Inscriptions

A slightly less well-known part of the collections here in the University Archives is the Special Collections. Special Collections are a big umbrella that covers faculty publications, theses, some University publications, and any rare or unique books that we have which we don’t want to be checked out or circulated outside our library.

Many of our special collections books are rare because there weren’t many printed. But some are rare because they are signed by the author. One of our books was signed both by the author and the author’s husband: Lady Bird Johnson and President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The book, A White House Diary, was published in 1970, just after LBJ left office. It’s a published journal of Lady Bird’s own affairs while First Lady. In this first edition, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see her signature, and an inscription to a member of the Briscoe family (Dolph Briscoe was the 41st governor of Texas). However, once I looked more closely, and remembered that Lady Bird and Lyndon shared initials, I realized that it’s both *his* signature and *her signature* on top of one another. I don’t know how it came to our collections, but I have since found out that Honey Briscoe passed away in 1980, and its possible her books were simply gifted to the library as a donation after her death, without her heirs ever realizing what was tucked inside this particular book.

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“To Honey Briscoe with the best wishes of her friends through the years–L.B.J. Lady Bird Johnson”
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