Cindy Craigen ’88 still mourns the loss of historical documents from the 1800s detailing negotiations around $5 in freight. Those documents provided perspective about her great-great-grandparents’ efforts to ship a pump organ, a birthday gift for their daughter’s 18th birthday, from New York to their home in Mexia, Texas. Sadly, when their daughter—Cindy’s great-grandmother—died many years later, those documents, the organ and other family memorabilia were lost forever.
With that lesson in mind, Cindy and her husband, Taylor ’92, are committed to helping important historical documents and artifacts find a permanent home in the Texas A&M University Libraries. “When something needs to be preserved, there’s no better place in the world for it than Texas A&M’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives,” Cindy said.
Yet purchasing rare books, artifacts, manuscripts and other items can incur significant costs, and the budget for special collections can only be stretched so far. Complicating matters, these unique treasures are only on the market for a brief time, making it challenging for the libraries’ staff to pull together the necessary financial resources to seal the deal.