News from the DeGolyer Library
January 2021

Southern Methodist University
Remembering Melvin Shaffer
Join us in remembering the life of Melvin Shaffer, a good friend and donor to the library, who passed away this month.
Born in 1924 in West Virginia, Melvin served as a medical photographer in World War II, documenting events in Italy, France, Germany, and Morocco. He recounted his experiences during the war in his memoir From Anderson's Holler... which was published by the DeGolyer in 2020. Our thoughts are with his family.

Our Latest Virtual Exhibit
1884 advert featuring presidential candidates
If remembered at all in the popular mind, the Presidential election of 1884 is best known, perhaps, as the "dirtiest" campaign in American history. But the election of 1884 is notable in several other respects. It resulted in the first Democratic victory since 1856. Beyond the personal scandals associated with both candidates and the campaign, many other issues were at stake, some of which were addressed, some of which were suppressed or ignored, such as women's rights, civil rights for African Americans, growing disparities in wealth (and what to do about that), prohibition, civil service reform, and the challenges immigration posed in creating a more pluralistic society. If many of these sound familiar to us today, the election of 1884 is worth a second look.
This exhibit draws on over a hundred objects to tell the story of this moment in American history. The Hervey Priddy Collection, the Danny O. Crew Collection, and the R. Hal Williams Collection are featured prominently, as well as items from the general DeGolyer Library collections. From the beginning, our benefactor Hervey Priddy wanted to mount this exhibit in honor of the late Hal Williams, a beloved and respected professor here at SMU, who had been working on a biography of James G. Blaine at the time of his death. It is a pleasure for us to do so.
A novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, defined the boom and bust times of the post Civil War era, when unbridled acquisitiveness dominated national life. As they note, tongue-in-cheek: "In a State where there is no fever of speculation, no inflamed desire for sudden wealth, where the poor are all simple-minded and contented, and the rich are all honest and generous, where society is in a condition of primitive purity and politics is the occupation of only the capable and the patriotic, there are necessarily no materials for such a history as we have constructed out of an ideal commonwealth."

1884 was a banner year in the Gilded Age.
New Finding Aids and Collections

June Crozier Towers worked as the director of home economics at the Texas based Imperial Sugar Company for 25 years. Her career also included other companies such as Comet Rice and various publications for which she wrote recipes and food columns. The June Crozier Towers papers comprise cookbooks, recipes, food columns, and photographs.

Andy Hanson (1932-2008) worked as a press photographer for the Dallas Times Herald newspaper from 1960 until the paper closed in December 1991. He continued work as a free-lance photographer until his death. Included in the collection are many photographs of famous, high profile, politicians, celebrities, and newsworthy people in Dallas. Hanson also actively documented the theater, opera, musical, and social events in the city. The collection predominantly consists of Hanson’s photographs and negatives; however, there are also manuscripts, appointment books, and other materials. In addition, there are photographs by other Dallas Times Herald photographers.

Recently Accessioned

A2020.0028c - Miss Clay Perkins autograph album, 1884-1887
A2020.0029c - Plumville Railroad journal vouchers, 1905
A2020.0030c - Collection of Llano, Texas materials, 1877-1936
A2020.0031c - Collection on Concrete College, Texas, 1874-1878
A2020.0032c - Helen Gould Lodge no. 512, Ladies Auxiliary to the Brotherhood of Trainmen minutes, 1914-1924
A2020.0033X - William Henson advertising artwork, circa 1970s-1980s
A2020.0034X - Coca-Cola sales personnel training materials, 1940-1952
A2020.0035 - Maureen Connolly Brinker papers, 1947-2019
A2020.0036 - Eloise Brooks Cullum scrapbooks, 1930-2010
A2020.0037 - Peacemakers Inc. records, 1988-2016
A2020.0038 - Margaret Tallichet Wyler papers, 1800s-1982
A2020.0039c - Riley Chapel : typescript by W.H. Balentine Sr., 1932
A2020.0040c - Chris Emmett letters, 1935-1937
A2020.0041c - Collection of United States election ballots, 1859-1924
A2020.0042c - Manuscript notes on geology, 1870
A2020.0043c - Patriotic songster : autograph manuscript, 1814

News & Notes

A century ago, a pandemic upended life at SMU. Christina Jensen examines how the Spanish Influenza was documented in The Campus student newspaper.
newspaper front page
handwritten letter

Anyone separated from a loved one this year will relate to Frankie Smith, whose correspondence with her rancher husband is preserved in the Archives of Women of the Southwest. Click the link above to see how one couple documented the highs, lows, and realities of long distance love in the 1890s.

It's that time of year again.
Dig into the history of the Girl Scouts in Dallas with Samantha Dodd's latest post on the Tejas Girl Scouts Council.
1940s girlscouts
Dr. King at podium

Take a look back at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1966 visit to SMU and reflect on the message he shared in Anne Peterson's reflection on the Civil Rights icon.
From the Stacks
Collection Highlight
A very well loved copy of Les Annales de Tacite (The Annales by Tacitus) printed in 1663 by Louis Elzevir in Amsterdam, features a pasted in handwritten book title. Annals provided a history of the reign of Roman Emperors Tiberius and Nero, by the Roman historian and senator Tacitus. Our copy features exposed raised cords and binding waste on the spine.

Maureen on the tenis court
Recent Accessions

Tennis anyone? The Archives of Women of the Southwest has accessioned the scrapbooks and photographs of Maureen Connolly Brinker (nicknamed 'Little Mo') who won nine Grand Slam singles titles, and became the first woman to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in one year. Her scrapbooks include news clippings and photographs which document her tennis career and marriage to Olympic equestrian Norman Brinker.

Newly Digitized Items

79 film negatives from the Collection of Dallas Morning News negatives were recently digitized. The images were captured between ca. 1884 and 1935, and depict scenes in Dallas and other major Texas cities. Most of the images, unsurprisingly, capture 'newsworthy' events, such as the 1931 Armistice Day Parade in Dallas, featured here.
DeGolyer Book Plate
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