About Fondren Library

With a collection of over 2 million volumes and librarians with expertise across disciplines, Fondren Library is critical to the research, teaching, and learning mission of the university. Fondren Library has a range of spaces for study and collaboration, from the quiet and contemplative Centennial Reading Room to our bustling Collaborative Commons.

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. Fondren Library was the first library located on the SMU campus.


Curriculum Collection

Fondren Library includes a curriculum collection of Texas State School Board approved textbooks, located on Fondren Library Red Level 2. Most of the textbooks are Teacher’s Editions and cover all levels K-12 and all subject areas. The Curriculum Collection supports the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Juvenile Collection

The Juvenile Collection is a small collection of pre-K to young adult books, located on the south wall of Fondren Library Red Level 2. It covers all subject areas and both fiction and non-fiction. All levels are intermixed by topic.

Government Documents

Fondren Library houses both Federal and Texas print government information collections. These collections are located on Blue Level 1. Both collections are labeled with a "Federal" or "Texas" designation.

Fondren Library has been a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since 1925. This Library houses a selective Depository collection that includes print, electronic and microfiche formats of current and historic information from the federal government. Notable strengths in the Federal collection are Defense, Education, and State Department documents. Fondren Library also houses state-level resources covering education, heath, workforce and other Texas print resources up to 2012.


Microforms and microform readers are located on the first floor of Fondren Library Blue in Room 131, near the government document collection. The microform room is open by request only. Please go the Fondren Library Main Desk for assistance. Film is housed by type (newspaper, government document, etc) and organized either by title or document number.

History of Fondren Library

W.W. and Ella Fondren funded the construction of Fondren Library West (now known as Gray), the first stand-alone library on campus, which opened in 1940. The Fondren Foundation also provided funds for Fondren Library East (now Fondren Library Red), opened in 1968. In 1999, the link in the Main Desk area was added to connect East, West, and the Science Information Center (now Fondren Library Blue).