Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library

By: Nancy Graham

Type: General Entry

Published: May 1, 1995

The purpose of the Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library in Midland is to preserve and present the history, ideals, and traditions of Texas and the Southwest. The library was founded by J. Evetts Haley in memory of his first wife. Haley donated his private collection, started in the 1920s, of over 10,000 books, interview files, research files, biographical files, and artifacts such as saddles, bridles, and bits. None of the materials in the library are allowed public circulation. Reproduction of print materials by microfilm or photographic methods is permitted. The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library operates on an irrevocable trust indenture that was established on September 19, 1961. The library received a construction grant from Guy Mabee of the Mabee Foundation. The building was designed by Frank Dill, a Houston architect, and dedicated on July 5, 1976. The library is administered by a five-member board of trustees, which meets annually. The chairman, who is elected by the other trustees, serves a one-year term. As a charitable trust, the library receives no money from taxing agencies and operates on private donations alone. The library contains more than 15,000 items of printed and manuscript materials on Western exploration, frontier military history, Indian captivity, ethnology, the development of ranching and farming, and regional and local history. Special collections include the libraries and papers of Hervey Chesley, Lester Wood, and Robert Mullin. The library also holds Harold D. Bugbee's illustrated letters and books and Erwin E. Smith's cameras and 600 original photograph negatives. The art collection includes bronze sculptures by Fritz White (And Crockett Fell) and Ed Fraughton. Sketches by Bugbee and paintings by Joe Beeler and Charlie Dye (Old Blue) are on exhibit. One of the four original Alamo mission bells is on display at the Haley library. It was cast in 1722 and taken down before the battle of the Alamo took place in 1836.

Paula and Ron Tyler, Texas Museums: A Guidebook (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Nancy Graham, “Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 25, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995