Archives of Women of the Southwest

The Archives of Women of the Southwest documents the historical experience of women in Dallas and Texas, and beyond to Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and the Spanish Borderlands.

Established in 1993 as part of DeGolyer Library, the Archives of Women of the Southwest supports SMU interests and programs, including the annual Women’s Symposium, The Women and LGBT Center at SMU, and the Women’s Studies Program of Dedman College. The Archives holds collections that are important to SMU students in these programs, and researchers seeking to understand and document women’s roles in shaping the history of our time and the issues of the day.


The Archives has over 200 collections that document women who settled in or traveled through the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and 20th and 21st century women who influenced women’s roles in society and shaped the culture, arts, business, social issues, law, and politics in Texas and the Southwest.

Collections include the papers of activists, politicians, business leaders, women in healthcare, and the arts as well as a number of women’s clubs and organizations. Material includes:

  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Journals
  • Speeches
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Periodicals
  • Oral histories
  • Print, audio, and video materials