About Us

Our Mission  |  Board  |  History of Colophon  |  Colophon Collection of Moderns

Our Mission

Friends of SMU Libraries, originally founded in 1970 as Colophon, is dedicated to promoting and enriching the resources, services and operations of the seven SMU Libraries. Our mission is to help SMU Libraries support the curricular and research needs of Southern Methodist University and its communities.

Since our founding, Friends of SMU Libraries has been committed to helping the libraries maintain their excellence and has funded over $1,000,000 in materials and library services. In addition to providing funds for reference materials and fine press books, the Friends provide much-needed support for electronic resources and equipment.

Friends also provides opportunities for book lovers to become acquainted with each other and with the many resources of the SMU Libraries through a series of programs each year.

Friends Board 2023-2024

Kortney Nelson, President

Diana Blackman, Vice President

Stephanie Amsel, Secretary

Cindy Ruppi '14, Treasurer

Sam Childers '97, Past President


Joan Gosnell
Jo Goyne
Janis Knott
Nancy Miller
Paul Santa Cruz
Melanie Sumrow
Polly York
Sandra Zelley
Ellen Zoudlik

Ex Officio

Holly Jeffcoat, the dean of SMU Libraries
Amy Carver `94, Friends director

Our History


The founding meeting of Friends of SMU Libraries was held September 3, 1970. The founders were in agreement as to the purpose of the organization. It was "to provide opportunities through which associates may become acquainted with each other and with the resources of the University library system; to share enthusiasm for learning, books, prints and related materials; and to establish Southern Methodist University’s libraries as centers of cultural activities enriching the whole community." They also selected a name for the group: "Colophon," a term referring to the graphic device by which printers marked their books.

- From Colophon: The Friends of the SMU Libraries: The First Twenty Years, by Mike Hazel to commemorate the Friend's 20th anniversary.

Colophon Collection of Moderns

“The essay was strong in the 1950-1975 period. The ingredients of swift social change, dramatic divisions on national policy, the break-up of established cultural patterns, the presence of superlatively intelligent and sympathetic minds – all combined to give fertile ground for essays of outstanding character. It is possible in the long run of time that the essay of this period will emerge as the most lasting of all literary contributions.” - From A Brief Interpretive by Decherd Turner, former Director of Bridwell Library

The Colophon Collection of Moderns contains approximately 1,700 items: books, broadsides, a few manuscripts and letters representing those writers whose works are believed to be definitive in establishing the contours of the spirit-soul-mind of man for the period of 1950-75.

Although Colophon originally foresaw the project lasting only two or three years, it continues to the present. The Moderns Collection is available to scholars for research at DeGolyer Library.

View Colophon collection in Library Search