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SMU’s Fondren Library Center hosts Titanic exhibit

RMS Titanic
RMS Titanic

April 16, 2012

SMU’s Fondren Library Center is hosting a new exhibit — “Titanic: 100 Years Ago” — featuring a paper model of the Titanic built by artist James Pepper. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, opened April 13 and runs through April 27.

The model on display is made of paper, wire, string, paperclips, skewers and thumbtacks. It was built from the ground up, deck by deck, and is decorated inside and out. The cranes, bollards and propellers move, and the engine will turn over. The rudder also turns, and the lifeboats are tied to the davits.

According to Mr. Pepper, “Research is the key to success. Finding interior photographs from the internet was important, but when I discovered the resources of Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas, I knew I could build this ship.”

Mr. Pepper used the journal Engineering which had diagrams and photographs of all of the working parts of the ship along with the passenger accommodation and plans. He also used color postcards, existing Olympic rooms in a hotel in England, and written descriptions of the interiors of the ship to complete his models.

Mr. Pepper’s models of the Titanic were originally displayed in the Fondren Library Center in 1999 and will be on display again for a limited time in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage.

The luxury steamship RMS Titanic was enroute to New York City from Southampton, England, when it struck an iceburg at 11:40 p.m. (local time) on April 14, 1912, in the North Atlantic Ocean, some 375 miles south of Newfoundland. It sank during the early hours of April 15. Of the 2,223 people on the ship, some 1,514 died in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

The Fondren Library Center is located at 6414 Hyer Lane on the SMU campus. The Fondren Library Center is open to visitors from 8 a. m. to 9 p. m. daily.

For more information on Central University Libraries’ (CUL) exhibits, visit

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