Kirk Douglas, Passing of a Hollywood Icon

Kirk Douglas with Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, December 12, 1977. Photograph by Andy Hanson, DeGolyer Library

One of the last survivors of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Kirk Douglas died on February 5, 2020 at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 103.  After an impoverished childhood with Jewish immigrant parents and six sisters, Douglas made his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. Douglas’s rugged good looks and muscular intensity made him known for commanding roles in westerns, war movies and Roman-era spectacles, notably in celebrated films like  “Lust for Life,” “Spartacus” and “Paths of Glory.” In 80 movies across a half-century, Douglas was equally at home on city streets, in jazz clubs and, as artist Vincent van Gogh. He was an actor, producer, director, philanthropist and writer. In addition to his many roles, Douglas received three Academy Award nominations, an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Anne E. Peterson,

Curator of Photographs, DeGolyer Library Photograph by Andy Hanson, DeGolyer Library


Independence Day at the Archives

Whether you’re barbecuing, watching the fireworks, or sticking close to the AC this Thursday, we hope you have a great day off celebrating the Fourth of July.

The DeGolyer will be closed in observance of the holiday, but while we’re away, take a look at some historical Independence Day parades, preserved in our collection.


The 1903 parade in Lewisville, Texas.
The 1876 parade in Dallas
The 1910 (or 1911) 4th of July parade in Gonzales, Texas.View of street with storefront sign and sign on side of wagon for Nagel, Froehner & Nuhn, with slogan “We are pulling for your trade”.
A 4th of July parade in Dallas, sometime between 1870 and 1889



If you’re interested in seeing more from the collections featured above, contact Christina Jensen at

Events Photography

A Life of Service: George H. W. Bush

George H.W. Bush, 1963, by Andy Hanson, DeGolyer Library

A Texas icon and 41st president, George H. W. Bush (1924-2018) died November 30, 2018 at his home in Houston. Bush, the patriarch of one of the most influential political families in the U.S., was 94. Barbara, his wife of 73 years, died last April. They had six children, among them George W. Bush, 43rd U.S. president.

Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, at 18, Bush enlisted in the armed services and became the youngest Navy aviator. During WWII, he flew 58 combat missions and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action. He and Barbara married in 1945, and the Bush family moved to Texas in 1948 to enter the oil business. Bush served two terms as a representative to Congress from Texas. He went on to serve as ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China, and became director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was chosen as a running mate by Ronald Reagan, and served as his vice president.


President George H. W. Bush After Throwing Opening Pitch at Texas Rangers Opening Game, 1991. The former first baseman for Yale is shown grimacing here after his pitch had bounced in the dirt. Mr. Bush made very few errant throws in his career!   By Andy Hanson, DeGolyer Library



In 1988, Bush won the general presidential election, with Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana as his running mate, and became the 41st president of the United States (1989–1993). His single term of office was during a rapidly changing world: the end of the Cold War, the dissolution of the Communist empire, the fall of the Berlin Wall. In response to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein led invasion of Kuwait in 1990, working with United Nations partners, Bush organized a coalition of nations to oppose the invasion resulting in the Persian Gulf War. After 42 days, a cease-fire was signed.

President Barack Obama awarded George H. W. Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2010, lauding his more than 70 years of service, his humility and decency that “reflects the very best of the American spirit.” At the news of Bush’s passing, Obama said, George H. W. Bush’s “life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling….”  “It’s a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he’d want us to try.” Bush will be buried next to his wife at his presidential library in College Station.






Dallas Mayor Starke Taylor, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Barbara Bush, ca.1985. By Andy Hanson, DeGolyer Library





















By Anne E. Peterson, Curator of Photographs, DeGolyer Library.

The Andy Hanson Photographs collection, held at the DeGolyer Library, is an important visual record of Dallas history. The large archive of more than 79,000 prints and 373,000 negatives provide a “whos who” of people living in Dallas and the politicians and celebrities who visited the city from 1960 to 2008.




