Digital Collections

Breakfast soon to be served on the Plains of West Texas

John Miller Morris Real Photographic Postcards and Photographs of Texas

Breakfast soon to be served on the Plains of West Texas, ca. 1910

Over the Tops of the Buildings at Turner Town

Over the Tops of the Buildings
at Turner Town, ca, 1930

Post Office, Elizabeth St., Brownsville, Tex.

Post Office, Elizabeth St.,
Brownsville, Tex., 1910

Wreck of A. T. & S. F.  Near Friona, Tex.

Wreck of A. T. & S. F.
Near Friona, Tex.
September 8, 1909


February 6, 1912

Fourth Section in Action

Fourth Section in Action,
ca. 1914-1918

[Street Band in Miami, Texas]

[Street Band in Miami, Texas],
ca. 1907-1918

Cattle Shipping, Stratford Texas

Cattle Shipping, Stratford Texas
ca. 1909

About the Collection

Holding library: DeGolyer Library

View more collections held by DeGolyer Library

OverviewPalm at Mercedes

The John Miller Morris Collection of Texas Real Photographic Postcards and Photographs at the DeGolyer Library, SMU contains real photographic postcards (RPPCs) and some photographs of locations throughout Texas. Most date from 1900-1925. The Morris collection consists of 9,290 postcards and 350 photographic prints. The collection includes images from every area of the state and is arranged by geographical region. The importance of the Morris collection is the number of images, many rare and probably unique, of small-town Texas at a time of tremendous growth and change. The photographs document common as well as unusual aspects of everyday life in towns and ranches in rural areas. Larger cities are illustrated as well, showing urban life from a personal snapshot perspective. The Texas border area photographs document the movement of Mexicans and military near and across the border during the Mexican Revolution. Mexicans citizens, wanting a better life for their families, immigrated into Texas, often to rural areas near the border.

The collection is divided into 12 series:

[Women and Children Walking]

Biographical Note

John Miller Morris (1952-2017) was born in Amarillo, Texas and grew up in the Texas Panhandle. His experiences as a youth in the northwestern part of the state shaped his future life, interests and career.

Dr. John Morris earned his bachelor degree, two masters and PhD in Geography and Planning at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Morris was a Professor in the Department of Political Science & Geography at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His areas of specialization were: Historical Geography of Greater Southwest, Exploration and Imaging of the High Plains of Texas, Revelation of 19th Century Culture. He received multiple awards for teaching excellence.

A historical geographer, Morris authored and edited multiple books, including El Llano Estacado, a definitive work on the history and geography of the region, From Coronado to Escalante, Taming the Land, and A Private in the Texas Rangers. He was working on a 2-volume, illustrated study of Texas photographers at the turn of the century at the time of his death.



In FY2021 and FY2022 the John Miller Morris Real Photographic Postcards and Photographs of Texas digital collection was partially funded by by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) as part of TSLAC’s TexTreasures program. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

This grant supported the digitization of 1,683 real photographic postcards (RPPCs) from every region of Texas in FY 2021, and another 1,684 RPPCs were added in FY 2022.

Items in SMU Libraries Digital Collections are digitized following the nCDS Digitization Guidelines and Procedures. Digital collections are created under the guidelines of the Digital Collections Workflow and Metadata Guidelines, or through specialized metadata profiles tailored for the collection.

Copyright usage terms vary throughout the collection. Each item contains information about usage terms. If SMU does not have the right to publish the item on the Internet, only the item's metadata will be available and the digitized object will be available on a restricted access basis. Such items may only be viewed on campus. When items are available for use, please cite DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University. A high-quality version of these files may be obtained for a fee by contacting

For more information about the collection, please contact