DeGolyer Library


"A Highway to the Pacific": Building the Transcontinental Railroad

January 29 - May 31, 2019

Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall, Fondren Library West, open Monday - Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, except University holidays 

Parking information



On May 10, 1869, the last rail was laid, a golden spike was driven, and the Union Pacific Railroad, proceeding west from Omaha, and the Central Pacific Railroad, proceeding east from Sacramento, met at Promontory, Utah, having built together the first transcontinental railroad in the world. Our current exhibit of original pamphlets, maps, photographs, government surveys, and other materials tells the story of this “highway to the Pacific,” as promoters often called it.  A great technological achievement, the railroad was the subject of intense political debate before construction began, finally emerged out of the turmoil of the Civil War, and played a leading role in the long-term development of the American west.  

Free and open to the public.



Past Exhibits

Bill Wittliff—Texas Man of Letters, Selections from the Virgil Musick Collection


Go West, Young Man (or Woman): Children’s Books and the American West, 1830-1930

State Fair candy apples

The State Fair of Texas, 1886 - 2016: Celebrating 130 Years of a Texas Institution

September 8 – December 16, 2016

William Jennings Bryan poster

Books, Buildings, and Benefactors

April 15 – Summer 2016

George Cook

First Impressions: The George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection

January 30 – May 15, 2015

Parables of Promise

Parables of Promise: American Advertising Fiction, 1856-2014

March 27 – May 23, 2014

Year of the Faculty

The Not So Secret Life of the Faculty

August 20 – October 1, 2014

Defined by Light

Defined By Light: Photography's First 75 Years

October 23 – December 19, 2014

100 Years of Collecting

Treasures of DeGolyer Library: 100 Years of Collecting

October 24, 2013 – February 28, 2014

John Maley

John Maley, An Account of Four Years Travels

April 23 – May 24, 2013

Joe Coomer: Decatur Road

Joe Coomer: A Life in Letters

March 21 – May 24, 2013

Civil War

Civil War in Photographs: New Perspectives from the Robin Stanford Collection

January 15 – March 15, 2013

Remember the Ladies!

Remember the Ladies! Discovering Women's History at DeGolyer Library

September 10 – December 14, 2012


Charles Dickens: The First 200 Years

January – May 12, 2012