Finding Aid to the Tyler Beard Manuscripts and Research Papers MSA.40

Finding aid prepared by Holly Rose Larson
Autry National Center, Autry Library
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA, 90027
(323) 667-2000 ext. 349
rroom@theautry.org
2012 July 5


Title: Tyler Beard Manuscripts and Research Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MSA.40
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Autry Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 5.1 Linear feet 8 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1948-1999
Abstract: Tyler Beard (1954 September 1 - 2007 December 20) was renowned for his expertise on cowboy boots and other aspects of Western style. Beard and his wife Teresa opened a Western apparel, boots, and antiques outfit called "True West" in Comanche, Texas in the mid-1980s. Between 1992 and 2004, Beard published five books on Western wear, cowboy boots, and Western décor. This collection contains manuscript drafts and research materials Tyler Beard collected dated 1948-1999 to write The Cowboy Boot Book, 1992; 100 Years of Western Wear, 1993; Art of the Boot, 1999; and Cowboy Boots, 2004.
creator: Beard, Tyler, 1954-2007

Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Access

Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org.

Scope and contents

This collection contains manuscript drafts and research materials Tyler Beard collected to write The Cowboy Boot Book, 1992; 100 Years of Western Wear, 1993; Art of the Boot, 1999; and Cowboy Boots, 2004.
Manuscript materials include book jacket art and mock-ups, hand-written manuscripts, photographs by Jim Arndt, posters, printed proofs, and review copies.
Research materials, ranging in dates from 1948-1999, include advertisements, audio cassettes, boot and Western clothing catalogs from such companies as Blucher Custom Boot Company, collected manuscripts, correspondence, magazine and newspaper clippings, photocopies, photographs, postcards, and a VHS videocassette tape.

Biographical Note

Tyler Beard was renowned for his expertise on cowboy boots and other aspects of Western style. Born Barry William Beard on 1954 September 1, in Dallas, Texas, Beard was also known for sporadically changing his name and interests. As a teenager, Beard played drums in a glam rock band called Max Pageant in Dallas in 1971. He graduated from Skyline High School in 1972 and immediately moved to England and began dealing antiques. Beard returned to the United States a year later and fashioned himself as both a successful hair dresser and house renovator in New Hampshire. In 1983, Beard married his Dallas girlfriend Teresa Lynn Skelton, and they soon returned to their home state of Texas.
The Beards bought a home to restore in Comanche, Texas, and started a business dealing Western antiques and clothing under the name True West. Just after the Beards established True West, they reached great success, becoming the official suppliers of Western decorative objects for all of Ralph Lauren Corporations’s Polo stores, as well as fully furnishing and outfitting Euro Disney’s Old West Town, and television miniseries Lonesome Dove. In 1990, True West also revived the Westward Ho Rodeo Pattern line of china, originally produced by the Wallace China Company in Los Angeles from 1943-1964.
Tyler Beard was most notable for his knowledge of cowboy boots and boot makers. In 1992, he wrote The Cowboy Boot Book, and in 1993 followed up with 100 Years of Western Wear. In 1999, Beard wrote another tome Art of the Boot. Other publications include Lone Star Living: Texas Homes and Ranches, 2003 and Cowboy Boots, 2004. Photographer Jim Arndt supplied the images for The Cowboy Boot Book, 100 Years of Western Wear, Art of the Boot, and Cowboy Boots.
By 2001, Beard was ready for another change and he sold True West and all of his land and antiques. Beard’s wife Teresa died in 2005, and Tyler followed on 2007 December 20.

Preferred citation

Tyler Beard Manuscripts and Research Papers, 1948-1999, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MSA.40; [folder number] [folder title][date].

Acquisition

Donated by High Noon Western Collectibles, 2000 October 15.

Processing history

Initial inventory, physical processing, and cataloging by Autry National Center staff. Additional processing and finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Project Archivist, 2012 July 5, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Related Archival Materials

Blucher Custom Boot Company Records, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Autry Library has copies of his books "100 Years of Western Wear," "The Cowboy Boot Book," and "Art of the Boot."

Subjects and Indexing Terms

G.C. Blucher Boot Co.
100 Years of Western Wear
Advertisements
Audio cassettes
Clothing and dress -- West (U.S.) -- History
Commercial catalogs
Cowboy boots
Manuscripts
Photographs
Postcards
Videocassettes