Honoring Santos Rodriguez

Mid-May of this year, I discovered a series of contact sheets and photographs in the Andy Hanson collection here at the DeGolyer Library. Hanson was a photographer for the Dallas Times Herald. I didn’t know what I was looking at except that the pictures were of a demonstration. I could see that in some frames of the contact sheets, people were carrying banners that read, “March of Justice for Santos Rodriguez.” Unaware of the event, I Googled it and found that the images were of the demonstration in Dallas July 28, 1973 after the brutal and senseless murder of a child, 12 year old Santos Rodriguez, by a Dallas policeman. The images are moving and interesting documents of that important multicultural demonstration led by Hispanics. Sometimes called a race riot, it is the only such demonstration in the history of Dallas, although many such events were happening at the time all over the U.S.

In the early morning hours of July 24, policemen thought they saw Santos and his brother leave the scene of a vandalized gas station vending machine in the Little Mexico neighborhood. Police went to their home, handcuffed the boys and put them in their squad car. The boys denied being involved with the robbery.

Then, Officer Darrell L. Cain decided to play Russian-roulette, aiming the gun at Santos’s head. He pulled the trigger once — nothing; the second time, a bullet struck Santos’s head killing him as his brother, now drenched in blood, watched helplessly. Cain was tried for murder and was given a five year sentence by an all white jury. He only served two and a half years. It was later found that the two boys had nothing to do with the vending machine theft.

Florentino A. Ramirez, Rudy Sanchez and Rene Martinez and Demonstrators Link Arms During March.

Four days after Santos was murdered, thousands of demonstrators gathered in downtown Dallas. The march started at the Kennedy Memorial and proceeded east on Main Street to the old City Hall.

News Crews and Demonstrators Outside Old City Hall, March of Justice.

The demonstration was peaceful until a second group of marchers showed up – they were younger, angrier and some intoxicated. Then the march turned into a riot with random looting and vandalism.


Demonstrator Lights Police Motorcycle on Fire, March of Justice for Santos Rodriguez.
Police and Demonstrators Clash, the March of Justice for Santos Rodriguez.

Today, July 24, 2018 is the forty-fifth anniversary of Santos’s death. There have been events to commemorate his life and murder, and an extraordinary new documentary film, “Santos Vive” by Byron Hunter to illustrate the historical facts with important interviews and period film footage and still photographs. There are plans for the city of Dallas to create a Santos memorial to honor him and the accomplishments of the city’s Mexican American community. A Santos Rodriguez public art project is underway for Pike Park on Harry Hines Boulevard located in the old Little Mexico neighborhood, and there are thoughts of changing the name of the park to Santos Rodriguez Park as a lasting memorial.

Anne E. Peterson

Curator of Photographs, DeGolyer Library, SMU

Note SMU scholarship: The Santos Rodriguez Memorial Endowed Scholarship at SMU promotes Human Rights education for emerging leaders and honors the memory of a young boy whose life ended far too soon. Scholarship funds provide support to qualified students studying Human Rights at SMU. As one of only seven institutions in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree in Human Rights, SMU is dedicated to nurturing a new generation of ethical and effective leaders.

Archives of Women of the Southwest Photography

Kenda North Photography Collection

Kenda North Photography Archive Donated to the DeGolyer Library, SMU

Kress Building Series No 30787

It is an honor to announce that Kenda North has donated her photographic archive to the DeGolyer Library to be included in the Archives of the Women of the Southwest. The spectacular lifework collection includes color photographs from the 1970s to the present.

The list of North’s achievements, exhibitions, and awards is long. She has been working and exhibiting her photography since receiving her MFA in 1976.

Kenda North has been specifically working in color in photography her entire career with innovative work with dye transfer materials in the late 70s and early 80s. Her career has been marked by consistent experimentation and techniques of available color processes. North has had over 50 one person exhibitions and participated in over 100 group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her photographs are in over 50 public collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. From 1989 to the present, North has been on the faculty at the University of Texas, Arlington.

A retrospective exhibition of her work is on view at the Arlington Museum of Art from August 19-October 8, 2017.


Photography Recent Acquisitions

Jack and Beverly Wilgus History of Photography Collection Comes to the DeGolyer Library

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Above: A small selection of items in the donation. Hover over an image to stop the automatic rotation.

