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University Photograph Collection

Identifier: 2008.17

Scope and Contents

The University Photograph Collection comprises photographs, negatives, and slides that document the history of Texas A&M University-Commerce. Dates range from the foundation of the college in 1889 until the prominent use of digital photography in the mid-2000s. The collection is arranged topically. Several areas of focus include athletics, campus buildings, faculty and staff members, campus departments and offices, and student activities.


  • Creation: 1890 - 2005


Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection are protected by applicable copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

East Texas Normal College was established in Cooper, Texas in 1889 by William L. Mayo. In 1894 the original campus burned down and the school moved to its current location in Commerce, Texas. In 1917 the school was renamed East Texas State Normal College after becoming a state public college. It became East Texas State Teachers College in 1923 and later, in 1957, it was renamed East Texas State College. In 1965 the school became a university with a doctoral program and it's name changed to East Texas State University. In 1996 it became a member of the Texas A&M University System and was renamed to Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Marketing and communications has been a part of Texas A&M University-Commerce since its founding, with the college publishing catalogues and pamphlets to advertise the school. Photographs of the school and students became especially prominent with the publication of The Locust Yearbook starting in 1920 and The East Texan newspaper in 1915. However, a formal Department of Communications wasn't formed until 1951. With William Jack Bell as the department head, the Department of Communications instructed students in journalism, speech, and photography. It also took over publication of The Locust and The East Texan. With the rise of digital photography in the mid-2000s, the Department of Communications ceased regularly producing negatives and photographs and moved to storing their images online, where they could be more easily viewed and accessed by the public.


67 Linear Feet (123 half boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 13 slide boxes.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Materials in this collection were donated on a on-going basis from the 1970s through the early 2000s from the Department of Marketing and Communications. Donations of physical items ceased as photography moved from analog to digital.

University Photograph Collection
Josephine Rickman
March 22, 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives, Special Collections, Waters Library, Texas A&M University-Commerce Repository