Gettin’ Spooky with Special Collections

October 20, 2020

Spooky in Special Collections banner

Spooky in Special Collections banner


October is by far my favorite month of the year, and Halloween is my favorite holiday. The creepy, the kooky, and the altogether spooky has fascinated me since I was a small child. Working in the archives, you occasionally come across an image, artifact, or letter than literally sends chills down your spine.

From haunted histories to the truly bizarre, you never know what horrors and haunts lurk in the archives!

Join six wonderful Texas institutions starting at 1:30pm CT on Friday, October 30 for a live, virtual event on Zoom as we share and answer questions about some of the spookiest items from each of our collections. It’s sure to get you in the Halloween spirit!

Registration is free, but required to attend and participate so don’t delay! Register today!

Schedule of the featured repositories presentation times, All times listed are for Central Time Zone.

  • 1:40pm SMU Special Collections
  • 2:00pm TCU Special Collections
  • 2:25pm Texas A&M Special Collections
  • 2:45pm UTEP Special Collections
  • 3:10pm UNT Special Collections
  • 3:30pm UTSA Special Collections


Be sure to tune in at 1:40pm to see some of the most haunting images from the DeGolyer Library.


The Dallas Morning News is 135 years old

October 2, 2020

In the early 1880s, Dallas was a rapidly growing city, but it did not yet have a thriving daily newspaper to report on the life of the community. That need was fulfilled by The Dallas Morning News. A sister publication of the Texas’ oldest periodical The Galveston News, owned by A.H. Belo, The Dallas Morning News was bringing modern printing technology and distribution methods to North Texas.



Published on October 1, 1885, the first issue of The Dallas Morning News contained eight pages and was printed on the high capacity Liny Bullock Press, which could produce 10,000 copies an hour.


Two years later, the newspaper started leasing special trains on the Texas & Pacific railroad to distribute copies to McKinney, Dennison, Sherman and Houston. Within ten years, its average daily circulation grew to about 15,000 copies.

Located in a new construction on Commerce Street in downtown Dallas, The Dallas Morning News plant was illuminated with incandescent lamps, a novelty for Texas at the time. The building’s three floors included departments such as the pressroom, engine room, composition room, and editorial offices. Col. A.H. Belo, the newspaper’s owner moved his family to Dallas soon after the publication was founded here by G.B. Dealey, its first managing director, who would eventually become the owner of the parent company.

Under Belo’s and Dealey’s leadership, The Dallas Morning News established the reputation of a forward thinking and influential publication, which put journalistic integrity above anything else. This stood true even when the newspaper’s stance came at odds with the views of some of its readership base and threatened to lose some subscribers, as it was the case with its years long anti K.K.K. campaign in the 1920s.

A staple in the Dallas community, the newspaper added supplement publications such as The Dallas Journal and the Semi-Weekly Farm News. Throughout the decades, it also branched out beyond the print medium into radio and television broadcasting. In the 2000s, an online version of the print newspaper was established.

The Dallas Morning News collection, a part of the Belo records, includes archival documents, photographs, oral history interviews, and artifacts. Contact Ada Negraru, librarian, for additional information about the collection and accessing the materials.

Visit the DeGolyer Library website to learn about our library’s holdings of rare books, archival and manuscript collections, photographs, maps, ephemera, and other materials.


Ideals of Womanhood

September 21, 2020

Photograph of Reeves family children

Photograph of Reeves family children

The Reeves family papers comprise documents related to the African American Community in Austin, Texas circa 1920s to 1940s. There are approximately 60 letters, programs, essays and other items of ephemera compiled by four sisters who lived together on Nueces Street: Mary (1890-1934), Anna (1911-?) and Estella Reeves (1904-1932), and Carrie Warren (1892-1965).

Part of the collection documents masonic organizations with a focus on the Palm Beach Court, No. 261, Heroines of Jericho, including a printed application form for membership into the organization. There are six hand or typewritten eulogies of members as well as a short handwritten essay entitled, “Ideals of Womanhood.” The unnamed author tells readers to “be honest and just,” to “try and improve your community,” and that “women can do infinite good by using tact and judgement.” Another highlight within this collection is a four page typewritten speech given by the head of the chapter in 1922: “as a woman of a race we are living harder moving faster, climbing higher . . . than any other race is under like circumstances in any one century.”

Photograph of Reeves family children

Ideals of Womanhood, page 1

Ideals of Womanhood, page 2

Ideals of Womanhood, page 2














Another area of the collection focuses on church activity and church participation mostly related to Austin’s Metropolitan A.M.E. Church. There are hand and typewritten prayers, a typed church resolution, a five page handwritten eulogy as well as programs including one for the 1936 Austin District Conference of the Women’s Missionary Conclave Stewards and Stewardesses Institute

Unidentified Reeves child

Unidentified Reeves child

The rest of the documents provide insight into the lives of these individual women. An income tax form that shows that Carrie worked at the Confederate Women’s home in Austin as of 1945. Estella was a nurse who became certified at General Hospital No. 2 in Kansas City, Missouri. As of 1914, the hospital became the first public hospital in the United States operated entirely by African Americans. Anna was attending Samuel Huston College in 1931.

Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing the collections.

For access to these collections or to learn more about the women of the southwest, be sure to visit the DeGolyer Library and check out our books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and photographs.

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