SMU Archives

The Southern Methodist University Archives serves as a research repository for the official administrative and historical records of the University. In addition, the Archives serves as the collective memory of Southern Methodist University. The Archives were informally established by SMU Librarian Dorothy Amman, who collected materials, including the World War I Gold Star flag, which documented SMU’s earliest history. Officially, the University Archives was founded in 1967. Ronald Knickerbocker, class of 1930 and first Director of Publicity, served as the first University Archivist.

The University Archives has two primary responsibilities:

  • Collecting and preserving historical materials, making them available for reference and research.
  • Providing useful documentation of the policies, people, aims, achievements, and events of the university.

We help people discover SMU history. Information about SMU history can be found in the SMU Archives, as well as in Fondren Library, Bridwell Library, Research Guides, and Digital Collections.


Southern Methodist University Archives has over 500 collections, which reflect different campus constituencies -- students, faculty, administration, and alumni. We have records about campus buildings, organizations, people, athletics, and even Peruna. Materials in the archives consist of non-current university records, which can include:

  • Office files
  • Minutes
  • Photographs
  • Films
  • Correspondence
  • Artifacts and memorabilia
  • Publications
  • Scrapbooks
  • Blueprints
  • Oral history tapes
  • Faculty or alumni manuscript collections

Many collections have Finding Aids, which are guides to the content of the collection.

The Archives does not have:

  • Student Transcripts
  • Replacement diplomas
  • Replacement Rotundas