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The Texas Music Collection currently displays a songbook that Willie Nelson created when he was 11 years old. (Photo by Kevin Stillman)

To fully appreciate the diverse offerings of The Wittliff Collections, visitors first need to know that the handsome, 4,080-square-foot archive has two major components—the Southwestern Writers Collection and the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection. The repository has grown substantially since it was established in 1986, and today preserves works of many of the region’s important writers, filmmakers, and musicians, as well as artifacts such as storyboards from the King of the Hill TV series.


The Lonesome Dove Collection includes the award-winning miniseries' final shooting script autographed by the entire cast. (Photo by Kevin Stillman)

On the seventh floor of the Alkek Library in the middle of Texas State University, I take in windowed views of the spring-fed San Marcos River and the hilly, wooded alma mater of Lyndon Johnson, and then I walk through a place that always feels like a piece of home. The newly expanded Wittliff Collections has reopened following a year of remodeling, with more space now for displaying the wealth of photography in the archive’s holdings, which ranges from a centennial of the great Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee to the Texas prison-farm artistry of Danny Lyon.

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