Jack and Beverly Wilgus with Paper Moon Set
Jack and Beverly Wilgus
with their Paper Moon Set

The DeGolyer is pleased to announce a major donation of rare photographs and books to the library by Jack and Beverly Wilgus. This is the first of what will be a series of donations to come of their historically significant collection. The Jack and Beverly Wilgus History of Photography Collection represents over 40 years of collecting and covers all aspects of photographic history including pre-photography. Included in the recent donation are such treasures as a salted paper print from the Crimean War by Roger Fenton, The Mexican Portfolio by Paul Strand, Edward Curtis photogravures from the the portfolios, platinum prints by C.D. Arnold of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Camera WorkPhotographs by Man Ray 1920 Paris 1934, more than 200 unmounted Anthony Civil War stereographs, many photographically illustrated books, albums, and much more. We are honored to be the recipients and entrusted with the care of such important materials related to the history of photography. More to come on the Wilgus Collection!

Robert S. Hyer demonstrating X-ray photography, 1897
Robert S. Hyer demonstrating X-ray photography, 1897

DeGolyer Photography Collections

With over 1,000,000 photographs and negatives in the DeGolyer Library, a review highlighting the diversity of photographers and subjects in the collection A to Z seemed in order – there are so many choices!

A – Alaska.Treadwell’s Gold Mine, D.I.” Partridge Photo, 1887, albumen print.


B – Barnard, George (1819-1902).Battle Ground of Resacca [sic], GA. No. 3,” Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, from Negatives Taken in the Field. ca. 1864-1866, albumen print.


C – Cook Collection. George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection. “Dallas, Texas,” photographer unknown, ca. 1905, stereograph, gelatin silver print.


D – DeGolyer.Everette L. DeGolyer, Sr. (seated), Potrero del Llano oil well with geologist Leon Russ, Mexico,” photographer unknown, ca. 1911, gelatin silver print.


E – Electra, Texas. “Sunshine Hill, Electra, Tex.,” Loden Foto, ca. 1918, postcard, gelatin silver print.


F – Fort Mojave, Arizona.Mojave Indians, on the Colorado, Arizona.” Alexander Gardner, part of  Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railway: Route of the 35th Parallel, 1867-1868, Plate 98, portfolio of 127 plates, series from St. Louis to San Francisco, albumen prints.


G – Gardner, Alexander (1822-1882).View on Canal, Near Crenshaw’s Mill, Richmond, Virginia, April, 1864.” Plate No. 92, Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War, vol. II, Philp & Solomons, 1866.


H – Hillers, John (1843-1925).Southern Front of Zuni.” New Mexico, ca. 1873-1881, albumen print.


I – Ixtaccihuatl, Mexico. “El Ixtaccihuatl, Alrededores de Amecameca. Alfred Briquet, ca. 1875, albumen print.


J – Johnson, William.A Hindu Bridegroom.” Views of Western India, Volume I, Costumes and Characters.” Mumbai, ca. 1858, albumen print.


K – Kiev, Ukraine. [German Officers Gathered Near St. Sophia Cathedral, Kiev.] photographer unknown, Der Vormarsch der Flieger Abteilung 27 in der Ukraine. Album, spring, 1918, gelatin silver print.


L – Langenheim, Frederick (1809-1879). [Porte Saint Denis, Paris.] stereograph, copyright 1854, salt print.


M – Mount Pelée Volcano, Martinique.Statue of St. Mary, Martinique.” W.G. Cooper, album, 1902. The volcano eruptions in May, 1902 caused the deaths of some 30,000 people, mostly in and around the city of Saint-Pierre. Gelatin silver print.


N – Nikolaev Railway, Russia. [Village Along the Nikolaev Railway.] I. Goffert, Views of the Nikolaev Railway, album, ca. 1859, albumen print.


O – Obsidian Cliff, Yellowstone.Obsidian Cliff.” F. Jay Haynes, ca. 1885, albumen print.


P – Powell Collection. Elmer and Diane Powell Collection on Mexico and the Mexican Revolution. “Orozquistas Filiados en la Federacion.” photographer unknown, ca. 1914, postcard, gelatin silver print.


Q – Queretaro, Mexico. “Ultimas Palabras de Maximilano, “Mexicanos que mi sangre….” Adrian Cordiglia, Thayer-Nagle Album of Scenes in Mexico, 1867, albumen print. Composite photomontage from after the execution of Emperor Maximilian.


