K-12 Textbook Collections

Our Collections

Textbook collection is currently housed in two separate locations. While most of the historic collection (pre 1970s) is still in the Library Storage Facility (LSF), parts of the collection are currently being migrated back to the Perry Castaneda Library (PCL). Starting with the Social Sciences, books that were adopted by the state of Texas after 1919 are being permanently returned to the PCL to make them more accessible for library patrons. These materials, along with current textbooks, can be found in the Textbook and Curriculum collection, which is now shelved on the sixth floor in section 6S.

The Textbook Collection primarily consists of textbooks that have been approved by the Texas Education Agency to use in elementary and secondary education classes. These textbooks are called state-adopted textbooks. UT also houses a large historic textbook collection, founded in 1938 by Joseph Lindsey Henderson. This collection includes rare textbooks dating from the 1750s through the 1800s, textbooks used in Texas since 1898, and a large collection of American textbooks from the 1800s to the 1960s.

Locating Textbooks

To find materials in the Textbook & Curriculum collection, watch this tutorial, or follow these steps...

1. Start at the library catalog to perform a basic search: https://catalog.lib.utexas.edu/ If you want to narrow your search by date or publisher, start at the "advanced search" page for the UT Library catalog: http://catalog.lib.utexas.edu/search/X 

2. Choose your search type (keyword, title, author, etc) and enter your search terms in the search box at the top.

3. If you'd like to see only books located at the PCL, after you type your keyword search terms, also type the words "PCL Textbook Collection." If you want to search all textbooks without limiting the location to the PCL, skip this step.

4. From the drop-down location menu, select "K-12 Textbooks & Curriculum."

textbook sample search

5. If you want, you can also select a range of dates for publication. This is useful if you're looking for a specific edition of a book that was adopted more than once, say, the 1958 edition of a history book that was adopted in 1960.

6. If the book you're searching for has a very generic name, it may also help to fill in the publisher field if you have that information.

7. Click the "go" button at the bottom!

State Adopted Textbook Lists

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) approves textbooks to be used in elementary and secondary education classes. These are called state-adopted textbooks. In any one year, only certain subjects have new adoptions. They are usually adopted for 5 to 8 years and then replaced by a new adoption list for that subject.

In 1922, the Texas State Department of Education began publishing lists of state-adopted textbooks. The name of the publication has changed several times. The State Department of Education became the Texas Education Agency, who began publishing the lists in 1952, and continues to do so today.

Digitized Adoption Lists

Textbook adoption records for the state of Texas are now available online in digital format, starting with 1929. To find them, go to the UT digital repository:


From there, click on "UT Communities." Then click on "UT Libraries Collection." After that, select "Texas Adopted Textbook List" from the available links. This will take you to a page that displays information about the adoption lists as well as links to the most recent lists. If you'd like to browse older lists, click "browse all titles" near the bottom of the page. Here is a quick link to take you directly to the "browse all titles" page:


While lists before 1929 are not available online, the adoption list published in 1938 gives a comprehensive list of textbooks adopted since 1919. That list can be found here:


Textbook Adoption Lists In Print

Textbook adoption lists from 1922 to 2002 are available in print at the Perry Castaneda Library.

Lists from 1922 to 1927 have Dewey Decimal call numbers, which all start the same: 370.6 T31B

Lists from 1929 to 2002 have Library of Congress call numbers, which all start the same: LB 3047.5 T4 L578

The state of Texas did not publish an adoption list for 1928.

Subject Librarian

Janelle Hedstrom

Janelle Hedstrom 
Education Librarian

Email: EdLibrarian@lib.utexas.edu

Meet: Request a consultation (available in person or via Adobe Connect)

Useful Websites

Items Available Online

Books published before 1923 are no longer protected by copyright, and as a result, many have been fully digitized and are available for free through Google. Search the Google Books website to find these materials:


Open Source Textbooks

The California Open Source Textbook Project, formed in 2001, is dedicated to providing high quality, low cost, open source textbooks as an alternative to traditionally published materials. Information about this organization can be found here:


Open Educational Resources Commons (OER Commons) is an online collection of open source textbooks. You can browse everything they have or search for something specific. OER Commons allows you to limit your search to just K-12 materials.


Other Useful Guides

Materials Retrieval 
Textbooks that are in the Library Storage Facility can be requested using Materials Retrieval. Similarly, items at the PCL can be sent to another library branch for pick up using the same system.