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SMU Archives Finding Aids: SMU

Collection of Southern Methodist University Negatives and Prints, circa 1920-1959

This collection contains photographic negatives of Southern Methodist University, the surrounding area, and SMU students, faculty, and staff. The majority of the images are of sports, buildings, and campus life. The materials roughly date from 1920 to 1959. There are 314 negatives and just a few photographic prints. The images are on glass plate and acetate negatives in different sizes.

Collection of Southern Methodist University Publicity Films, 1939-1965

This collection contains 6 mid-twentieth century films shot in or around Southern Methodist University and Texas. Some of the 16mm films were transferred to VHS, and all films have been transferred to DVD. The films feature SMU students, faculty, football games, homecoming parades and events, and three college presidents (Selecman, Tate, and Lee). There are also shots of campus buildings (exterior and interior), campus gardens, and the Cotton Bowl. One of the films was not produced by SMU and is a general college and university fundraising film produced for College Loyalty Alumni Support Program (CLASP). 

Collection of Southern Methodist University Student Newspapers

Southern Methodist University students first published their student newspaper, SMU Times, on September 11, 1915. The Southern Methodist University Students’ Publishing Company, incorporated in 1930, established a free press responsible for producing the newspaper, the yearbook, and student directories. Student publications appeared on the SMU campus, though, as early as 1915. The company, now called the Student Media Company, Inc., is a non-profit Texas corporation that operates independently from SMU. This collection contains various editions of the student-published SMU newspaper from 1915 to 1992. Some decades, the 1920s, 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, are well represented, but editions in the remaining decades are sparse. A few special editions are included. 

SMU-in-Taos Records, 1959-2001

SMU-in-Taos (originally known as Fort Burgwin) was established in 1964 in New Mexico primarily as an archeological and educational site. These records include minutes, correspondence, reports, photographs, publications, and pamphlets that show the growth of the campus and establishment of the summer school program as well as the history of the archeological site. 

SMU School of Design Records, 1944-1962

The SMU School of Design was created to develop professional design skills for the Dallas workforce in both clothing fashion and home design. The School of Design functioned under the School of Arts and Sciences in the Department of Art from 1944 to about 1962. The collection includes mostly news clippings and correspondence, as well as photographs, publicity materials, class schedules, and exhibit catalogs. Stella La Mond was the director of the SMU School of Design.

SMU Student Senate Minutes and Records

Student government organizations at Southern Methodist University have operated under multiple constitutions, and several names including: Student Council, Student Caucus, Council of the Student's Association, and finally the SMU Student Senate. Business conducted by the SMU Student Senate has varied from year to year as well and has incorporated everything from appropriating funds for student organizations, to hosting pep rallies for football games, to advocating different academic university policies. This collection contains the minutes of SMU Student Senate meetings, including meeting agendas, committee reports, financial appropriation bills, constitutions, and other documents pertaining to the student representative body of SMU.

Southern Methodist University Academic and Admissions Correspondence, 1913-1919

This collection is comprised of typed and handwritten correspondence detailing admission, academics, and general school affairs at Southern Methodist University from 1917-1919. The first half of the material is letters from prospective SMU students and letters from the Dean to enrolled students regarding their academic standing with the university. Letters regarding the Students’ Army Training Corps, internal SMU operations and other education-related letters are also included. 

Southern Methodist University Anniversary Records, 1940-2015

Southern Methodist University celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in the 1965-1966 school year, and its seventy-fifth anniversary in the Spring and Fall semesters of 1986. Celebratory programs and events were conducted campus-wide. The collection contains publicity materials, financial records, and correspondence of both anniversaries. In addition, the collection contains records from SMU’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebration held in 1940.

Southern Methodist University Calendars, 1940s-1990s

This collection contains the official calendar of events for Southern Methodist University from the 1940s through the 1990s. Also included are assorted editions of the Mustang Calendar, Calendar Notices from the Office of News and Information, Dedman College calendars, and the Golden Anniversary Calendar from 1965-1966. 

