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Alexander M. Troup Collection

Identifier: AR0774

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection originally came as boxes within boxes, filled with items that were once memories including flatware from the 1800s, glass medicine bottles of cure all, old pipes, trinkets, charms, found marbles or stones, shards of dolls’ faces, glass, and pottery. It is built from Dallas’ History and the socio-cultural climate of the area. The collection has over twenty series which detail the material history of African Americans, the Hispanic community, and the many different neighborhoods in Dallas such as Deep Elm – now known as Deep Ellum, Laws St., Camp St., and San Jacinto. It also covers several artists local to Dallas, offering examples of pieces from Troup’s own art collection, with books and papers covering the history of fine art and local artists to supplement the work. The art contained in this collection includes whirly gigs whose characters and themes are wholly Texan. One whirly gig is an oilwell complete with a tall steel derrick. Another is made of eggbeaters. Other pieces of Folk Art include pottery from Dallas potters, rare penny dolls, a Hispanic wooden box, a bronze cast of an animal’s skull, and African American sculptures.


  • Creation: 1840-2021
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1970-1990
  • Acquisition: Date acquired: 00/00/2012


Conditions Governing Access

A portion of box 555 and all of box 556 is restricted until the passing of the donor. The remainder of this collection is not restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Biographical or Historical Information

Alexander M. Troup grew up in Dallas and witnessed firsthand the transformations the city underwent to become what it is today – an ever-changing metro-plex. During the growth of Dallas in the post-war period many times valuable pieces of history were destroyed or overlooked. The collection includes significant amounts of research related to historical places and events in Dallas and beyond. Using archaeological methods, Mr. Troup excavates items for inclusion in the north Texas’ historical record. After the excavation, the items are meticulously packed in boxes to ensure their preservation. Troup excavated and collected items for inclusion in his own North Texas historical record. After the excavation, the items were meticulously packed in boxes to ensure their safety. Following this he documented the sites and the artifacts that were collected. His collection contains an abundant number of artifacts, but also boxes and boxes of resources on art history, material culture, archaeology, and Dallas History. Not only a historian and material culture preservationist, Troup is an artist whose work echoes his assemblages of artifacts. His work transforms found objects such as wall paper and shards of broken china, among many other types of materials. The Troup Family is steeped in the history of Dallas. Gallery Trohafole, which was owned and operated by the Troup family in the 1960s, showcased items made by Dallas artists and many pieces of folk art.

Note written by


560.00 boxes

Language of Materials



The Alexander M. Troup Collection is a collection of items compiled by Mr. Troup which documents the history of Dallas, Texas. His process begins by identifying an area to document. Using archaeological methods, Mr. Troup excavates items for inclusion in the north Texas’ historical record. After the excavation, the items are meticulously packed in boxes to ensure their preservation.

Arrangement Note

The Alexander M. Troup collection is composed of 27 series. The collection’s series list includes Mr. Troup’s personal papers (correspondence, research files, as well as art archives and artworks); the Troup family papers; the Troup gallery papers and artwork; and a grouping of series which focus on a specific area, community, or construction site. These site-specific series include the American Airlines/Dallas Arena Recovery 1965-2000 series; the Artic Research series; the Austin/Market/Jackson St. series; the Deep Elm (Honest Joe’s)/ Fairmont St. series; the Fair Park series; the French Brick Study series; the Folk Art series; the Hollywood, Film, Fashion, and the Image series; the Howard Hughes series; the JFK Archives; the Laws St. series; the Material Culture series (for items without a specific location or community); and the Material Culture of Ethnic Communities in Dallas Co series(which includes the following communities: African Americans; the Hispanic Community; the Jewish Community and other ethnic Communities); the Newspaper Collection (includes Occupy clippings and General Clipping collection); the Oak Cliff/Cedar Creek series; the Red Light district series; the San Jacinto-Camp Street Series; the St. George Hotel series; and the Separated Materials series. Three Accretion series were added later on as more materials were donated to the collection.

Physical Access Requirements

This collection is stored off-site and requires a minimum of 24 hour notice prior to use.

Source of Acquisition

Alexander M. Troup

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions

2019-036, 2021-142

Processing Information

The 2021 Accretion was processed by Kendall Martin.

Alexander M. Troup Collection
Emily Aparicio; A. Montgomery; Perri Hamilton; Kendall Martin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of North Texas Special Collections Repository

University of North Texas, Willis Library
1155 Union Circle # 305190
Denton TX 76203 US