Manuscripts Recent Acquisitions Texana

Texas League: we knew them when…


Aledmys Diaz












Baseball fans have waited all season to see who will battle for the World Series championship. The formidable Houston Astros swept the Yankees and now they are looking to beat the wildcard Philadelphia Phillies. Many of these players began their career in the minor leagues around the country, including the Texas League.  Three players from the Houston Astros played for the Corpus Christi Hooks: Jose Altuve, Lance McCullers Jr., and Aledmys Diaz. Diaz also previously played for the Springfield Cardinals. Many baseball players in the minor leagues do not always move up to play in the major leagues. They sometimes have entirely different careers, like Kurt Russell. He played for the El Paso Sun Kings in 1973 before returning to his acting career.


The Texas League was founded in 1888 by John J. McCloskey, and throughout its history the league has organized minor league baseball in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, and Tennessee. In 2022 the current teams are:

  • Amarillo Sod Poodles
  • Arkansas Travelers
  • Corpus Christi Hooks
  • Frisco Rough Riders
  • Midland RockHounds
  • Northwest Arkansas Naturals
  • San Antonio Missions
  • Springfield Cardinals
  • Tulsa Drillers
  • Wichita Wind Surge

Frisco Rough Riders team, 2004

The Frisco Rough Riders are the 2022 Texas League champions. Their first time to win the league title was in 2004, just one year after the team was founded in Frisco, Texas.


Tom Kayser

Former Texas League president, Tom Kayser, wrote a history of the league in 2005. After he retired, Kayser gave his collection on the league’s history to the DeGolyer Library in 2021. A finding aid to the collection is available at The collection mostly contains statistics and research notes, but there are also baseball cards, photographs, programs, scrapbooks, and scorecards. Researchers are welcome to visit the library to view the collection and related books. Please contact for assistance in DeGolyer Library.




Tom Kayser collection on the Texas League, MSS 175,

Kayser, Tom. Baseball in the lone star state: the Texas League’s greatest hits. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2005. GV875.T36 K39 2005


Books Manuscripts Texana

Chili Cookoff

October and early November is chili cookoff season. The first cookoff took place at the State Fair of Texas in October 1952, where Mrs. F.G. Ventura was declared the winner. That same year one of the most essential books on chili was published. Joe E. Cooper’s With or Without Beans includes a recipe from E.L. DeGolyer, which was also published in Jane Trahey’s Neiman-Marcus cookbook, A Taste of Texas, in 1949. Below is a letter from Stanley Marcus requesting a recipe for the 1949 book, as well as DeGolyer’s recipe for chile con carne.

Stanley Marcus letter to E.L. DeGolyer Sr., 1948






Another cookoff was organized in Terlingua, Texas in 1967 by Frank X. Tolbert, Wick Fowler and Carroll  Shelby. The annual event continues every first weekend in November. Tolbert was a journalist for Dallas Morning News, owner of a Dallas restaurant in the 1970s, and the author of A Bowl of Red. Today his family operates Tolbert’s Restaurant and Chili Parlor in Grapevine, Texas that features his Bowl of Red.


Gebhardt Chili Powder Company’s chili con carne recipe, 1949

For more books and archival collections about chili and cookbooks, please contact for assistance in DeGolyer Library.


Everette Lee DeGolyer Sr. papers, MSS 60, Box 22, Folder 2374

Alter, Judy. Texas is chili country: a brief history with recipes. Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech University Press, 2015. TX693.A448 2015

Cooper, Joe E. With or without beans; being a compendium to perpetuate the internationally-famous bowl of chili (Texas style) which occupies such an important place in modern civilization. Dallas: W.S. Henson, 1952. TX633.C69 1952

Gebhardt Chili Powder Company. Mexican cookery for American homes. San Antonio, Texas: Gebhardt Chili Powder Company, 1949. Pamphlet TX716.M4 M49 1949

Tolbert, Frank X. A bowl of red. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1972. TX633.T64 1972

Trahey, Jane. A taste of Texas. New York: Random House, 1949. TX715.T766


Miniature books


Group of 6 miniature books

Summer is a good time for library housekeeping projects due to the short downtime between busy semester schedules. In August the Broadside File Box location and Miniature books were rehoused in uniform boxes and relocated to another part of the library. At the DeGolyer Library, miniature books are 10 cm and smaller. Early miniatures were bibles, Victorian etiquette books for girls, and juvenile literature.

On Human Rights by Carlos Fuentes
Miniature book, On Human Rights by Carlos Fuentes


Many of the miniatures in DeGolyer Library are from Stanley Marcus’ personal library, and were published by his Somesuch Press from the 1970s-1999. Bibliophiles appreciate the craftsmanship of these tiny volumes.

One miniature has a penny on the front cover, and the second miniature’s cover is a dollar bill


Miniature from the Quoin Press












Symbol of America : an American Indian liberty was signed by the printer, Susan Acker.








For more information about the miniature book collection, please contact for assistance in DeGolyer Library.