Southern Methodist University Convocation and Commencement Records, 1916-ongoing

This collection contains material on SMU’s convocation ceremonies from 1916 through 2008. Most of the material relates to university commencement exercises, and the other activities held to recognize graduates. Convocation is defined as any official university gathering of faculty and students. Commencement is the actual ceremony of granting diplomas to those who have completed courses of study, and the term can also be used to refer to the day or weekend on which this happens. Most of the documents in this collection are commencement programs. Also included are some internal memoranda related to the planning and organization of commencement. The collection also holds recordings of commencement exercises on audiocassette, reel-to-reel, and VHS tapes, as well as on DVD.

Southern Methodist University Dedications and Rites Programs, 1926-2004

The Dedications and Rites Program collection contains programs of services that dedicate new buildings as well as various architectural structures on the Southern Methodist University (SMU) campus. The collection covers a wide array of dedications that have taken place on campus throughout the twentieth century. 

Southern Methodist University Master Plan Records, 1954-1975

This collection contains records from the work undertaken by Southern Methodist University in the early 1960s to create a master plan. The Master Plan defined 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. The faculty approved the SMU Master Plan in May 1963. The collection contains reports from the schools, departments, committees, and task forces that were responsible for examining the university, and papers from one of the members of the Master Plan Steering Committee. Also included is background information such as university news releases, news articles, and papers written before and during the planning process on why SMU needed a master plan for the 1960s. Final copies of the SMU Master Plan, as well as other university-related reports from the mid- to late-1960s are also included.

Southern Methodist University Medical and Pharmacy School Records, 1911-1915

The Methodist Episcopal Church South advised that Southwestern University’s medical and pharmacy schools in Georgetown, Texas be moved to the university’s newly organized sister school, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas; this recommendation was enacted on April 4, 1911. The collection provides insights into SMU’s early days, before Dallas Hall even opened its doors in 1915. Included are letters, ephemera, contracts, student transcripts, research notes, and financial ledgers providing a revealing look into SMU’s forgotten history as a medical and pharmacy school.

Southern Methodist University Origins and History Collection, 1911-1996

The Southern Methodist University origins and history collection consists of 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. The content of the collection is varied and includes the governing documents of the university, newspaper articles and clippings (including, for example, issues of the SMU Daily Campus from the time of the JFK assassination and the Persian Gulf War), and programs and brochures released for various celebrations marking school anniversaries.

Southern Methodist University Philatelic Center Records, 1970s

Formed in 1972, the Southern Methodist University Philatelic Center was an SMU organization dedicated to supporting stamp collecting in the local area. The Center hosted annual symposia in stamp collecting, sponsored workshops at SMU and served as a vehicle for tax-deductible donations of money or philatelic materials for the furtherance of philately in the region. Although the organization’s beginnings looked hopeful, interest in the Center quickly waned and it disbanded itself in 1976 due to lack of support. The organization’s records include correspondence, executive committee meeting minutes, memos, newspaper and magazine articles, and financial reports.

Southern Methodist University Rhetoric Program Records, 1980-ongoing

These materials were produced and collected by Southern Methodist University’s Rhetoric program within the English Department of Dedman College. A large portion of the collection is concerned with the internal and external structure of Rhetoric 1300, 1301, and 1302. Inter-departmental correspondence and the department's journal of first-year writing, Criteria, make up the bulk of the collection.

Southern Methodist University Student Handbook Collection, 1916-ongoing

This collection contains Southern Methodist University student handbooks. The SMU student handbook for new student orientation underwent many name changes and publishers over the years. This collection contains many of them but does not contain a full run of all of the student handbook versions.

Southern Methodist University Student Publications Collection, 1917-ongoing

This collection contains Southern Methodist University student publications that range from humor magazines to literary reviews to political newsletters. These publications were usually small and independently published by students and student groups and should not be confused for the daily campus newspaper. There are no full runs of any of these publications. This collection dates from 1917 and is ongoing. In total there are twenty-seven publications contained in this collection.

Using this Guide

Finding aids are inventories that are the primary way to discover collection contents in archival boxes.

  • Browse for materials in the A-Z tabs by collection title or last name.
  • Alternatively, use the search box in the upper right corner to search by name or keyword.

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