News from the DeGolyer Library
June 2022
“Send Me a Postcard! Women on the Road across 19th-20th Century America” highlights women’s voices and their stories across America’s roadways. Though travel has generally been associated with men, and the male prerogative of exploration, investment, and research, women have always been on the move. Women traveled for a variety of reasons including education and knowledge, a sense of adventure, and a newfound freedom to move outside of their traditional sphere. This exhibition examines the experiences of women travelers. From a group of college students on a summer road trip, to an anthropologist documenting the American Southwest, from trips to National Parks, to diners and dives, these manuscripts and narratives are full of memories and adventures and represent a variety of perspectives.

Included in the exhibit are trailblazers such as Blanche Stuart Scott, the first person to inaugurate a transcontinental motor trip for the purpose of interesting women in the value of motor car driving; Alice Huyler Ramsey, who in 1909 was the first woman to drive an automobile across the United States from coast to coast; and Harriet White Fisher Andrew, the first woman to circle the globe in a Locomobile. Also highlighted are everyday ladies on family vacations and girls' trips. Elizabeth Dalrymple, who motored with her friends from Pennsylvania to Colorado in 1940, said of travel: “never worry about getting lost out here in the great open spaces, as every road eventually leads to somewhere, no matter how lonely or how long.” Documents such as these provide invaluable insight into women’s experiences traveling and what life was like for women on the road. While no two experiences are alike, these narratives weave together women’s shared experiences with life on the road, demonstrating in fact that “women can handle an automobile just as well as men.”

“Send Me a Postcard” features materials from the DeGolyer Library’s holdings of rare books, pamphlets, ephemera, and manuscripts, including the Archives of Women of the Southwest. 

April 28 - August 31
Hillcrest Exhibit Hall, Fondren Library West
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., M- F

News and Notes
University Archivist Joan Gosnell was awarded the Rotunda Outstanding Staff Award for 2022! Joan was chosen by Rotunda yearbook staff for her excellence both in and outside the classroom. Notably, this year Joan supported the students behind the PRIDE@SMU capstone project, In Search of Belonging, a new exhibit which tells the stories of LGBTQ+ student organizing at SMU. To learn more, click here.
In her latest blog post, Samantha Dodd tracks the 1922 road trip Lib and Glen (no last name) took across Texas, as depicted in a scrapbook charting their journey. The scrapbook, and others like it, is featured in our latest in-person and virtual exhibit, “Send Me a Postcard! Women on the Road across 19th-20th Century America" which runs through the end of August. Click here to read the On the road across Texas...
A 1913 image of D.N. Leathers Sr. at a Juneteenth celebration in Corpus Christi was part of the inspiration for a New Yorker cover this month. The New Yorker illustration by Elizabeth Colomba incorporated the flower decorated horse and carriage as part of her watercolor illustration. Click here to view the illustration and learn more about Colomba's creative process.
New Collections

Recently Accessioned
A2022.0015c - Xtraction of the square root rule : manuscript
A2022.0016c - Donald Hall letter to Margaret Pigott : typescript signed
A2022.0017 - John M. Lewis papers
A2022.0018c - James Boyle letter to William Fred White : signed typescript
A2022.0019c - George Bernard Shaw letter and advertisement
A2022.0020c - Natalie Ornish collection of Texas documents
 A2022.0021 - Karen Blumenthal papers
A2022.0022c - KLIF Radio 1190 materials
A2022.0023c - Cahier au net appartenant a Marcel Blomme, Cortemarck-Elle, 1910-1911 : autograph manuscript
From the Stacks
Collection Highlight

Freda DeKnight was a cookbook author and the first food editor for Ebony magazine, whose 1948 cookbook A Date With A Dish is considered the first major cookbook written by a Black author for a Black audience. Freda Alexander was born in Kansas in 1909, and grew up in Boston and later with her extended family on a farm in South Dakota. After studying home economics in college, she moved to New York on a whim, where she met and married pianist and composer Rene DeKnight. Hired by Ebony publisher John H. Johnson shortly after the magazine was founded, DeKnight published the regular column "A Date with a Dish." The column was photo driven, with home economics guidance and a focus on regional recipes. This focus would carry over to Dish--DeKnight's preface to Dish notes the need for non-regional specific cookbooks, which would contain recipes and tips from Black communities across the United States. Date with A Dish became a bestseller, and was later republished as The Ebony Cookbook in the 1960s and 70s. Click here to learn more about Freda DeKnight.
Recent Accessions

The Karen Blumenthal papers were accessioned in the Archives of Women of the Southwest this month. Blumenthal (1959-2020) was a journalist and author from Dallas, Texas. She worked for The Dallas Morning News as a reporter before joining The Wall Street Journal's Dallas bureau in 1984. She wrote a dozen young adult books, including Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition (2011); Tommy: The Gun that Changed America (2015); and Jane Against the World (2020). Her papers comprise research files, manuscript drafts, columns, newspaper clippings, and copies of her publications. Click here to learn more.
Newly Digitized Items

13 issues of The Dinkey, a satirical newspaper published by SMU students to mark April Fool's Day between 1916 and 1929, were recently added to our digital collections. Headlines included "Frat Houses are Banned," "Dean of Women Elopes with Ice Man," and "Pi Phis Decide to Clean House of Vermin Known as Southern Gentleman." Click here to read the issues
DeGolyer Book Plate
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