University of North Texas Archives
Denton, Texas 76203-5017
The University of North Texas Archives originated in 1974 in discussions between UNT Library Director, David Webb, and Drs. Robert LaForte and Jack Scroggs in the History Department. It's creation was officially announced in 1975 by President C. C. Nolen and its purpose is to house university records of enduring value and to document the development of north central Texas. There have been three archivists in charge of the UNT Archives: Dr. Robert LaForte 1975-1985, Richard Himmel 1985-2006, and Michelle M. Mears 2006-present.
All of the materials in the Archives fall into four categories: University Records, Historical Manuscripts, Oral Histories, and County Records. The Archives houses approximately 9500 linear feet of processed and unprocessed university material and manuscript collections, including an estimated 700,000 photographs. There are about 1600 oral history transcripts in the Archives, which were generated mostly by the Oral History Program in the UNT History Department, and document various historical topics. Approximately four hundred ledgers from Cooke and Montague counties and microfilmed records from Denton, Wise, Cooke, and Montague counties are included in the Archives collections.
Access to information in the Archives is governed by federal law, the Texas Public Information Act, and contractual agreement with donors. Material in the Archives does not circulate and must be used in the reading room. No food or beverages are allowed in the Archives and visitors will be requested to put their belongings in a locker while they are using materials from the collections. Researchers who will be conducting in-depth research in the Archives will need to call ahead and schedule an appointment. The phone number in the Archives is (940) 565-2766.
The University Archives houses a variety of records from the institution's administrative and academic offices. Included in these holdings are the records of the presidents of the university, the minutes of the Board of Regents, fiscal reports, catalogs, yearbooks, records from the UNT Health Center, and over 700,000 photographic prints and negatives of buildings and people at the university. Although the records date from the university's creation in 1890, holdings are minimal before 1900. One resource in constant use is the subject collection of clippings concerning the university. Although incomplete, this subject collection does contain information clipped from newspapers between 1935 and 1994. Researchers find this subject arrangement useful because many of the local newspapers are not indexed. Information from the University Records Division has been used for a number of articles concerning the university and was the primary source for university publications, Down the Corridor of Years: A Centennial History of the University of North Texas in Photographs, 1890-1990 by Robert S. La Forte and Richard Himmel and The Story of North Texas: From Texas Normal College, 1890, to the University of North Texas System, 2001 by James L. Rogers.
Theses and Dissertations are a special category of materials at the UNT Libraries. Some are available in microfilm format. Theses and dissertations written from 1973 to the present, excluding those filed electronically, are located in the Microforms Department, Willis Library Lower Level. The archival copies of older UNT Theses and Dissertations are stored off site. Therefore, researchers will need to request this material in advance so that it can be retrieved from off-site storage by Archives staff for use in the Archives' reading room.
The personal papers of dozens of individuals from north central Texas can be found in the holdings of the manuscripts collection of the University Archives. These individuals include: American diplomat and National Commander of the American Legion, Alvin M. Owsley; Texas legislator and federal judge, Sarah T. Hughes; Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Fred H. Minor; and the founder and CEO of the Nocona Boot Company, Enid Justin. This division also houses the records of a number of current and former businesses in the metroplex, including Morrison Milling Company, the Fort Worth Stockyards Company, and the Duke & Ayers Company. Military history is represented in the papers of Major General Olinto Mark Barsanti and Colonel Frank M. Brandstetter, among others. The letters of Civil War Confederate physician, David W. Fentress, are also included in the Archives' historical manuscripts collections. The several manuscript collections have been used in the publication of twenty books and numerous articles, theses, and dissertations.