The Wittliff Collections

The Wittliff Collections comprise a research archive, exhibition gallery, and special collections library established in 1986 as a partnership between Texas State University, the Albert B. Alkek Library, and founding donors Sally and Bill Wittliff. From the beginning, our mission has been to collect, preserve, and share the creative legacy of the Southwest and to foster the region’s inimitable “Spirit of Place” in the wider world.

What began thirty-five years ago with the personal papers of author and folklorist J. Frank Dobie has grown to include more than 500 prized collections in Southwestern literature, Southwestern and Mexican photography, and Texas music. Plans are underway to launch a fourth collecting pillar devoted to film and television.

Among our many treasures are the papers of literary luminaries such as Cormac McCarthy, Sam Shepard, John Graves, Sandra Cisneros, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Mary Karr, as well as the entire Texas Monthly archive and the King of the Hill collection. The Wittliff’s photography collection boasts acclaimed artists such as Graciela Iturbide, Keith Carter, Kate Breakey, Rocky Schenck, and Edward S. Curtis. The Texas Music Collection is anchored by names known around the world, including Willie Nelson, Ray Benson, and Jerry Jeff Walker. The Wittliff’s most beloved collection by far is the Lonesome Dove Production Archive, featuring costumes, props, sketches, artifacts, and photographs from the award-winning Lonesome Dove television miniseries.

The Wittliff presents major exhibitions year-round; hosts readings, artist talks, lectures, and other events; publishes significant books from its holdings; and makes its collections available to researchers from all over the world. The Wittliff welcomes visitors, classes, and tours. We are located on the seventh floor of the Albert B. Alkek Library at the heart of the Texas State campus. Admission is always free.

Your support of The Wittliff Collections Festival will help us continue to collect, preserve, share, and steward the voices, visions, and unbridled imaginations of our region. Generations from now, students, researchers from around the world, and other visitors will rely on The Wittliff Collections to gain a better understanding of our region’s rich cultural history.

Learn more at

Texas State University • 601 University Drive • San Marcos, Texas 78666 • 512-245-2313