Fuentes, Carlos, and Friedensreich Hundertwasser. On Human Rights : a Speech. Somesuch Press, 1984. From the collection of Stanley Marcus, former owner. Gift of Linda Marcus, 2003. Miniature Z232.S6887 F84 1984

Goforth, Joy. Symbol of America : an American Indian Liberty. Somesuch Press, 1986. From the collection of Stanley Marcus, former owner. Gift of Linda Marcus, 2003. Miniature Z232.S6887 G64 1986

Schuster, Steve. What It’s Worth, and That’s Not Much. Quoin Press, 1978. Miniature HG357 .S35

Weber, Francis J. Up 65 Years to Larchmont. Bela Blau, 1970. Miniature Z473.D3 W42

Books Manuscripts

The Virginian: 120th anniversary of a cowboy classic

Fans of American western culture are celebrating the 162nd birthday of author Owen Wister on July 14th. In 1902 Wister published The Virginian: a horseman of the plains, which is considered the basis for the modern western novel and film genres.

The Virginian by Owen Wister (1902)


The Virginian is the story of an unnamed ranch hand in Wyoming called “The Virginian” who works his way up to foreman, courts a school teacher, wins a shootout against his enemy, and lives a long and happy life with his wife in the West. DeGolyer Library’s copy includes a letter from Owen Wister on the front pastedown presumably addressed to his publisher, and includes a postscript about  “Mr. Clemons.”

Owen Wister letter to Mr. Davidson, October 22, 1901
Owen Wister letter to Mr. Davidson, October 22, 1901


This iconic novel has been adapted for film, stage, and a television show that aired from 1962-1970. There have been five film adaptations of The Virginian, and below is the screenplay from the 1929 film starred Gary Cooper, Walter Huston, and Mary Brian.


The Virginian screenplay, 1929




Following the success of The Virginian, Wister continued to write novels, short stories, and a book about his friendship with Theodore Roosevelt. DeGolyer Library has over 80 editions and impressions of The Virginian, an indication of its enduring popularity, 1902-2002.

The Virginian, Armed Forces edition, 1945
The Virginian, Armed Forces edition, 1945
The Virginian, 1945 printing
The Virginian, 1945 printing








The Virginian, 2002
The Virginian, 2002















Former SMU professor Darwin Payne wrote a biography of Owen Wister in 1985 that was published by the SMU Press. For more books and archival collections about the American West, please contact for assistance in DeGolyer Library.

Owen Wister, chronicler of the West, gentleman of the East by Darwin Payne (1985)




Collection of western film scripts, MSS 76

Payne, Darwin. Owen Wister, chronicler of the West, gentleman of the East. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1985.

Wister, Owen. The Virginian: a horseman of the plains. New York: Macmillan, 1902.

Wister, Owen. The Virginian. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1945. 8th printing.

Wister, Owen. The Virginian. New York: Editions for the Armed Forces, 1945.

Wister, Owen. The Virginian: a horseman of the plains. Cody, Wyoming : McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, 2002. 100th anniversary edition.


Navy Veterans in DeGolyer Library Collections

America honors military veterans every year on November 11. The day was first observed as “Armistice Day” in 1919 by President Wilson, and in 1954 the federal holiday became known as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars. Manuscript and photograph collections of American military veterans can be found in DeGolyer Library, and below are two examples.

Blackie Sherrod in Navy uniform



BLACKIE SHERROD (1919-2016) was a renowned Dallas sportswriter who served in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theater. Sherrod wrote for Our Navy under the name “Black Sherrod” from 1944-1947. The magazine’s editor wrote to him early in his writing career “you’ve got a hell of a lot of ability for an amateur and you certainly ought to spend the rest of your free and waking moments developing your talents. In brief—I think you can write.”





Our Navy, Mid-October 1944 issue



Our Navy letter to Blackie Sherrod




















































William Grady Proctor (1924-2003) served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Here is a letter written by William to his wife Jean in Colma, California describing his duties on board the USS Hank. Proctor writes that his day as Boatswain’s mate third class is filled with refueling and repairing boats. The letter is dated May 2, 1951, when the USS Hank was 65 miles from shore at the 39th parallel.

Proctor letter page 1 Proctor letter page 2Proctor letter page 3












Ship newsletters and daily agendas are also included in Proctor’s collection. For more correspondence between William and Jean from 1944-1951, visit the DeGolyer Library.

Please contact for questions about archival collections in DeGolyer Library.



Blackie Sherrod papers, MSS 0109

William Grady Proctor and Jean Castillo Proctor correspondence and other material, A2002.0035

Manuscripts Photography Texana

135 years of the State Fair of Texas

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 for questions about State Fair of Texas materials in DeGolyer Library.



George W. Cook Dallas/Texas manuscripts and artifacts, MSS 123. Finding aid available at

George W. Cook Dallas/Texas image collection, Ag2014.0011. Finding aid available at

Lynn Lennon photographs, Ag2002.1405. Digital Collection. Finding aid available at

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

Manuscripts Texana

HemisFair ’68

HemisFair '68 brochure HemisFair '68 photograph











San Antonio was host to the World’s Fair from April to October in 1968, which was also the city’s 250th anniversary. Formal planning for this international event began in 1962, and the theme was “the confluence of civilizations in the Americas.” Major corporations, organizations and twenty governments participated in providing entertainment and information pavilions near downtown San Antonio. Some structures from HemisFair ’68 are still standing today, such as the Women’s Pavilion and Tower of the Americas.



