Remembering Marsh Terry

February 7, 2018


Marsh Terry, also known as “Mr. SMU,” was born this day–February 7.  He was a long-term friend of the DeGolyer Library.  For a while, he even had an office (Room 318) here.

Marsh graduated from SMU.  Marsh worked at SMU.  Marsh taught at SMU.  And Marsh wrote about SMU.  From High on the Hilltop is his informal history filled with insights based on his long association with the university.  It is available from the DeGolyer Library for $34.95.

One of his earliest published works, “Night Alone,” appeared in the December 1952 Hoofprints, a SMU student publication.  His last published work from 2011, Loving U. The Story of a Love Affair (and Some Lover’s Quarrels) with a University. A Memoir was also published by a SMU entity–the DeGolyer Library.  If you want to read it, it is available from us for $25.

We celebrate Marsh, the writer.  We also remember  Marsh, our friend.  We miss his breaking into song, the twinkle in his eye, and his wisdom.  Thank you Marsh for all that you have given to Southern Methodist University.

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Under Construction–Putting the Pieces together for an Exhibit

January 12, 2018

When people think about working in a rare book library, they imagine librarians reading books all day. What they don’t imagine is the hard physical work that we do many days.


Lifting boxes of books. Shelving and reshelving books. Putting the pieces together for an exhibit. Moving the cases. Lifting the lids. Putting material in the cases. Putting the lids back on. Changing our minds and rearranging the cases. Climbing ladders and adjusting the framed pictures. Sweeping up the mess from our behind the scenes supplies.


But at the end of the day, when the exhibit is installed, we forget about the lifting and moving. We are happy when our readers enjoy the displays. And this particular exhibit we know you will not forget.

“OK, I’ll do it Myself” is the newest exhibit at the DeGolyer Library.

Book collector and bibliographer Caroline Schimmel has selected and organized 144 books, photographs, manuscripts and memorabilia by 101 women, dating from 1682 to 2015. Items include Maria Sibylla Merian’s hand-printed and colored copy of Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium(1705); Annie Oakley’s travel trunk, photos, gloves, and color-printed envelope she shot through the heart; Mary Godfrey’s illustrated account of the “horrid massacre” of her family in 1825; and Dale Evans’s scruffy rhinestoned pink boots.

You will be able to remember the exhibit long after your visit. Caroline Schimmel has put together a remarkable catalog of this collection. It is available for purchase.

After the grand opening, NBC5 in Dallas-Fort Worth interviewed both SMU history professor Christa DeLuzio and Caroline Schimmel.

“OK, I’ll do it Myself” will be in the Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall between January 18, 2018 and March 29, 2018. The Exhibit Hall is located in the Fondren Library on the Southern Methodist University Campus and is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 5.





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Mr. Penney’s Farming Pursuits

November 29, 2017

David Kruger delights the audience with photographs of Mr. Penney.

On Thursday, November 16, the DeGolyer Library hosted David Kruger to discuss his book, J.C. Penney: the Man, the Store, and American Agriculture. David kept the audience entranced with a slideshow of over 100 images, and people stayed after the event to chat.

Some  might know that the store in the mall, JCPenney, was founded by a man, James Cash Penney, but probably only a few know about Mr. Penney’s wide-ranging work in cattle breeding. The DeGolyer Library has the records of both Mr. Penney, the man and JCPenney, the company.

Mr. James Cash Penney with one of his prize winning Guernseys.

David Kruger is the Agricultural Research and Instruction Librarian at the William Robertson Coe Library at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.  His interest in the Penney Company began in his childhood. David began work on this book in 2009, and visited the DeGolyer Library multiple times to study the archives.  He also talked with people who knew Mr. Penney as a farmer. The book was published in 2017.


Far from a dry academic tome, J.C. Penney: the Man, the Store, and American Agriculture  makes for an enjoyable reading. It is worth buying a copy (or even Interlibrary Loan it.)  The Wall Street Journal gave David’s book a very positive review–as did Successful Farming magazine.


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