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The Wittliff Collection at Texas State University

Instructing  •  Illuminating  •  Inspiring

Founded in 1986, the Wittliff Collections are devoted to collecting and preserving the creative legacy of the Southwest and to fostering “the spirit of place” in the wider world through the acquisition of significant archives and works of the Southwest’s literature, film and music, as well as the photography of the Southwest and Mexico. The Wittliff Collections welcome visitors, tours, and classes, host lectures, readings, and symposia, assist researchers, and present major exhibitions year-round from their archival repositories in over 6,600 square feet of viewing space.

The Wittliff Collections offer a dynamic archival, exhibition, programming, and research environment designed to further the cultural legacy of the region’s literary and photographic arts, and foster “the spirit of place” in the wider world.

The Southwestern Writers Collection preserves and exhibits the literary papers and artifacts of principal writers, filmmakers, and musicians, including the major archives of Cormac McCarthy, Sam Shepard, and John Graves, as well as the production archives of Texas Monthly magazine, Fox’s animated series King of the Hill, and the CBS miniseries Lonesome Dove.

The Southwestern and Mexican Photography Collection includes the major holdings of such renowned artists as Kate Breakey, Keith Carter, and Graciela Iturbide, and houses the largest archive of modern and contemporary Mexican photography in the United States.  

The Wittliff Collections, including the Southwestern Writers Collection and theSouthwestern & Mexican Photography Collection , are located on the 7th floor of the Albert B. Alkek Library on the Texas State. Please call or check our website for current exhibit hours and special event information.

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday: By Appointment Only

Current Exhibits:



Photographs from Mexico and India

 More than 90 images by renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark include many that explore the fundamental, intimate working relationships between people and animals in two countries half a world apart. Mark has been taking uniquely sensitive and expressive images of people around the world for nearly 50 years. The title for this exhibition and the new Wittliff Collections’ publication, Man and Beast, was inspired by a dominant theme of Mark’s oeuvre: the relationships between people and animals, including, as Mark writes, “the anthropomorphic quality of animals and the animalistic quality of man.” Many of the people represented in this exhibition are performers and trainers with various itinerant circuses in Mexico and India. All gelatin silver darkroom prints are part of the Wittliff's permanent collection and featured in the Wittliff photography series book of the same name published by the University of Texas Press.


APRIL 12 – DECEMBER 7, 2014

COMING TO LIGHT  Recent Acquisitions
This exhibition features works from 42 internationally acclaimed and emerging photographers, recently acquired and shown by the Wittliff Collections for the first time. Coming to Light ranges from portraiture and the Southwest’s natural and invented landscapes to themes related to Mexico’s history, beauty, and cultural impact upon the United States. The photographic processes represented are just as diverse, among them are tintypes, gelatin silver prints, chromogenic prints, and archival pigment prints. Works of note include Missing #1, a photo installation by Kathy Vargas, the modern masterpiece Instrumental by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, an alien figure in Lobby, Roswell by Rocky Schenck, and Murder by Execution, a historical image by Robert Runyon depicting the horrors of the Mexican Revolution. 


CORMAC McCARTHY  Unveiling a Literary Legend
Acclaimed as one of America’s most powerful writers, Cormac McCarthy has crafted some of the finest novels of our time, including All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, and The Road, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. The Wittliff Collections draws from its extensive archive of McCarthy materials to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the meticulous creative process of this world-renowned author. The Cormac McCarthy: Unveiling a Literary Legend exhibition will be celebrated with a reception and performance by Peter Josyph at 6:30 pm on September 18


What's Near Here?

Texas State - Alkek Library

Albert B. Alkek Library is the most important information resource of the Texas State University community. The mission of the library is to help patrons succeed by providing high quality library services and information in a variety of formats to support the university's teaching and research programs.

Evans Auditorium – Texas State University

Located on the Texas State University campus, the Evans Auditorium is part of the School of Music. A variety of music events are held here from concerts to recitals to symposiums along with other fine arts performances.

The Center for Texas Music History

THE CENTER FOR TEXAS MUSIC HISTORY at Texas State University-San Marcos is a unique program focusing on the preservation and study of Texas and Southwestern music history.