Manuscripts Texana

Tender Mercies 40th anniversary

Tender Mercies was released in American theaters forty years ago this month. The story of a troubled Texas country singer on the verge of a comeback who must choose between his career and new family was nominated for multiple Academy Awards. Although the film did not win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Horton Foote won the award for Best Original Screenplay, and Robert Duvall won the award for Best Actor in 1984.  This production was the fourth time that Robert Duvall appeared in a film by Texas dramatist Horton Foote. Duvall’s costars include Tess Harper, Ellen Barkin, Betty Buckley, Lenny von Dohlen, and Wilford Brimley. Filming occurred in the North Texas towns of Waxahachie, Arlington, and Palmer in 1981.

Horton Foote with director Bruce Beresford, 1981

Tender Mercies script page

For three decades Robert Duvall appeared in films written by Horton Foote: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Chase (1966), Tomorrow (1972), Tender Mercies (1983), and Convicts (1991). Horton Foote’s extensive personal archive includes materials from his plays, television films, motion picture films, unpublished manuscripts, and personal correspondence. Below is a letter from American author, Reynolds Price, and Foote’s response:

Tender Mercies cast photo with humorous captions by the crew

Please contact for questions about the Horton Foote papers in DeGolyer Library.


Horton Foote papers, MSS 88
Horton Foote digital collection

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

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.

Events Photography Texana

Juneteenth National Independence Day

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect on January 1, 1863. However, it was two and a half years later before Texas slaves got the message when Union Major General Gordon Granger issued the order in Galveston, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.” It was June 19, 1865 establishing the basis for the holiday, “Juneteenth” (“June” plus “nineteenth”), today the most popular annual celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States.

For years, Juneteenth has been recognized with some form of observance in almost every state. On June 15, 2021 the Senate unanimously approved a bill to make Juneteenth a legal public holiday. The next day, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill. Then on June 17, President Joe Biden signed into law legislation establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Below are just three related examples of Juneteenth and celebrations from the DeGolyer collections. To see hundreds more images from our collections that document the African American experience, follow this link:!dgl!jtx!tex!wes!gcd!jmm/searchterm/african%20americans/field/all/mode/all/conn/all/order/date/ad/asc/page/1  And to pursue projects in African American history in greater depth, we encourage researchers to visit the DeGolyer Library in person!


Union Major General Gordon Granger, 1865


Emancipation Day, 1913, Corpus Christi, Texas















Emancipation Celebration, June 19, 1913


54th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation, 1865-1919



















By Anne E. Peterson, Curator of Photographs, 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 Texana

Remember the Alamo

Thirteen Days to Glory
13 Days to Glory by Lon Tinkle

It’s been 184 years since the battle of the Alamo was fought between February 23 and March 6, 1836 in San Antonio, Texas. Stephen Hardin’s Handbook of Texas article explains the context of these thirteen days that eventually led to Texas’ independence from Mexico.

Lon Tinkle’s papers contain manuscripts for his 1958 book, 13 Days to Glory, and materials related to the 1960 film and 1986 television movie inspired by his book.

The Alamo tickets and screenplay
The Alamo screenplay and tickets to the 1960 film premiere


Other notable manuscripts in the DeGolyer Library include:

Edward Hall letter to Andrew Briscoe, 1836 May 21  

Edward Hall writes to Andrew Briscoe about the cost of land in Texas, the reaction of the news of Santa Anna’s capture, and his hopes for awards due to those who fought for Texas independence.

Benjamin Franklin Hughes’ memoir
Hughes was a career soldier in the nineteenth century, and his memoir describes his experience as a fifteen-year-old soldier for the Texian Army during the battles of Refugio and Coleto. He was saved from the Goliad massacre by Francita Alavez.

Benjamin Franklin Hughes diary
Benjamin Franklin Hughes diary

Please contact for assistance with these and other materials available in DeGolyer Library.

Remember the Alamo music
Remember the Alamo by Jessie Beattie Thomas
















Handbook of Texas Online, Stephen L. Hardin. “Alamo, Battle of the,”accessed February 18, 2020,

Hughes, Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin Hughes memoir, A2017.0023x

Matovina, Timothy M. The Alamo remembered : Tejano accounts and perspectives. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995. F390.M485 1995

Thomas, Jessie Beattie. Remember the Alamo. St. Louis, Mo.: Thomas & Davis, 1908. Oversize Pamphlet M1658.T35 T46 1908

Thompson, Frank T. The Alamo : the illustrated story of the epic film. New York: Newmarket Press, 2004. Folio PN1997.A3219 T46 2004

Tinkle, Lon. 13 Days to Glory. New York: McGraw Hill, 1958. F390.T5 1958b


Manuscripts Texana

The Iron Orchard


This week the movie adaptation of Tom Pendleton’s epic 1966 novel, The Iron Orchard, opens in theaters. His book tells the story of Jim McNeely’s rise from oil roughneck to wildcatter in mid-twentieth century Texas, and is based on the author’s experience in the oil business.

