Special Collections is proud to announce the acquisition of the library of Llerena B. Friend. Her library, consisting of over 700 titles, contains some of the most important books and printed material about Texas in the 20th century and is a significant addition to Special Collections.
Dr. Friend received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She taught at the high school and university levels – teaching Texas History at UT for many years. Her dissertation about the life of Sam Houston, titled Sam Houston: The Great Designer, was published by the University of Texas Press in 1954. The book remains in print today, and is considered the classic history of Houston. In addition to her work on Sam Houston, Dr. Friend was a prolific author, reviewer and editor. Her edited works include the Check List of Texas Imprints, M.K. Kellogg’s Texas Journal, and Talks on Texas Books, by her dissertation advisor, Walter Prescott Webb.
In 1950 she became the founding director of the Barker Texas History Center, a position she held until 1969. As the founding director, she oversaw the collection and acquisition of some of the most significant material related to Texas history at the University of Texas, bestowing today’s Dolph Briscoe Center with a vast majority of the key Republic era printed documents.
Dr. Friend was a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas and the Texas Institute of Letters. She was an honorary life member of both the Texas State Historical Association and the Western History Association.
Perhaps the most important material in the Llerena B. Friend Collection are the items printed by Carl Hertzog. She assiduously collected Hertzog’s work for her own collection. The strength of Hertzog materials in the collection is a reflection of her interest in his work. Several of the Hertzog items are unique, due to their binding, or the notes Hertzog included in the items.
Indeed, the strength of the Hertzog materials in her collection, as well as ones we already hold in Special Collections give us one of the three largest collections of Carl Hertzog in the world.
Beyond the work of Hertzog, Friend also collected the work of Rupert N. Richardson, President of Hardin-Simmons University, a preeminent and prolific Texas and Western historian and teacher. Another strength of the collection is ephemera – small printed items not intended to be kept permanently. Programs from the Fort Griffin Fandangle in the collection are one example of this.
Dr. Friend’s collection will join the Edward A. Clark Texana Collection, one of the largest collections of Texas history and Texana in the world. This collection, given to Southwestern by Ambassador Clark in 1964, is especially strong in Republic-era materials, as well as fine printed items created in, or about, Texas. Notably, her library will also join the collection of F. Warren Roberts, a 1938 graduate of Southwestern University. Dr. Roberts served as Director of today’s Harry Ransom Center from 1962-1978, working closely with Dr. Friend.
Special Collections is thrilled to honor to Dr. Friend’s memory and legacy by making her collection available to the public. The collection is currently available in Special Collections, and the collection also has extensive copy-specific notes in our online catalog. The volumes from her library will be designated with a note in the catalog, as well as a special bookplate in each volume designed and printed by Jesse Marsolais of Marsolais Press & Lettercarving in the style of Carl Hertzog.