Digital Collections

Archives of the Women of the Southwest

Archives of Women of the Southwest

From left: Mary Martin and friends, ca. 1921; Ermance Rejebian, 1920; Elisabet Ney, date unknown; Lucy Pier Stevens, ca.1861-1865

 [Lucy Pier Stevens' Diary, February 27, 1860 - November 25, 1861]

From Lucy Pier Stevens' Diary
Feb. 27, 1860 - Nov. 25, 1861

 [Model, Mustangs of Las Colinas]

[Model, Mustangs of Las Colinas]
Lynn Lennon, 1981

 [Kress Building Series, No. 30787]

[Kress Building Series, No. 30787],
Kenda North, 1987

 Will Dallas drop out as a city?

Lee Callum's commentary for
KERA, ca. 1980s

[Mary Martin]

Mary Martin, ca. 1920-1922

[Elisabet Ney's Formosa Studio]

Elisabet Ney's Formosa Studio,
ca. 1892-1907

About the Collection

Holding library: DeGolyer Library

View more collections held by DeGolyer Library


	Elisabet Ney's Statue of Lady Macbeth

Established in 1993, the Archives of Women of the Southwest is one of the special collections of SMU's DeGolyer Library. The primary mission of the Archives of Women of the Southwest is to document the historical experience of women in the Southwest, with special emphasis on Dallas and North Texas, as well as a regional focus that includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and the Spanish Borderlands.

Housed in the DeGolyer Library, the Archives currently has over 200 collections that fall into two areas: letters, diaries, and journals of women who settled in or traveled through the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the papers of 20th and 21st century women who have influenced women’s roles in society and shaped the culture, arts, business, social issues, law, and politics in Texas and the Southwest. Examples of the latter include papers of leaders in women's organizations and social and political reform movements; papers of outstanding women in the professions, the arts, and voluntary service; papers of families and of women in private life; records of women's organizations and organizations concerned with women's issues; and oral history interviews. The collection comprises letters, diaries, speeches, photographs, scrapbooks, periodicals, and other print, audio and video materials.



Holdings and Highlights

The online collection includes photographs, manuscripts, and documents from multiple accessions, including:

Annette Harvey Diary, 1906-1910 Elisabet Ney

Annette Harvey, of Arkansas and West Virginia, recounts events of her daily life in this "Line a Day" diary. She was the daughter of William Hope Harvey, aka "Coin" Harvey, a well-known businessman, politician, author and a founder of the resort of Monte Ne and the Ozark Association. Annette's brief entries record visits, housework, dances, parties, a train trip to New York, weather, church services and socials over a 5-year period, 1906-1910. Addresses and miscellaneous thoughts, quotations, poems, are recorded at the end of the volume. A photograph of her home made in 1906 is tipped in at the front of the diary.

Diane Wisdom Papers

Diane Wisdom Senibaldi (1938-2020) was a professional musical singer who traveled the world performing with such notables as Frank Sinatra Junior, Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Anthony, and Bob Hope. She attended Highland Park high school and Southern Methodist University. Her papers contain clippings, programs, photographs, a scrapbook, and recordings documenting her musical career

Edmund Montgomery and Elisabet Ney Papers

The digital collection contains a subset of the papers of Elisabet Ney (1833-1907) and her husband, Edmund Duncan Montgomery (1835-1911). Ney, a sculptor, immigrated to the United States in 1871 and settled in Texas two years later. Montgomery trained in Germany as a medical doctor and later gravitated toward philosophy and science. The papers in this collection include biographical material; deeds to the Texas plantation that Ney and Montgomery owned; wills of Ney family members; photographs; copies of Montgomery's published articles and books; and correspondence, including that between friends of Montgomery and his biographer, SMU philosophy professor, Ira K. Stephens.

