Preserving Western Heritage and History

The purpose of the Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and J. Evetts Haley History Center is to facilitate the study of our Southwestern Texas history.

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

NEW IN 2021: Electronic Card Catalog of our entire book holdings. On our shelves are books, magazines, and periodicals found no where else. Significant to historians and researchers, our book stacks can be researched via our new electronic catalog.

The Mission of The Haley Library & Research Center

J. Evetts Haley created a privately managed Trust for the benefit of those who choose to research the history of the Great Southwest. The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library & J. Evetts Haley History Center maintains and administers the astonishing research collections utilized by J. Evetts Haley and other notable historians for their published works of the history of the frontier development of the Southwestern U. S. These collections include interviews, documents, correspondence, maps, manuscripts, and photographs that reveal the lives of those pioneers that settled the open ranges following the War Between the States.  The history of the vast ranges of the western two thirds of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona is unique to the American experience and is available at no charge to researchers, both professional and casual.

full size bronze in front of haley library

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

The collections and programs of the Haley Library and the History Center concentrate on the common threads between the cowboy, the range cattle industry, military and railroads. Each industry depended on the other in order to expand. The settlement of the West could not have occurred without these elements co existing and growing together.

Established in 1976, this remarkable institution has endured the test of time. Offered in the collections are printed and manuscript materials on western exploration, frontier military history, early railroads, the development of ranching and farming, mining, politics, frontier social history and material on regional and local Texas histories.

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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.

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

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

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

The bulk of the Library’s primary historical sources, however, remain to be utilized by historians and writers who will disseminate this rich western history to students and the general public. J. Evetts Haley interviewed almost 700 Southwestern pioneers personally. These resources provide an exceptionally fertile, meaningful historical insight.

Who knows how many fascinating histories, dynamic biographies and screenplays lie within these hundreds of interviews. With added financial resources, the Haley Library plans to stimulate increased research on the archival materials by publicizing Library holdings through electronic media, creating award programs for writers and expanding the Library’s capability for publishing.

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.

Help Us Preserve Your Western Heritage

Your membership ensures that our work continues for every generation to benefit from. Join today and receive the latest “Haley Library Newsletter” and be placed on the Library Master List to be sure to receive all event mail-outs either digitally or in hard copy (your preference).  The Library Calendar of Events will keep you up to date on upcoming events from fine art shows and exhibits to book signings, our annual “Fall Gathering Ranch Storytelling and Foy Proctor Cowman’s Award of Honor” event.

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