News from the DeGolyer Library
April 2020

Southern Methodist University
A Message From Our Director
As you know by now from earlier email communications from SMU, the DeGolyer Library has suspended access to the library building in accordance with recommendations from SMU and local authorities. Like the rest of the university, we will reopen physically as soon as we feel it is safe for our staff and our researchers.

In the meantime, we remain committed to connecting people with our collections and our staff, even if that connection happens at a distance. Our librarians, archivists, and curators continue to field research questions via email at [email protected] . SMU faculty and students are especially encouraged to contact us as they navigate teaching and learning in the weeks and months to come in our “online only” environment. K-12 teachers can use many of the images in our digital collections in lessons and assignments to assist in distance learning while school buildings around the country are closed. 

Our digital collections and other online resources can also help those who are practicing “social distancing” stay connected to historical words and images. These can be found through our website and enjoyed from the comfort of home:

We’ve also recently published two books that many of our friends will want to own. (We can ship them to buyers for as long as orders come in!) Both will provide hours of delight and instruction as we hunker down:
Houston Displayed, or, Who Won the Battle of San Jacinto? was first published in 1837. Written by “A Farmer in the Army,” Col. Robert Coleman, it cast grave doubts on the military exploits, political ambition, and personal character of Sam Houston, who had just become the president of the fledgling Republic of Texas. Edited with an introduction and scholarly annotation by Stephen L. Hardin, Houston Displayed is the thirteenth volume in our Library of Texas series, published in conjunction with the Clements Center for Southwest Studies.
From Anderson’s Holler … to Washington, New York, Newport News, Casablanca, Sicily, Salerno, Naples, Anzio, Rome, Florence, Poltava, Southern France, Dachau, Munich, Berlin , Paris, Washington, Nuremberg, and Tokyo is a memoir by Melvin C. Shaffer, who served as a medical photographer in World War II. From the mountains of West Virginia to the far reaches of the globe, Shaffer recounts his experiences of the brutality, cruelty, and horror of the bloodiest war in history , laced with irony, touches of humor, and grace. For those interested in personal narratives of World War II, From Anderson’s Holler is a must-read!

Mr. Shaffer has also given us his photographs of the war, and many of them can be seen online:

One casualty of the coronavirus crisis has been our spring semester exhibit. “The World at War: Stories and Images, 1939-1945” has been put on hold for the time being, but we hope to unveil it in winter 2021. This look back from a distance of 75 years since the end of the war reminds us that our country has faced grave challenges before and that we’ve always emerged from them. Melvin Shaffer’s memoir, From Anderson’s Holler , for example, reminds us of the resilience that served our country well in the past.

We wish you and yours good health during this time and will continue to offer our community the high-quality service, programs, and expertise that are hallmarks of the DeGolyer Library.

Russell L. Martin III

A look at how DeGolyer staff is a
working from home
Christina Jensen--Head of Public Services
"The only downside of having a job I love, great coworkers, and a beautiful office is that it's all the more difficult to adjust to working from home. My position is centered around assisting patrons, which I'm still able to do from a distance, via email and Ask-A-Librarian. I'm also using this time to catch up on professional literature, research future exhibits, and prepare for classes and researchers when we reopen.
I miss seeing patrons in our reading room, and being around the books and materials I love, but I am enjoying my current office setup, surrounded by plants and sunshine."
Cynthia Franco-Librarian
"I miss the office, but working from home has given me a chance to dig into some research and work on a variety of projects. This month, I was able to catalog a few books from the Nela Rio collection. Rio was an Argentine-Canadian poet and professor, and her collection focuses on Latin American poetry, mostly by women authors. Also, I finally wrote a libguide for all the Baldwin researchers we continue to serve every week. During this long month, I've also published 2 finding aids on TARO, and have focused on professional reading, available webinars, and working on research guides for various manuscript subjects. In my spare time I’m reading (checked out eight books from Fondren Library!) and crafting (knitting and sewing)."
New Finding Aids

William D. Middleton was a civil engineer, noted railroad historian, and author. He retired as a commander from the United States Navy before serving as chief facilities officer for the University of Virginia. This collection includes his manuscripts, correspondence, personal papers, and train ephemera.

David L. Rousar was an American railroad historian who had a special interest in nineteenth century lithographs of locomotives. His papers include his research notes, drafts for articles, railroad ephemera, and publications.
New Research Guides

The Baldwin Locomotive Works collection is one of our most popular, steadily drawing researchers and enthusiasts from around the world. It's also a large and complex collection. This guide will help researchers gain an understanding of what's available in person and digitally.

Curious about the ins and out of what it's like to visit the DeGolyer in person? Questions about the basics of archival research? Want to learn useful tips to help maximize your time when working with primary sources? This is the guide for you!
News & Notes
In Documenting Student Life During Covid-19 , University Archivist Joan Gosnell describes how she worked with a team across campus to activate the Voices of SMU project into an initiative to capture and preserve stories from students during the pandemic. To learn more about the Voices of SMU project, click here .
Christina Jensen used the recent exhibit Andy Hanson: Picturing Dallas, 1960-2008 as a chance to highlight the collections of the movers and shakers who Hanson documented, including Stanley Marcus, Caroline Rose Hunt, and Earle Cabell. Check out Andy Hanson's Dallas to learn more.
From the Stacks
Collections Highlight
Staff of the Daily Campus at work, circa 1954. This photo is part of the Digital Library's Campus Memories collection, which you can explore by clicking here .

If you'd like to view issues from the student newspaper, click here . You can also view a 1939 short film about how the newspaper went to press by clicking here.
Recent Accessions

All 21 feet of Adams Synchronological Chart or Map of History (1877?) rolled out on the floor of the DeGolyer Classroom. The map, based on biblical history, depicts a timeline from 4004BC to the 19th century and was created by Presbyterian missionary Sebastian C. Adams.

Newly Digitized Items

15 images from the Isabel T. Kelly Ethnographic Archive were recently digitized, including Kelly's hand-drawn maps of regions in Mexico and Southern Paiute Indian territory in Utah. The Kelly archives are one of our most accessed collections. Click here to learn more .
DeGolyer Book Plate
DeGolyer Library | Southern Methodist University | 214-768-3637 | [email protected] |