Ney began studying art at the Munich Academy of Arts at the age of 19. She became a sculptor, creating busts of George V (King of Hanover), Giuseppe Garibaldi, Justus von Liebig, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, King Wilhelm I of Prussia, and a full-length statue of Ludwig II of Bavaria. In the United States she created statues of Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Lady Macbeth, and a recumbent statue of Civil War General Albert Sidney Johnston, among others. She is buried at her Texas home, Liendo Plantation, now registered in the National Register of Historic Places. A finding aid for the collection is available in TARO.

Ermance Rejebian, ca. 1940sErmance Rejebian Papers

The Ermance Rejebian Papers contain the papers of Armenian-born lecturer, author, news commentator, and book reviewer Ermance Rejebian (1906-1989). A finding aid to the collection is available in TARO. Rejebian immigrated to the United States at age 14. As an adult Rejebian reviewed hundreds of books (both fiction and non-fiction, as well as classics and 20th-century bestsellers) and presented these reviews to women's groups called "Rejebian Clubs" in Dallas and the Southwest. These clubs existed to hear Rejebian's summaries and critiques. The first of these 'Rejebian Clubs' was organized in 1936, and eventually there were 40 in all.

As she became better known, Rejebian began to give book reviews and news commentaries on local radio. Rejebian provided the 'background of the news' in a weekly broadcast from 1945 to 1952 on WFAA Radio in Dallas, Texas. She maintained a schedule of 170 to 300 speaking engagements per year. In 1951, she was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the seven most influential women of the Southwest. Rejebian was also the first recipient of the Americanism Medal awarded by the Jane Douglas Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution "in recognition of the many contributions she has made as a naturalized citizen." Rejebian wrote two short books describing her immigration to America, her husband's, and their life thereafter, titled Pilgrimage to Freedom and Testament of Faith. She also published a book of her letters titled, Abroad with the Rejebians. Her papers include her book reviews, speeches, notes, photographs, correspondence, audio recordings, and newspaper clippings.

Holloway Family Papers, 1807-1977

The Holloway family papers contain correspondence, case files, financial papers, writings, diaries, maps, genealogies, photographs, postcards, and printed material about the life of Edmunds B. Holloway and his descendants. Included are the Civil War letters of Edmunds and his wife, Eliza. Most of the material dates from the period of 1885-1930, when Thomas T. Holloway was a practicing attorney in Illinois and Dallas. These papers tell the story of nineteenth and twentieth century family life, religious life, U.S. Army history, Dallas history, and women’s history. A finding aid for the collection is available in TARO.

Isabel T. Kelly Ethnographic Archive

Isabel T. Kelly (1906-1983) was a social anthropologist and archeologist who specialized in Mexican cultures. The Kelly collection consists of field note sheets, folders of data, manuscripts, maps, photographs, negatives, slides, film, charts, tables, and secondary source copies. These materials come from research trips in the United States to study Coast Miwok and Southern Paiute tribes, and in Mexico, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, and Pakistan.

Portions of Kelly's field work are displayed online in their own digital collection.

Kenda North Photographs

This collection contains the works of photographer Kenda North. The list of North’s achievements, exhibitions, and awards is long. She has been working and exhibiting her photography since receiving her MFA in 1976.

Kenda North has been specifically working in color in photography her entire career with innovative work with dye transfer materials in the late 70s and early 80s. Her career has been marked by consistent experimentation and techniques of available color processes. North has had over 50 one-person exhibitions and participated in over 100 group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her photographs are in over 50 public collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. From 1989 to the present, North has been on the faculty at the University of Texas, Arlington. 30 of her photographs are currently viewable online.

Lucy Stevens Caldwell

Lee Cullum Papers

This collection contains the papers of Lee Cullum, journalist, reporter, interviewer, commentator, and host of public television station KERA's monthly series CEO. Items in the collection include Cullum's correspondence with friends, relatives, fans, and interviewees; drafts, corrected manuscripts, taped interviews, and notes for her book, 'Genius Came Early'; awards; press passes; and political campaign buttons.

