Strengths and current collecting interests focus on Bibles, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, church history, theology, popular devotion and popular piety, Methodist materials, archival documents, and the book arts (fine press imprints, artists’ books, livres d’artiste, and miniature books). Of special note are incunables, books printed in Europe with moveable type before 1501. It is also one of the most significant collections of Wesleyana in the United States with a major repository of Wesley letters.
Bywaters Specials Collections is a repository for work of art on paper and archival materials illuminating aspects of the history of the visual and performing arts in the United States, especially the Southwest; concentration is on the first half of the 20th century, with supporting materials from the mid-20th century. The mission is to preserve, protect, acquire, and disseminate these holdings to the SMU community, general public and scholars through research, exhibitions and publications.
The DeGolyer Library is the principal repository at SMU for special collections in the humanities, the history of business, and the history of science and technology. Its rare books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, and other materials are available to all SMU students, faculty, visiting scholars, and other researchers. DeGolyer Library’s holdings of primary sources are complemented by exhibitions, lectures, publications, and other programs.
Located in Fondren Library, the Foscue Map Library is one of the preeminent collections of cartographic resources in the American Southwest. It supports the key disciplines of geology, archaeology and anthropology, history, sociology, political science, and environmental science.
The G. William Jones Film & Video Collection supports instruction and research in the Meadows School of the Arts, the Southern Methodist University, and the global moving image preservation and research community. The Collection’s primary purpose is to support education through the study, preservation, and presentation of moving images.
Part of the Dedman School of Law, SMU’s Underwood Law Library is the largest private academic law library west of the Mississippi River. Its collections include approximately 662,465 law-related volumes and equivalents, ranking the library among the top 20% of law libraries in the United States. Special Collections include the DISD Desegregation Litigation Archives and Dedman School of Law Archives, among others.