Skip to Content

Visitor Guidelines (K-12)

La semilla (The Seed), gelatin silver print, © Antonio Turok, 1983








La semilla / The Seed, Marqués de Comillas, Chiapas, gelatin silver print, © Antonio Turok, 1983

Please request a tour for groups of students by clicking here.

Welcome! We look forward to having your group tour the Wittliff Collections. In the interest of cultivating the museum goers of tomorrow, we are committed to providing students of all ages a satisfying experience viewing our art and exhibits. We also hope to offer young visitors guidance on how to conduct themselves in a museum environment—to help them feel comfortable and informed, and to get the most from their tour.

Keep in mind, as part of a college-level educational institution, we do not censor the work of our photographers, artists, and writers—some materials may be challenging to younger visitors, and we recommend children younger than middle-school age attend the exhibitions with a parent, teacher, or other adult guide. If you have any concern about the appropriateness of our exhibitions for your age group, please call ahead to speak to one of our curators, at 512.245.2313.

Please provide adequate supervision. Make sure your group has one adult chaperone for every 15 students, especially for younger groups. Note that special arrangements are necessary for groups of more than 40—please call us in advance at 512.245.2313.

For a successful visit, please review the following with your group before arrival:

  1. Look, don’t touch. Our mission is to preserve all of our objects for future generations to enjoy, and touching runs the risk of damaging them with the natural oils on your skin or, worse, breaking them. Walk mindfully through the exhibits. Be careful not to bump the photographs or other art objects, and avoid touching the glass exhibit cases.
  2. Discard food and drinks at the door. Because they can also damage art, books, and materials, food and drinks are not allowed in the library or near the exhibits.
  3. Use your “library voice.” The Wittliff Collections are quiet places of study, contemplation, and research, and although we appreciate enthusiastic responses to the exhibits, we ask that visitors keep their voices low.
  4. Practice courteous cell-phone use. Cell phones disrupt other visitors, students, and researchers—please set phones to vibrate while in the library. If you must make or take a call, ask a staff member for direction on the best place to do so.
  5. Please, no flash photography. Flash photography damages light-sensitive materials. Photographs are permitted for personal use only, and may not be published, sold or reproduced in any manner. Please do not use flash. 
  6. Ask questions. See something in an exhibit you would like to know more about? Curious about what else we do or have here at the Wittliff Collections? Ask a staff member, or e-mail us after your visit.
  7. Take home a souvenir. The stacks of cards, calendars, and other publications in the foyer are free—please take one of whatever interests you. If you would like numerous copies to share with friends or colleagues, arrangements can be made—just ask a staff member.
  8. Consider making a donation. Unlike many other museums, we do not charge admission, so every dollar in the donation box is important in supporting our exhibits and publications. Your contribution is appreciated, no matter how small.
  9. Tell us what you think. We’re very interested in the comments of our visitors. Leave us a short note in our Guest Pages while you’re here, or send us your thoughts in an email after your visit.
  10. Spread the word. If you enjoyed your visit to the Wittliff Collections, may we ask that you tell two friends? Word of mouth is our best advertisement, and we’re always grateful when someone new discovers us.

Thank you! Please come back and visit us again. Check our online calendars often for new exhibits, events, and programs.

The Wittliff Collections, Alkek Library
Texas State University
Phone  512.245.2313

Also consider:
Welcome Center (campus tours) 512.245.8871
LBJ Visitors Center (campus + local area info and resources) 512.245.8871

Exhibits, events, and programs are offered year-round. Call ahead to verify hours: 512.245.2313.

Instructing | Illuminating | Inspiring

The Wittliff Collections are what are called “archives” or “repositories” — places or collections that preserve rough drafts and manuscripts, notes, journals, records, documents, as well as photographs, and/or other materials of cultural or historical interest, so they can be accessed and enjoyed by scholars and the public for many years to come.

The Southwestern Writers Collection, founded in 1986, collects, houses, and exhibits the literary papers and other artifacts of our region’s leading authors, screenwriters (of TV and movies), and songwriters—the first such archive to begin collecting primarily the papers of living artists. The Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection, added in 1996, is a creative center, exhibition space, and growing photography collection with over 15,000 images, and is now one of the most significant holdings of contemporary Mexican photography in the United States.

These two counterparts of The Wittliff Collections are emerging as world-class repositories, with such significant holdings as: the Lonesome Dove film production archives & photographs; a rare 1555 edition of Cabeza de Vaca’s account of travel through the Southwest; a songbook made by Willie Nelson at the age of 11; the major archives of John Graves, Larry L. King, Cormac McCarthy, Rick Riordan, Bud Shrake, and Sam Shepard; the production archives of Texas Monthly magazine and Fox’s animated television series King of the Hill; and major collections of darkroom prints by such renowned photographers as Kate Breakey, Keith Carter, Graciela Iturbide, and Depression-era documentarian Russell Lee (vintage prints).

The Wittliff Collections, founded at Texas State’s Albert B. Alkek Library in San Marcos by Bill and Sally Wittliff, bring “the spirit of place” alive for students of all ages, scholars, writers, artists, and the community at large.