Online are a variety of opinion pieces Cullum wrote for KERA, ca. 1980s. These items are currently restricted to on-campus use.

Lucy Pier Stevens Papers

This collection contains the papers of Lucy Pier Stevens (1838-1913). As a young woman from Ohio, Stevens found herself unable to leave Texas where she was visiting family when the Civil War broke out. During her time there she kept several diaries, recounting daily life during the Civil War in Texas. In 1865 she boarded a blockade-runner to Cuba, from where she eventually made her way back home. The collection includes three of her handwritten diaries dated 1860-1861 and 1863-1865, as well as a photograph album. (Shown right: Lucy Pier Stevens under her married name, Lucy Stevens Caldwell.)

Swan, by Lynn Lennon, ca. 1977-1979Lynn Lennon Photographs

The physical collection contains the photographs of Lynn Lennon, circa 1971-1985, including cityscapes, landscapes, people, and animals. Subjects include the Mustangs of Las Colinas, Dallas, the Big Thicket, Texas, Louisiana, Mexico, China, fantasy self-portraits, dogs, and cats. Also part of the collection are portraits of sculptor Roy Fridge, artist David McManaway, photographer David H. Gibson and his wife Lorine, book dummies, and exhibition prints.

Lynn Lennon's photographs online include Fantasy Self Portraits, ca. 1977-1979, and Mustangs of Las Colinas, 1981. Lennon's State Fair of Texas photographs, 1984-1993, are available in the Texas: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection.

Nell Goodrich DeGolyer papers, 1896-1978

Nell Goodrich DeGolyer was a well-known and respected civic leader and philanthropist. Her papers include manuscripts, letters, printed material, and photographs dealing with her childhood, schooling and married life with Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. Diaries document daily activities of Mrs. DeGolyer. The photographs and scrapbooks provide rich detail into the DeGolyer's courtship, lifestyle, estate and gardens. A finding aid to the collection is available in TARO.

Included online are 75 photographs showing Rancho Encinal, the DeGolyers' estate built in 1939, including its construction, gardens, and rooms. Rancho Encinal is now part of the Dallas Arboretum. Other images show Nell DeGolyer with her granddaughter, Roberta, and images of Nell DeGolyer entertaining guests on her patio and gardens at Rancho Encinal.

Standard Club Records

The Standard Club was organized February 23, 1886. Founded for "the study of standard authors," it met weekly in members’ homes. Contemporary newspaper reports of its programs reflected the breadth of its members’ literary interests in the 19th century. Among its early members were Mary Kittrell Craig, an educator whose programs for the club were the origins of the Mary K. Craig Class which survives today with a large and devoted following. Other members with notable community involvement included Mrs. Belle Gay Smith who organized the first art exhibit in Dallas at the Texas State Fair in 1886. Mrs. Adella Kelsey Turner was elected to the Dallas Board of Education in 1908 before women could vote, and later was a member of the Dallas Equal Suffrage Association, along with Mrs. Sallie Griffis Meyer who had co-authored the first state child labor law in 1901. Mrs. Olivia Allen Dealey was the founding president of the Public School Art League.

Sue Yeager Austin Collection on Mary Martin
This collection contains items from Sue Yeager Austin's (1912-1998) lifelong friendship with actress Mary Martin. Texas native Mary Martin was a Tony Award winning actress who starred in theater productions of Peter Pan, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Leave It to Me, and I Do! I Do! Austin collected letters, photographs, theater programs, news clippings, magazines, records, and ephemera relating to Ms. Martin's life and career. Also included are letters from Mary Martin and her husband, Richard Halliday, to Sue Yeager Austin.

Several photographs of Mary Martin throughout the decades are online; some are restricted to on-campus viewing.

See items from an accomplished woman from the Archives of the Women of the Southwest in the Isabel T. Kelly Ethnographic Archive collection, and learn more about Texas and the West in these other collections from DeGolyer Library:

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