Texas Tech University


sewing machine

The History collection contains a broad array of objects representing the social, technological, political, governmental and economic fabric of the West Texas South. Highlights include three Model T vehicles, an 1870s Sharps Rifle owned by a famous Texas buffalo hunter, antique and modern toys, games and sporting goods, Spanish and Italian 16th century armor and weapons, correspondence and photos from a local bomber pilot shot down over France during WWII, as well as a variety of office machines, telephones, books and magazines, significant historic firearms, household furnishings and implements, consumer product packaging, and a significant medical collection.

The History Collection is divided into six thematic categories:

1. Economic/Industrial/Technical

Objects that document the economic development and current status of the South Plains and its immediately adjacent West Texas regions. Including objects of commerce, transportation, manufacturing, and commercial research/development – and related equipment.

Strengths: Saddles and tack, printing presses and assoc. equipment, photography and photographs, sewing machines, scientific instruments, telephones, office machines and building fragments and fixtures.

2. Educational/Cultural

Objects that document the development and status of local/regional social clubs, civic organizations, ethnic groups and fraternal societies, educational and spiritual institutions and individuals.

Strengths: Textbooks, religious and fraternal iconography and Texas Tech-related items.

3. Governmental

Objects documenting governmental functions such as executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and regulatory agencies, safety and security agencies, military organizations, social and health agencies, and political processes.

long gun

Strengths: Flags, military decorations and equipment, political memorabilia and government and military manuals.

4. Professional/Occupational

Objects that document the daily work of individuals, including the medical profession, law enforcement, industrial, clerical, technical, and service industries.

Strengths: Medical instruments, pharmaceuticals, office machines and related equipment and engineering and surveying equipment.

5. Domestic/Personal Technology

Objects that document the indoor life and work of domestic society, incl. decorative arts, housewares, furniture and furnishings, personal pharmaceuticals and health/beauty aids, consumable goods, and various personal items.  

Strengths: Food packaging, food preservation (canning jars), furniture (chairs, tables, etc.), luggage, food preparation tools, including stoves, pots, pans, and cooking utensils, household ceramics, silverware, glassware, household labor devices (cleaning tools, irons, washers, sewing machines,) luggage, eyeglasses, clocks and watches, smoking materials, personal grooming and lighting devices.


6. Recreational

Objects that document leisure and learning activities of individuals and groups, including objects related to the visual and performing arts, organized sports, books and other printed materials, electronic communication and entertainment devices.

Strengths: Books, Toys and games, miniatures, phonographs, musical instruments, sheet music, radios, vinyl phonograph cylinders and records and acetate tapes.