About the Haley Memorial Library
The Library is a privately-funded, independent, charitable institution that cherishes its independence from local, state and federal governments.
Come to the Library to enjoy spirited, inspiring history and the heritage of Texas and the Southwest frontier.
The Proud History and Spirit - Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library & J. Evetts Haley Research Center
The Haley Library and Research Center works to preserve the history of Texas and the American Southwest. Housed in the Haley Library are thousands of books, original records, art and artifacts that hold forever the key to our heritage.
The Library was founded by J. Evetts Haley in 1961 to share the history, traditions and ideals of early Texas and the Southwest. It provides and promotes continuous research on this unique period in American history. Dedicated to the memory of his late wife, Nita Haley, the facility opened its doors in 1976.
J. Evetts Haley left his lifetime collection of books, records, interviews, photos and notes accumulated over fifty years to the Library. The Haley Collection has served as a magnet for the Library's continuous acquisition of historically valuable books, documents, photographs, art and entire private collections. Reflecting the drama of the Western frontier and the dynamic spirit of its founder, the Haley Library is a vibrant institution offering diverse programs for everyone...from cowboys, connoisseurs to kids...yet always upholding its primary purpose as a professional research facility.
The Library Founder: J. Evetts Haley (1901 - 1995)
The preeminent historian of the Southwestern range, J. Evetts Haley, founded the Haley Library and History Center to preserve the history, traditions and ideals of frontier Texas and the Southwest and to promote continuous research on this extraordinary period in American history. J. Evetts Haley founded the Library in the firm belief that an understanding of history will enable present and future generations to live with greater wisdom and strength.
The son of pioneer ranchers near Midland, Texas , J. Evetts Haley was a working rancher throughout his life. His hands-on familiarity with Southwestern ranch life gave this cowboy-scholar uniquely keen insights into his historical subjects.
J. Evetts Haley stands among the finest writers on the American West. Historian, biographer, essayist, folklorist, polemicist and master prose stylist, J. Evetts Haley wrote more than twenty books and hundreds of articles and editorials. His work achieved not only meticulously accurate historical documentation but powerfully distilled the essence of the western range experience. As historian and lyrical writer in the classical tradition, Haley captured the soul, spirit and beauty of the ephemeral western frontier...the authentic cowboy, so beloved by the whole world and still emblematic of the American character.
J. Events Haley is most widely known for his range and ranch histories and for his biographies of pioneers such as ranch builder Charles Goodnight and Texas Ranger Jeff Milton. Widely acclaimed as a literary and historical masterpiece, Haley's Charles Goodnight Cowman and Plainsman has been in continuous print for over sixty years. John Wayne once noted that if the Southwestern range itself could speak, it would ask for J. Evetts Haley to tell its own true story.. a lively story more exciting in fact than in fiction.
Historian T. R. Fehrenbach describes the uniqueness of J. Evetts Haley,
"In a country where more cows are kept than books. he became a scholar...He made himself master of the English language in all its manifestations. Steeped in the pragmatism of the frontier, he reads the philosophers of the ages."