From Alice Specht, ALC Council Chair, Dean of Libraries, Hardin-Simmons University
Abilene, Texas The West Texas Digital Archives, an online digital repository of significant historical materials belonging to the members of the Abilene Library Consortium (ALC), is now available online at http://wtda.alc.org/. This virtual collection of more than 44,000 preserves and provides access to valuable historical resources previously unavailable to the general public.
The Archives contains photographs, newspapers, yearbooks, letters, oral histories, periodicals, manuscripts, journals, papers, maps, directories, pamphlets and more, as well as audio files. Abilene Christian University features the Boyd Collection of oral histories documenting the development of African-American Churches of Christ. Abilene Public Library presents early issues of the Abilene Daily Reporter and Taylor County News. The Hardin-Simmons University Abilene Photograph Collection contains 10,000 images provided by members of the Abilene Community. Howard Payne University offers early issues of the Brownwood Bulletin. McMurry University collections contain a variety of university publications. The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum features their newsletter, the Hellcat News.
The West Texas Digital Archives makes it possible for these rare historical resources to be used by a wide range of people regardless of geographical limits. These materials will be useful to the casual browser, the school child and the scholarly researcher, all from the convenience of their computer screen.
The ALC libraries (Abilene Christian University Library, Abilene Public Library, Hardin-Simmons University Library, Howard Payne University Library & McMurry University Library) began the digital archives project in 2004. In 2006, the project received funding from the Dodge Jones Foundation and the Dian Graves Owen Foundation. The West Texas Digital Archives was developed in conjunction with @mire, NV.