The history of the Southwest Metroplex has been defined by the explosive growth experienced within the DFW region in the past 60 years. The special collections department of UNT Libraries holds fascinating evidence of this growth in the form of original documents, photographs and collections of personal papers, however many of these resources have been hidden away for far too long. Over the next two years the UNT special collection department, through the assistance of the Council of Library and Information Resources and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, will make these resources available to the community.
Collections identified as part of this project relate to urban planning, politics, industry, industrial education and major infrastructure projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area of North Texas. Topics included in these collections are especially relevant today– affordable housing, urban design, transportation (highway expansion, mass transit), crime, education and employment.
The papers of Texas Representative Lanny Hall document his constituent’s concerns during years of massive growth in Fort Worth and Arlington as well as political redistricting taking place on the state level (1979-1984.) The planning and creation of DFW International Airport are well documented in the archive of Texas Metro magazine and in the papers of Dr. John T. Thompson (1966-1975). Collections reveal how implementation of the federal Model Cities program (1966-1974) and the Community Development Block Grant programs of the 1970’s affected North Texas. These files contain detailed documents and maps submitted by municipalities across four counties. Site proposals for the Superconducting Super Collider contain extensive documentation of the North Texas site chosen for the project in 1987