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History of Southern Methodist University: Archival Sources

More on History

The Southern Methodist University Archives serves as a research repository for the official administrative and historical records of the University. In addition, the Archives serves as the collective memory of Southern Methodist University.

Materials in the Archives consists of non-current university records, regardless of medium, generated by faculty, staff, and students while conducting the business of the institution. This material includes office files, minutes, photographs, films, correspondence, artifacts and memorabilia, publications, scrapbooks, blueprints, oral history tapes, and manuscript collections

There are over 500 separate collections in the SMU Archives.  A collection can be a single file folder or have as many as 80 boxes. 

Many of the most important collections have finding aids or descriptions of what is in the boxes--along with a history of who created those records.


Finding aids are the primary way to discover what is in archival boxes.  For a quick tutorial about what to expect when you visit a special collections, check out this explanation from the Society of American Archivists. 

Using Archives - A Guide.

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The Archives at Bridwell Library offer patrons direct access to extensive collections of unique, original, primary source materials documenting the history of Perkins School of Theology, Bridwell Library, and United Methodism in Texas and surrounding states.

Bridwell Special Collections has over 100 collections pertaining to the history of the Perkins School of Theology or the Bridwell Library.

The Archives staff serves the public by collecting, preserving, arranging, and describing relevant materials; assisting researchers; curating physical and digital exhibitions of items from the collections; and making public presentations to university classes and community groups. For assistance or to make an appointment, please contact Special Collections.