Haley Memorial Library and J. Evetts Haley History Center

Preserving Western Heritage and History

The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and J. Evetts Haley History Center is a highly esteemed institution that serves an important purpose in facilitating the study of Southwestern Texas history. It provides a valuable resource for individuals who are interested in learning more about the rich history of our region.

The Library houses more than 25,000 books, manuscripts and other printed material documenting western history.

Researchers! See our entire book holdings in the new electronic card catalog.

The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and J. Evetts Haley History Center is a renowned research library that houses a unique collection of books, magazines, and periodicals. Our collection is of great significance to historians and researchers who are looking to deepen their understanding of Southwestern Texas history. In addition, our state-of-the-art electronic catalog provides convenient access to our extensive book stacks.

Access Card Catalog

I found what I was already beginning to suspect – that history was not confined to Greece and Rome, but was also on the ranges all around me.

J. Evetts Haley

J. Evetts haley’s vision

The Mission of The Haley Library & Research Center

The Haley Memorial Library and History Center is a privately managed Trust founded by J. Evetts Haley. It serves as an exceptional resource for scholars and researchers interested in the captivating history of the Great Southwest. The Library preserves and manages a remarkable collection of research materials, which have been extensively utilized by J. Evetts Haley and other eminent historians in their published works on the frontier development of the Southwestern United States.

The Library’s extensive collections encompass a diverse range of primary source materials, such as interviews, documents, correspondence, maps, manuscripts, and photographs. These records provide valuable insights into the lives of the intrepid pioneers who settled the vast open ranges of the Southwestern United States in the aftermath of the Civil War. The historical significance of this region, spanning the western two-thirds of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, is unparalleled in the annals of American history. The Library is committed to promoting access to these resources, and offers them free of charge to all researchers, whether they are professionals or enthusiasts.

Learn more about the library

The Haley Library and History Center have a specialized focus on the interconnectedness of the cowboy, range cattle industry, military, and railroads. These industries depended on each other for growth and expansion, and their coexistence was essential to the settlement of the West.

Since its establishment in 1976, the Haley Library and History Center have been committed to preserving and providing access to a diverse array of primary source materials related to western exploration, frontier military history, early railroads, ranching and farming development, mining, politics, frontier social history, and regional and local Texas histories. This exceptional institution has stood the test of time and continues to offer valuable resources for researchers and scholars interested in these fields.

Western Historical Resources Available For Historians & Writers

The majority of the historical sources at the Library have yet to be utilized by historians and writers, which presents an opportunity for disseminating the rich history of the western region to students and the general public. J. Evetts Haley conducted nearly 700 interviews with Southwestern pioneers, offering valuable and insightful historical resources. These interviews may hold countless captivating stories, compelling biographies, and engaging screenplays. To promote increased research on the archival materials, the Haley Library aims to enhance their resources by publicizing their holdings through electronic media, creating award programs for writers, and expanding their publishing capabilities, provided with additional financial support.

Need Research Assistance? Call our Archivist at (432) 682-5785

Preserving Ranching Heritage: Listen to the Stories of the Families and Ranchers Who Forged It

The Fall Gathering and Foy Proctor Cowman’s Award of Honor is a day-long event that celebrates the southwest’s ranchers and their families, who have made significant contributions to the region. It is often referred to as the Library’s “reunion of hats,” and attendees can expect to hear captivating stories that are unlike any other. These videos offer a sneak peek of the inspiring stories from real cowboys and ranchers who have helped shape this region over the past several decades.

Watch the videos

Authors and Researchers

Prolific western novelist Elmer Kelton credits the Haley Library materials for inspiring many of his books.

Pecos and lincoln county war

dudley cramer

The information, first-hand, of what happened is not available anywhere else” notes historian Dudley Cramer whose recent book on the notorious Pecos and Lincoln County War derived from research at the Haley Library.

Pecos and lincoln county war

dudley cramer

Historian Robert Utley also relied on research at the Haley Library for his highly acclaimed book on Billy the Kid.

Billy the kid

Robert Utley

Patrick Dearen‘s several books on the forbidding Pecos River area of West Texas depended on original historical records found exclusively at the Library.

To Hell or The Pecos

patrick dearen

Book Collection

The Haley Library book stacks reveal a collection of primary sourced non-fiction that is recognized by researchers as the “best of its kind” in the Southwestern U.S.

Countless authors over the last 40 plus years have benefited from their research from the shelves of the Haley Library collections.  The topically arranged shelves reveal thousands of scarce pamphlets and rare books found in but a few libraries across the country, private or public.  This non-lending collection is a treasure trove to researchers for primary source material.

Archive Collection

The Haley Library archives contain a vast resource of interviews, maps, images and personal papers from many of the pillars of the range and ranches of the Southwest.

The Archive Collections at the Haley Library contain an amazing array of some 700 plus interviews conducted by J. Evetts Haley with old trail drivers, XIT Ranch foremen, surviving participants of New Mexico’s Lincoln County War and the Billy the Kid story.  Interviews of old time cowmen that built the large fenced ranches that followed the end of the open range era reveal the trials and struggles of people like Charles Goodnight and his contemporaries.

Haley Library Archives
Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00