From its beginnings in Dallas Hall in 1913, the collections of the Southern Methodist University Libraries have grown to include over 4 million volumes. In addition to the physical collections, SMU Libraries provides extensive access to electronic resources. There are six libraries serving the main campus community:
- Bridwell Library is the principal resource at SMU for theology and religious studies, supporting educational programs of Perkins School of Theology. Special Collections strengths include European printing before 1501, scripture and liturgy, worship and devotion, church history and theology, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and Methodist studies.
- The Business Library serves the Cox School of Business. Its collections are comprised primarily of specialized resources for students in business and related fields, the majority of which are delivered electronically. The library also houses a limited selection of books and periodicals of interest to Cox students and faculty.
- DeGolyer Library houses special collections, including the SMU Archives, with particular strengths in Western Americana, business history, and railroadiana.
- Fondren Library serves as the general collection for SMU, supporting undergraduate and graduate programs in the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, the Lyle School of Engineering, and the Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
- Hamon Arts Library houses collections in the fine and performing arts, advertising, and communication studies. It supports students and faculty in the Meadows School of the Arts.
- Underwood Law Library collects materials that support scholarship in the Dedman School of Law.
The collections profile for the libraries largely mirrors the institutional profile of SMU, with a strong focus on resources for undergraduate education and selected, additional support for advanced work in its graduate and professional schools. Collections related to art and art history, geology, English language and literature, and history are relatively strong. Other areas are developed as the curricular and research interests of the university grow.