Central Texas seems an unlikely place to find the world's largest collection of the works and belongings of British poets Robert Browning (1812-89) and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61). Dr. A.J. Armstrong, chairman of Baylor's English department for 40 years until his death in 1954, donated his personal Browning collection to the university in 1918; it grew in one room of the campus library until this two-story Italian Renaissance-style building was erected in 1951. Bronze doors, modeled after 15C Florentine baptistry doors by Ghiberti, were engraved by Robert Weinman; 56 stained-glass windows, the world's largest secular collection, illustrate works of both writers, including Robert Browning's The Pied Piper of Hamelin and his wife's Sonnets from the Portuguese. Also displayed are original manuscripts of Dickens, Emerson and other authors.
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