R – Railroads. [Workers Adjusting Railroad Tracks, Texas Gulf Sulphur Co.] Robert Yarnall Richie, Port Sulphur, Louisiana, 1939, Kodachrome transparency.


S – Sassoon Collection. Sir Ellice Victor Elias Sassoon Papers and Photographs. [Chinese Civilians with Japanese Soldiers at Checkpoint.] Elias Victor Sassoon, Shanghai, China, album, 1937, gelatin silver print.


T – Texas. Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs. [Cat with Mexican Serape.] photographer unknown, ca. 1862-1868, ninth plate ambrotype.


U – Union Pacific Railroad. “Trestle Work at Promontory Pt.” Andrew Russell, Union Pacific Railroad Illustrations, Promontory, Utah, 1869, albumen print.


 V – Venice. “Ponti die Sospiri.” Paolo Salviati, Ricordo di Venezia, album, ca. 1880, albumen print.


W – Watkins, Carleton E. (1829-1916). “View in Weber Canon Near the Devil’s Slide.” Utah, 1873, mammoth plate, albumen print.


X – X-Ray. Jack and Beverly Wilgus History of Photography Collection. [Robert S. Hyer Demonstrating X-ray Photography to the Faculty of Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas.] photographer unknown, 1897, albumen print.


Y – Yellowstone. “Great Falls of the Yellowstone.” William Henry Jackson, Photographs of the Yellowstone National Park and Views in Montana and Wyoming Territories. 1873, albumen print.

 Jackson_Great_Falls_YellowstoneZ – Zeppelin. [The Hindenburg (Luftschiff Zeppelin #129), Lakehurst, New Jersey.] Robert Yarnall Richie, 1936, gelatin silver print.


For questions, contact: Anne E. Peterson, Curator of Photographs, DeGolyer Library

Manuscripts Photography Recent Acquisitions

Elmer and Diane Powell Collection on the Mexican Revolution

Two Women Soldiers, Matamoros, Mex, ca. 1915
Two Women Soldiers, Matamoros, Mex, ca. 1915



In December, the DeGolyer Library was the recipient of another generous donation from Elmer and Diane Powell in addition to the thousands of items donated in 2014! Of great historical importance in the study of the Mexican Revolution, the Powell Collection includes many rare materials: real photographic postcards, photographs, prints, original artwork, broadsides, currency, periodicals, books and manuscripts related to the Mexican Revolution. The Powell collection covers the pre-revolution years of president Porfirio Diaz to the post-revolution era in Mexico. Particularly strong in photography, included are images related to such Federal and revolutionary leaders as Diaz, Madero, Huerta, Carranza, Obregon, Villa, and Zapata. There are many pictures by important but little-known photographers of battle sites, executions, street scenes, the Decena Tragica, and locations throughout Mexico and on the U.S. border during the ten year conflict.

Manuscripts Photography Recent Acquisitions Texana

George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection

Dallas, Texas, Stereograph
Dallas, Texas, Stereograph

cook-08The George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection is an important addition to the DeGolyer Library and is a wonderful resource for research in Dallas and Texas history. A native Dallasite, George W. Cook (1949-2012) collected Dallas and Texas primary sources. He had a special interest in photographs, postcards, advertising souvenirs, trade cards, badges, family collections, documents, art, postal history, and three-dimensional objects such as signs, regional porcelain and glass, and architectural ornaments.

The strength of Cook’s collection lies in its visual images (over 2,200 photographs and 15,000 postcards), but there are also significant manuscripts, diaries, albums, banknotes, ephemera, books, pamphlets, broadsides and objects related to the city of Dallas and Texas. There are approximately 20,000 items altogether – a rich collection with a wide range of materials related to Dallas and Texas history!

View digital collection

Photography Recent Acquisitions

Collection of photographs by Andy Hanson

A collection of photographs and negatives by Dallas photographer, Andy Hanson (1932-2008). Hanson worked as a press photographer for the Dallas Times Herald newspaper from 1961 until the paper closed in 1991. He continued work as a free-lance photographer until his death. Included in the collection are many photographs of famous, high profile, politicians, celebrities and newsworthy people in Dallas. He also actively documented the theater, opera, musical and social events in the city.