faculty and students from the Alamo Colleges still will be able to access the collection during Cushing’s library business hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, call the Cushing staff at 979-845-1951 or visit cushing.library.tamu.edu.