Director of Armstrong Browning Library Retires after 50 Years at Baylor

September 12, 2016
Rita Patteson

Rita Patteson

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275
WACO, Texas (Sept. 12, 2016) — Rita Patteson, director of Baylor University's renowned Armstrong Browning Library, retired on Sept. 1, 2016, after 50 years of service at the University.

Patteson worked for 45 of those 50 years at Armstrong Browning Library, a 19th-century research center and "library of record" dedicated to the study of the lives and works of Victorian poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

“It has been my pleasure to serve alongside Rita Patteson for even a small portion of her 50 years of dedicated service to Baylor University,” said Pattie Orr, vice president for information technology and dean of University Libraries. “Rita's love for the Brownings and her passion for Armstrong Browning Library and for her colleagues was evident in every decision she made, every note she wrote to a constituent and every event she had a hand in producing. I wish Rita the very best, and hope she will visit often and continue as a devoted ambassador for the Baylor University Libraries.”

As director of Armstrong Browning Library, Patteson was responsible for the operation of the library, the planning of cultural events and budgetary procedures. Patteson also purchased original materials for the collection and oversaw their preparation for use, among a multitude of other duties.

“When I think about my years at Baylor, I am very proud of the fact that I was able to move successfully through the various ranks of the University — student (my first job was as a student assistant in President Abner McCall’s office), staff (a few years in the Development Department and the majority of my years — 45 — in the Armstrong Browning Library), and finally a faculty member (receiving tenure in 2002),” Patteson said. “I was very pleased to receive an Outstanding Staff Award in 1998 and particularly happy when I received a 2002-03 Outstanding Professor Award. It’s been a wonderful journey.”

Armstrong Browning Library houses the world's largest collection of Browning material and other fine collections of rare 19th-century books, manuscripts and works of art. Armstrong Browning Library is dedicated to acquiring, preserving and providing access to these materials and its other collection and promoting opportunities for the study, appreciation and understanding of the Brownings and the wider field of 19th-century literature and culture by the Baylor community, the larger academic community and the general public.

For more information on Baylor's Armstrong Browning Library, click here.

by Kelsey Dehnel, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Baylor University Libraries support excellence in teaching and learning, enhance research and discovery, and foster scholarship and success. Through its Central Libraries and special collections – Armstrong Browning Library, W.R. Poage Legislative Library and The Texas Collection – the Libraries serve as academic life centers that provide scholarly resources and technological innovation for the Baylor community and beyond.