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General SMU History Collections

Finding aids can be simple box listings to detailed online encoded archival materials. Check with the Archivist for access to these and other materials.

Diamond Anniversary from Yearbook Cover

Anniversary Records

SMU has celebrated its major anniversaries in varied ways.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1994.0236

SMU Dallas Hall

Commission on the Status of Women

n 1976, President James Zumberge formed the Commission on the Status of Women.  Its job was to document the issues that women faced at SMU. The Commission continues today.

Finding aid available.
SMU 2009.0419

The Community Course Brochure

Community Course Records

The Community Course was a non-profit lecture-concert-drama series co-sponsored by Southern Methodist University and Temple Emanu-El,. The organization presented cultural events on the SMU campus, usually in McFarlin Auditorium from 1939 to 1981.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1991.0079

Photo of graduating student

Convocation and commencement records

Containing every SMU commencement program, this collection also documents the administrative side of the convocation ceremonies. Learn more about academic ceremony history and archives.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1991.0064

Dedman School of Law Cenotaph

Dedman School of Law

Founded in 1925, this collection contains a brief overview of records of  the Southern Methodist University School of Law, renamed the Dedman School of Law in 2001.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1991.0063

Colophon Friends of the Library brochure

Friends of the Library/Colophon

Friends of the SMU Libraries/Colophon is an organization formed in 1970 to showcase the libraries collections.  Records document the group’s activities as well as the building of the Colophon collection of modern books,  "the contours of the spirit-soul-mind of man for the period of 1950-75."

Finding aid available.
SMU 1992.0162

James O. Breeden

James O. Breeden students' papers

Dr. Breeden taught a class on the history of SMU.  This collection includes a sampling of the his students’ papers.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1994.0225

John O. Beaty

John O. Beaty controversy papers

Contains the papers of Dr. John Beaty, English professor at Southern Methodist University from 1919 to 1957. The papers pertain to controversy surrounding his 1954 publication of a pamphlet entitled "How to Capture a University," which asserted that un-Christian and even communist influences were infiltrating SMU.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1992.0167

Article about John Gates from Daily Campus newspaper

John Gates controversy

The SMU Student Senate invited John Gates, editor of the Daily Worker, to SMU in 1958.  Many Dallas civic leaders did not approve of the invitation of a known Communist.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1992.0168x

Master Plan Booklet

Master Plan

This collection contains records from the work undertaken  in the early 1960s to create a master plan and define the mission of the university, its vision for the future, and set down steps by which it could establish itself as a nationally-recognized liberal arts, graduate, and research institution.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1991.0029

Image of early clinics at SMU

Medical and Pharmacy Schools

In 1911, SMU The Methodist Episcopal Church South transferred ownership of  Southwestern University’s medical and pharmacy school to SMU. The collection provides insights into SMU’s early days, as a medical and pharmacy school. Included are letters, ephemera, contracts, student transcripts, research notes, and financial ledgers.

To learn more about the History of the SMU Medical School, visit the Registrar's site to read a history by Nancy Skochdopole.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1992.0146

SMU Star Shaped Ephemera

Origins and history collection

Here are documents, school publications, and news articles relating to the founding of the university, university events, the history of SMU, and world events as related to SMU.

Finding aid available.
SMU 2006.0378

Perkins School of Theology

Perkins School of Theology

The Perkins collection is comprised of records, pamphlets, school programs, and publications detailing course offerings, school finances, and events from the theology school.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1991.0051

1968 Homecoming: Bob Hope kissing queen

Southern Methodist University Campus Memories

Campus Memories highlights some of our most popular images of campus places.  Find images of Presidents, faculty, and students. Check out the vintage videos, too.

Browse Collection

SMU Dallas Hall

Town and Gown Club records

Town and Gown was founded in 1927 by both Southern Methodist University representatives (gown) and prominent Dallas residents (town). The original goals of the organization were to promote fellowship, intellectual stimulation, and dialogue between Southern Methodist University and the greater Dallas community.

Finding aid available.
SMU 1991.0048