Hooray for Hollywood!

April 12, 2021

Margaret Tallichet, undated

Margaret Tallichet, undated

As I read through the list of Golden Globe and Academy Award winners, I realized that even though I was quarantined for the better part of last year, I somehow still missed so many movies and television shows. It seems as though 2021 will be another yearlong binge-a-thon. The papers of Margaret Tallichet Wyler document the life and career of a Texas gone Hollywood actress, one who reminds me of the golden age of cinema.

Margaret Tallichet at Hockaday School, 1927

Margaret Tallichet at Hockaday School, 1927

Margaret Tallichet, SMU Annual Beauty photograph, 1937

Margaret Tallichet, SMU Annual Beauty photograph, 1937















Margaret Tallichet was born March 13, 1914 in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. Following graduation she wrote for the society pages and completed film reviews for the Dallas Times Herald and the Dallas Morning News.  When she was not writing, she was performing in plays for the Arden Club and Dallas Little Theatre.

In 1936 Tallichet left home and moved to California. Shortly after arriving she befriended actress Carole Lomdbard while working in the publicity department at Paramount Studios. Carole introduced Tallichet to producer David O. Selznick, who gave Tallichet her screen test for the coveted role of Scarlet O’Hara.  Margaret had a small-uncredited role in the 1937 hit A Star is Born, and stared on the picture A Desperate Adventure, opposite Ramon Novarro.

Margaret Tallichet photograph by Joe Walters, Undated

Margaret Tallichet photograph by Joe Walters, Undated

She married movie director William Wyler in 1938 and together the couple had five children: Catherine, Judy, David, Melanie Ann, and William Jr. The Margaret Tallichet Wyler papers comprise publicity shots, press clippings, correspondence, interview transcripts, family genealogy, programs and playbills, contracts, yearbooks, diaries, and photographs documenting Margaret’s life, and acting career. Included in the collection is a transcript of a Southern Methodist Oral History interview conducted by Ronald Davis on July 19, 1982. Margaret details her experiences on campus at SMU working as a student assistant to Lon Tinkle in the French Department, her travels to Hollywood, dinners with stars like Clark Gable, screen tests, family, travel, and life as a Hollywood actress.

Margaret died of cancer on May 3, 1991 at the age of 77.

Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing these materials. The DeGolyer continues to expand our digitization efforts, adding new content weekly. We have thousands of items digitized and searchable in our digital collections. Be sure to browse our holdings to find more letters, photographs, manuscripts, imprints, art, and audio/video.

National Library Week 2021

April 7, 2021

It’s National Library Week, and this year’s theme is “Welcome to Your Library.” The library universe has long extended far beyond the four walls of a building and during this past tumultuous year, librarians around the world found new ways to meet the information needs of their communities, such as curbside service virtual reference, and a variety of zoom programs.

In celebration of these leaders of literacy, these titans of technology, these curators of culture, let’s take a look back in time at Southern Methodist University’s very first librarian.

Dorothy Amann was born on February 20, 1874, in Ripley, Mississippi. She attended Thomas Arnold Academy in Salado, Texas, and trained as a businesswoman at Old Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Dorothy Amann, February 28, 1893

Dorothy Amann, February 28, 1893

Hired as one of the first staff members of the newly formed Southern Methodist University, she traveled from Midland, Texas, to Dallas in October 1913 to serve as President R.S. Hyer’s secretary. She became SMU’s first librarian when the responsibility for the collection and disposition of books fell to her in 1915. Miss Amann’s zeal for the job led her to study library science at Columbia University. Her contribution to the library field included serving as President of the Texas Library Association (1921-22), President and founder of the Southwest Library Association (1938-40), and organizer and President of the Dallas Library Club.

The Dorothy Amann papers encompass her involvement in the organization and development of Southern Methodist University from its humble beginnings to the opening of the Fondren Library and beyond. Most importantly, and beloved by students, she suggested the name of the athletics team by exclaiming: “They look like a bunch of wild mustangs.” The collection contains early SMU historical information in the form of Miss Amann’s letters, speeches, articles, and nostalgic ephemera. The letters include correspondence between Miss Amann and President Robert Hyer and President Umphrey Lee. Of special note are the diagram cuttings from a journal article published in 1941 heralding the opening of Fondren Library.

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

Contact Joan Gosnell, University Archivists, for additional information on the history of Southern Methodist University.

The DeGolyer Library continues to expand our digitization efforts, adding new content weekly. We have thousands of items digitized and searchable in our digital collections. Be sure to browse our holdings to find more letters, photographs, manuscripts, imprints, art, and audio/video.

Remembering Larry McMurtry, Texas author and bookseller

March 29, 2021













Larry McMurtry was an author and bookseller from Archer City, Texas who wrote about Texas and the American West to worldwide acclaim. His best known works include Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment, and Brokeback Mountain. In 1969 his novel, The Last Picture Show, shared the Texas Institute of Letters award for best fiction with Tom Pendleton’s novel Iron Orchard.


Larry McMurtry letter to Franklin Gilliam, 1983

Booked Up, Larry McMurtry’s book store, began in Washington D.C in 1970, and moved to his hometown in Archer City in 1988. He purchased from book dealers like Franklin Gilliam and John Holmes Jenkins.  The  DeGolyer Library has some of McMurtry’s personal letters in both Gilliam and Jenkins’ collections. A separate selection of McMurtry’s personal letters are also available in the library, and the one above addressed to Franklin Gilliam talks about his “cowboy-novel-to-end-all-cowboy-novels”: Lonesome Dove.

Larry McMurtry inscription to Franklin and Mary Gilliam















Works about Larry McMurtry include Taking Stock: A Larry McMurtry Casebook by Clay Reynolds, published by SMU Press; and The Bookman: A Story About Larry McMurtry’s Other Day Job by Stayton Bonner. Promotional materials for McMurtry’s films are available in the Larry McMurtry In Film Collection, which includes movie posters, pressbooks, and trailers.



Please contact degolyer@smu.edu for questions about Larry McMurtry books and manuscripts in DeGolyer Library.



Bonner, Stayton. The Bookman : a Story About Larry McMurtry’s Other Day Job. Archer City, Tex.: Three Dog Press, 2006.

Franklin Gilliam papers, A2020.0013

John Holmes Jenkins papers, A2015.0001. Finding aid available at http://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00277/smu-00277.html

Larry McMurtry letters, A1998.2204c

Larry McMurtry in film collection, Ag1986.0569x. Finding aid available at http://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00081/smu-00081.html

McMurtry, Larry. Horseman, Pass By. New York: Harper, 1961.

McMurtry, Larry. Lonesome Dove. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985.

Reynolds, Clay. Taking Stock : a Larry McMurtry Casebook. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1989.

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