1928: First major collection purchased.
1930: Alice Mary Robertson, mission schoolteacher, Muskogee postmistress and the second woman elected to Congress, gives personal and family papers.
1940s: Tulsa Bibliographies, a group of book collectors, developed personal collections that established TU’s holdings for American and English literature, including works by Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, and another collection focused on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.
1960s: Acquired collection of five modern authors: William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Katherine Mansfield, and Thomas Wolfe.
1970s: First major acquisition of TU’s James Joyce Collection, now among the most comprehensive in the world and crown jewel of our modernist collection, which includes the papers of writer Rebecca West, biographer and critic Richard Ellmann and Cyril Connolly. TU also now has the most comprehensive collection of Jean Rhys materials in the world.
2001: TU acquired the life writings of V. S. Naipaul, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.