C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department A VIRTUAL TOUR

Although we cannot offer in-person tours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope you enjoy this virtual tour of the Special Collections Department.

UTEP Library

The C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department is located on the sixth floor of the UTEP Library. The Department is named after longtime English professor and historian C.L. Sonnichsen (1901 – 1991). Dr. Sonnichsen taught at UTEP for 41 years and wrote over 30 books – mainly histories of the southwestern United States.

The Special Collections Department contains thematic book collections, rare books, art, maps, over 750 archival and image collections, and approximately 1,600 oral histories. The Special Collections lobby includes rotating exhibits and art from the Library's collection. We also create exhibits on the second and third floors of the Library.

ABCs in the Archives exhibit, January 2020.

Our most recent exhibit, ABCs in the Archives, featured 26 (!) examples of alphabet books and books about typography and letter formation. These books dated from the 1900s to the 2010s and are primarily from our Carl Hertzog book collection.

Jo and Haskell Monroe, Jr. Special Collections Research Center

Researchers view materials in the Jo and Haskell Monroe, Jr. Special Collections Research Center. A former UTEP president, Dr. Monroe (1931 - 2017) advocated for the Library to have its own building on campus. Our building opened in 1984 during Dr. Monroe's tenure as president.

The Research Center contains thematic book collections, which researchers can browse. Book collections include Chicano, Southwest and Border Studies, Art, Judaica, Reference, and McCord Poetry.

The S.L.A. Marshall Military History Room contains rare and specialized books about military history. The room is named after S.L.A. Marshall (1900 - 1977) who was a U.S. Army officer and military historian. He briefly attended the Texas School of Mines (now UTEP) in 1919 and donated his papers and book collection to UTEP during the 1970s.

The John H. McNeely Room is named after a longtime history professor and founder of the UTEP Institute of Oral History. This room contains the Sir Richard Francis Burton book collection, art, and other rare books. Special Collections also uses this room for class instruction, lectures, and special events.

Carl Hertzog Room

The Carl Hertzog Room is named after the well-known El Paso printer and book designer. Hertzog also founded our university press - Texas Western Press - and was known as the "Printer of the Pass." This room contains books printed and designed by Hertzog, books about typography and book design, artist books, incunabula, and other rare books. The room also includes a replica seventeenth-century printing press and a drawing of Hertzog by his friend and frequent collaborator, El Paso artist Tom Lea.

The Hertzog Room includes a collection of nineteenth-century fore-edge painted books. If you hold the pages a certain way, a hand-painted image appears on the book's fore edge.

This room also contains the smallest books in the UTEP Library: Washington: His Farewell Address and A Nativity Story. These miniature books contain the entire texts of these works in extremely tiny print.

Please visit our website to learn more about the Special Collections Department and to view our many online resources.