News from the DeGolyer Library
February 2021

Southern Methodist University
Our Latest Virtual Exhibit
Love Notes
“There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.” — Jane Austen, Emma

February 14th marks Valentine's Day each year, a celebration named in honor of one St. Valentine. Though the namesake's origin is of some dispute and uncertainty, what is certain is that this year, we could all use a little extra love.  

In honor of Valentine's Day, and for all those perusing the digital universe in search of some good news and happy endings, staff of the DeGolyer Library put together  a sampling of romantic stories, of cards and love letters from the past.

From the stacks in the Southern Methodist University Archives, to the postcards in the DeGolyer Prints and Photographs collections, and the ladies of the Archives of Women of the Southwest, these items depict the butterflies of new relationships, illustrate the heartfelt terms of endearment of long time couples, highlight the pangs of loneliness for long distance lovers, and provide insight into how men and women expressed their feelings of love and adoration across time and miles. 

News & Notes
Patriotic Order Sons of America: Visual History

Longtime donor and collector Toni Wirth has enriched our holdings in various ways over the years, especially in the realm of cookbooks, ephemera, and political memorabilia. This month, she presented us with a great rarity, P.O.S. of A. Record (Terre Haute, Ind.: J.M. Vickroy & Co., 1891).

This striking chromolithograph includes a blank form to be filled in by a local chapter of the Patriotic Order Sons of America, with vignettes showing scenes from American history surrounding portraits of Washington and Columbus (the 400th anniversary of the Columbus voyage was approaching in 1892). The vignettes include the Mayflower, Washington Crossing the Delaware, the Surrender of Cornwallis, the Battle of New Orleans, and the Battle of Gettysburg.
Ironically, given the pairing of Christopher Columbus with George Washington at the center of the print, the P.O.S. of A. was originally a nativist, anti-immigrant group, allied with the “Know Nothings” at the time of its founding in Philadelphia in 1847. They were staunch proponents of public schools. At the height of the order’s popularity at the turn of the last century, there were over 600 local camps across the country. Today, there are 14 camps, all in Pennsylvania. This particular print at one time was displayed at the Ellis County courthouse in Waxahachie, Texas. As far as we can tell, there is one other copy recorded, at George Washington University. We are grateful to Mrs. Wirth for her discerning eye and generosity—a fitting gift on George Washington’s birthday!

Texas Instruments Press Releases Digitization Project

DeGolyer Library's holdings of Texas Instruments press release bulletins cover almost five decades, documenting the development of the company that pioneered the miniature device industry with inventions like the first commercial pocket radio, the integrated circuit, and the hand-held calculator. Bulletins covered events like the opening of research facilities and manufacturing plants around the globe, and feature earnings and stock reports.

Digitization is currently underway, with new materials added regularly. Click here to view the bulletins that have already been digitized, and click the link below to explore the Texas Instruments records digital collection:

Disrupt and Dismantle on BET
DeGolyer Library provided images to researchers for 'Environmental Racism', the first episode of Disrupt and Dismantle, a new documentary series by journalist Soledad O'Brien, airing now on BET. The episode explores the history of the systemic racism that shaped Dallas through zoning and redlining, leading to the environmental hazard known as Shingle Mountain in south Dallas.

Stephen Jarchow collection of juvenile series books began innocently enough. But, as often happens, one purchase led to another, and after 20 plus years of collecting, he found that his collection was overtaking all available space in his home. He has a particular interest in series books written for boys—adventure stories, science fiction, mysteries, and most of all, sports fiction, from the 19th century to the mid-20th century. The collection, which Mr. Jarchow is in the process of donating to the DeGolyer Library, numbers in the thousands and will be an invaluable source for researchers interested in publishing history, children’s literature, and popular culture. 

Over 700 rare dime novels in the Jarchow Collection document the exploits of Frank Merriwell, Dick Merriwell, and Frank Merriwell, Jr. Frank Merriwell, the fictional hero of Street and Smith's Tip Top Weekly, was first introduced to readers on April 18, 1896. Merriwell was the creation of writer Gilbert Patten and embodied a new type, a wholesome youth noted for fair-dealing and athletic prowess. The Yale-educated Merriwell possessed “a body like Tarzan’s and a head like Einstein’s,” wrote one admiring writer, and thus represented “the perfect union of brain and brawn.”

The lineup of all-star writers in the Jarchow Collection also includes Oliver Optic, Edward S. Ellis, Allan Chapman, Ralph Henry Barbour, Lester Chadwick, Harold Sherman, Wilfred McCormick, Clair Bee, John Tunis, and dozens of others. We look forward to introducing them to a new generation of readers!
New Finding Aids and Collections

Paula S. Waddle was a Dallas native but Corpus Christi appointed municipal court judge and attorney who specialized in business tax, real estate and commercial litigation. Ephemera, correspondence, letters, newspaper clippings and court case materials document her personal life as well as her extensive professional career.

The Alpha Phi Omega records include the organization’s publications, chapter minutes, awards granted to the fraternity, photographs, as well as issues of the fraternity’s national publication, Torch and Trefoil, and the SMU Alpha Omicron Chapter Newsletter.

Recently Accessioned

A2021.0001c - William Wallace Cox letter to Seward County, Nebraska board of supervisors, 1893
A2021.0002c - Gretchen Hamilton scrapbook 1918-1928

A2021.0003c - Letters to Grandpappy Earl Davis, 1947-1951
A2021.0004c - Benjamin Coppock papers, 1877-1924
A2021.0005c - Holbrook family correspondence, 1848-1872
From the Stacks
Collection Highlight
The George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection contains over 2,200 photographs and 12,000 postcards related to the city of Dallas and Texas. From a promissory note signed by Davy Crockett in 1829 to photographs of carhops at Sivil’s drive-in in mid-century Dallas, the 20,000 items are a rich collection providing a wide ranging view of Dallas and Texas history. Many of the images can be viewed in our digital library, via the link below.

Recent Accessions

It's a common joke in our industry that you become an archivist because it's fun to read other people's mail. See for yourself if that's true with the recently accessioned Holbrook family correspondence (1846-1872)

Maria “Mollie” Louisa Holbrook Blanchard (1842-1925) was sent to live with a family in Massachusetts when her mother died and her father went looking for work in Chicago. Years latter, Mollie married and moved to Nebraska. Over these years, Molly corresponded with friends and family about life, domestic matters, and family news.

Newly Digitized Items

The Norwick Center for Digital Solutions digitized 140 postcards from the John Miller Morris Real Photographic Postcards and Photographs of Texas collection. The project was funded by a grant from IMLS and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The images, taken between 1900 and 1975, captures towns across Texas, including this 1931 shot of "all the old oil boomers" in downtown Kilgore.
DeGolyer Book Plate
DeGolyer Library | Southern Methodist University | 214-768-3637 | [email protected] |