The State Fair of Texas begins its 135th year this week in Dallas. In 1886 it was originally called the Dallas State Fair and Exposition, and by 1905 the annual event at Fair Park became the State Fair of Texas. The pandemic did not allow a full fair experience in 2020, but it wasn’t the first time Texans missed their annual celebration. The fair was cancelled in 1918 and 1942-1945 due to war, and in 1935 to prepare for the Texas Centennial exposition in 1936. This year promises to bring back exhibits, entertainment, college football, and great food.

 

DeGolyer Library has books, photographs, and manuscript collections relating to the State Fair of Texas. Our large cookbook collection includes annual cookbooks of winning recipes:

State Fair of Texas cook books

State Fair of Texas cook books

 

Memorabilia can be found in the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas manuscripts and artifacts collection. Here is a sample of the opening day pins, employee and guest badges, and programs:

State Fair of Texas pins

 

 

 

 

 

State Fair of Texas guest pins

 

State Fair of Texas programs

State Fair of Texas programs

 

Dozens of tickets from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas manuscripts and artifacts collection have been digitizedPhotographs and postcards related to Fair Park are also available in the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection. Photographer Lynn Lennon documented the State Fair in the 1980s and her work is available in our digital collection.

[Swing ride, State Fair of Texas]

[Swing ride, State Fair of Texas], Lynn Lennon photographs, Ag2002.1405

 

Please contact degolyer@smu.edu for questions about State Fair of Texas materials in DeGolyer Library.

 

Sources:

George W. Cook Dallas/Texas manuscripts and artifacts, MSS 123. Finding aid available at https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00307/smu-00307.html

George W. Cook Dallas/Texas image collection, Ag2014.0011. Finding aid available at https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00306/smu-00306.html

Lynn Lennon photographs, Ag2002.1405. Digital Collection. Finding aid available at http://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/smu/00375/smu-00375.html

State Fair of Texas prize winning recipes. Dallas, 1974. Gift of Jiaan Powers, 2009. TX715.P433 1974

State Fair of Texas prize winning recipes. Dallas, 1986. Gift of George Anne Myers, 2006. TX715.P433 1986

State Fair of Texas prize winning recipes. Dallas, 1993. Gift of George Anne Myers, 2006. TX715.P433 1993

AA-CUL(DeGolyer)