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Library Policies

Purpose of the Library and Archives

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame library and archives support the scholarly, interpretive and educational activities of the staff, docents and volunteers. It is also open to the scholarly research community at large.

Scope and Size of Library and Archives Collections

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame collects materials in all appropriate formats to support the mission and goals of the Museum. The collection includes materials focusing on women of the American West and their accomplishments and contributions; biographies, and historical recollections; literature that depicts the movement Westward in America’s discovery and exploration; cowgirl/cowboy rodeo history and culture; and ranching and popular culture, both past and present. Holdings currently include 1,500 books and serial titles as well as archival materials, including manuscripts, photographs, scrapbooks, personal memoirs, newspaper clippings, oral interviews, sound recordings and videos.

Highlights of the Collections

Collection strengths focus on the rodeo cowgirl from the early 20th century to the present. Holdings include records documenting the formation of the Girls Rodeo Association (GRA), currently the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). This collection contains original scrapbooks, programs, accounting ledgers, letters, contracts and promotional and merchandising materials.

The collection also includes the works of authors Mari Sandoz and B.M. Bower.

Appointments

Appointments must be made in advance and will be granted depending on staff availability and materials requested. Successful applicants must submit a user form describing their research project; read and sign a compliance form indicating that they understand the library’s handling policies and procedures; show photo identification with current address; and sign the daily visitor’s register. Appointments are arranged by our Research Coordinator. Please contact us by mail (1720 Gendy Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107), by phone 817.509.8665 or by email: bdodson@cowgirl.net.

Library Usage

Access to Collections

Library and archive materials are in closed stacks and are non-circulating. Materials must be consulted in the area in which they are housed. The may not be removed from that area or from the premises.

Reproduction of Materials

Requests for photocopies must be approved by the Research Manager, and in certain circumstances, researchers must sign a copyright disclosure statement. Photocopying is restricted to published items and must adhere to copyright law. The library may decline a request to photocopy materials it considers too fragile or outside the “fair use” standard. Photocopies will be charged at $.20 per page.

Copyright Notice

The Museum makes no claim that it is the owner of any copyright in the materials contained in its archives. In providing access to such materials, the Museum does not assume any responsibility for obtaining or granting permission for publication or use. The responsibility for determining the nature and ownership of any rights and for obtaining the appropriate permissions to publish or use such materials rests entirely with the researcher.

Collections Usage

The researcher agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, its officers and employees, from and against all claims and actions arising out of the researcher’s use of the library’s collections.

Research Services Agreement

If you cannot visit the library, a staff member may be available, depending on the complexity of the request, to conduct research on your behalf at a fee of $35 per hour. Research costs will also include photocopies at an additional $.20 per copy along with shipping. Copies of the Research Services Agreement form can be obtained by calling the Museum, or click here to open a PDF of the form.

Library/Research Center

Archival Collections Policy and Donor Information

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Archives is central to the Museum’s ability to tell the story of the remarkable women of the West. Archival materials include manuscripts, letters, scrapbooks and newspaper clippings. The collection includes materials donated by and about women who have been inducted and nominated to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Materials are selected for preservation in the Museum archives primarily because of their historical research value. Materials accessioned will generally document the history of women in the American West and their accomplishments and contributions.

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Archives accepts additions to its collections and holdings, especially unpublished personal papers, correspondence, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, business records and personal memoirs that complement artifact and book collections of the Museum and Hall of Fame. Items may be donated or purchased for the library/research center.

Gifts to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame are considered outright donations to be used in the best interest of the Museum archives. Donations become the sole and irrevocable property of the Museum archives.

Materials of Interest

It is important that the archives staff be permitted to survey papers or records in order to determine which materials have enduring historical value. Listed below are types of materials that are often valuable to a researcher. This list, which is suggestive and not definitive, illustrates the wide range of documentation often useful for historical and administrative research.

Among the types of materials in personal and family papers of interest to researchers are:

  • Letters
  • Memoirs/reminiscences
  • Scrapbooks/photo albums
  • Manuscripts
  • Papers, theses, notes
  • Professional papers
  • Genealogical information
  • Speeches/lectures
  • Business records
  • Subject files
  • Legal documents
  • Minutes/reports
  • Brochures and flyers
  • Photographs (labeled)
  • Films/videos/audio tapes /digital media (labeled)

Also of interest are files relating to the individual’s civic, business, religious, political and social activities.