Hemisfair '68 IBM photograph
IBM pavilion promotional photograph


“Sketching a design on the face of a television-like computer display terminal is a young visitor to IBM’s Durango pavilion at HemisFair ’68. The terminal is linked electronically to a computer a few feet away. The computer, an IBM System/360 Model 30, will translate the girls’ picture into mathematical formulas and then use the information to control the operations of a Jacquard loom. The loom will weave a three inch square swatch of fabric containing the design. The girl, whose mother looks on at the loom in the background, will be given the fabric she designed.”







The Frank Duane Rosengren collection of HemisFair materials includes photographs and promotional materials for various vendor pavilions. A promotional film featuring Governor John Connally was recently added to DeGolyer Library’s digital collection.


John Connally Day ribbon


HemisFair 1968 film










Please contact for questions about this collection in DeGolyer Library.

Books Manuscripts Texana

Remembering Larry McMurtry, Texas author and bookseller













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 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

Larry McMurtry letters, A1998.2204c

Larry McMurtry in film collection, Ag1986.0569x. Finding aid available at

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.

Books Manuscripts

Nela Río, Argentine-Canadian artist and educator

Portrait of Nela Rio
Nela Río

Nela Río was born in Córdoba, Argentina in 1938 and was a writer from an early age. She studied literature in college in Argentina, at Emory University in Georgia, and finally earned a graduate degree from the University of New Brunswick in Canada. The political environment in Mendoza, Argentina and her first husband’s teaching career prompted her moves to Georgia, then Canada, where she has been a citizen since 1977. Río is known as a poet and professor of literature for over three decades at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.



Books by Nela Rio
Books by Nela Río






Major themes in Nela Río’s work include ideological repression; violence against women; illness and aging; love and sexuality; revision of traditional myths; migration, exile, and nomadism. She states in her professional resume:

“In spite of the violence of some of the situations, love, tenderness and solidarity are prevalent in my work; I want my poems and short stories to praise life and the tone of my writing is definitely celebratory.”


Nela Río’s papers include her drafts, artist books, academic work, correspondence with authors, and materials for three international poem poster collaborations.

Poem poster by Livia Diaz
Poem poster by Livia Diaz

In addition to her personal papers, Río donated her book collection that includes authors from Latin America, Canada, and the United States. The vast majority are volumes of poetry, but there are also novels, short stories, and serials in Spanish, French, and English. Researchers should note there are also works on literature, women’s rights, and political history in Latin American countries. Over 800 titles have been recently cataloged, and many of the books are inscribed to Río by the authors.

Books in the Nela Rio collectionBooks in the Nela Rio collection

The finding aid to the collection is available online, and books in her collection can be found in the online catalog by using the search string “Part of the Nela Río collection.”


Please contact for questions about Nela Río’s papers and her book collection in DeGolyer Library.


Remembering Sam Johnson ‘51

Sam Johnson in plane
Sam Johnson, 1951

Yesterday the SMU community lost one of its distinguished alumni. Sam Johnson was an Air Force pilot, Texas legislator, United States Congressman, and proud SMU Mustang. He grew up in Dallas and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. Johnson married his SMU college sweetheart, Shirley Melton, in 1950 before earning a business degree in 1951.  After college, Johnson began his military career as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, and as a member of the Thunderbirds.


Sam Johnson with Thunderbirds

During the Vietnam War his plane was shot down, and he was captured and made a prisoner of war for almost seven years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton and “Alcatraz,” a designated area of solitary confinement for the most intransigent prisoners. Johnson’s 1992 memoir, Captive Warriors: A Vietnam POW’s Story, details his experience. After he was freed in 1973, Johnson returned to active duty and retired a colonel in 1979 with numerous military honors.

In the early 1980s, Johnson made Plano his home and he began a political career. He served seven years in the Texas legislature before running for United States Congress in 1991. Sam Johnson represented Texas’ 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 29 years before retiring in 2019. He was known as a conservative who supported lower taxes and smaller government.


Sam Johnson Highway sign
Sam Johnson Highway sign in his former district office in Plano, Texas

In 2018 Sam Johnson donated his congressional papers to DeGolyer Library. His extensive paper and digital files are currently being processed, and include photographs, press materials, speeches, and research for legislation. In 2014 the stretch of US Highway 75 between President George Bush Turnpike and Highway 380 was named in his honor. His papers include the large highway sign and other memorabilia that document his long political career and community engagement. In addition to the gift of his papers, Johnson’s family created the Hon. Sam Johnson Endowed Military Scholarship Fund for SMU students:


The DeGolyer Library sends its sincerest sympathies to the family and friends of Sam Johnson.


Sam Johnson in 1951 SMU yearbook
Sam and Shirley Johnson
Sam and Shirley Johnson


Please contact for questions about Sam Johnson’s congressional papers in the DeGolyer Library.