Edmund Pendleton Van Zandt, Jr. 1948 SMU Rotunda


Tom Pendleton was a pseudonym for Edmund Pendleton Van Zandt Jr. of Fort Worth, Texas. Van Zandt graduated from SMU Law School in 1949 and served as editor of the SMU Law Review. In the mid-1960s he was vice-president of Fort Worth National Bank and wrote three novels. Iron Orchard shared the Texas Institute of Letters award for best fiction in 1969 with Larry McMurtry’s novel, The Last Picture Show.



Lon Tinkle described the book in the Dallas Morning News:

“For people in the industry, a further delight will be the astonishingly deft page-or-so passages that occur from time to time to locate the reader in oil evolution: proration, geophysical developments, the role of natural gas, the effect of discovery after World War II of Kuwait and of foreign oil on our own, etc. None of this is pedantic. The author rivals Max Ball as a model explainer of technical stuff. And the industry will be tickled at the weaving in, though in a purely factual way, of many names famous in Texas oil, such as DeGolyer and MacNaughton and, delightfully, DeGolyer’s great protégé, Ben Belt.”


Edmund Van Zandt then sent Tinkle a thankful letter for the review:


Lon Tinkle’s papers contain numerous letters from authors like Van Zandt, since Tinkle was a book critic for The Dallas Morning News for over thirty years. Researchers interested in the history of the oil industry are encouraged to study the collections of Everette Lee DeGolyer Sr., Leo Horvitz, Lewis MacNaughton, and others in the DeGolyer Library.

[Roughneck connecting drilling pipe, Jones & Laughlin Steel Co.] Part of the Robert Yarnall Ritchie Photograph Collection.


Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. “Van Zandt, Edmund Pendleton, Jr.,”accessed February 19, 2019,

The Rotunda. Dallas: Southern Methodist University, 1948.

Tinkle, Lon. “Brilliant Novel On Oil in Texas.” Review of The Iron Orchard, by Tom Pendleton. The Dallas Morning News, November 20, 1966: page 11. NewsBank/Readex.

Lon Tinkle papers, MSS 130. Finding aid available at

Manuscripts Texana

Veterans and Their Stories

DeGolyer Library is pleased to announce that Congressman Sam Johnson ’51 will donate his congressional papers at the end of his term in 2018. Before representing Texas’ 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1991, he served six years in the Texas House of Representatives. Prior to his political career, he served 29 years in the United States Air Force, retiring as a colonel. Johnson was a prisoner of war for seven years in the “Hanoi Hilton” and wrote of his experience in his 1992 memoir, Captive Warriors: A Vietnam POW’s Story.

Congressman Sam Johnson
October 20, 2017

Sam Johnson’s story will be added to a host of other soldiers’ and military spouses’ collections held in DeGolyer Library. As we remember and honor veterans on November 11, we invite researchers to study primary sources including:


Joseph Zeppa collection of correspondence and ephemera The Joseph Zeppa collection contains over 700 books on military history, as well as correspondence from noted military leaders. A highlight of the collection is the friendly correspondence between two former opposing generals, U.S. Brigadier General Paul Robinett and German General Franz Halder.

Jack Miller papers

Jack Miller

Jack Miller ’38 was one of “Carlson’s Raiders” in the battle of Guadalcanal, where he was killed in action in 1942. His letters to his family describe his experiences, and his family’s correspondence can be found in the Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr. family papers.




Clarence W. Clark World War II correspondence

Clarence W. Clark served in the United States Army with the 51st Air Service Group in the China-Burma-India campaign. His collection of letters to his wife, Frances, in Tyler, Texas, describe his military experience from 1942-1945.


William E. McClure family papers
William E. McClure letter











William E. McClure served in the United States Navy during World War I. His letters to his family in Tyler, Texas, describe his experience in the Philippines and France.


David E. Hoxie letters David Hoxie was a Union Army officer during the Civil War, and his letters describe military life at various camps in Massachusetts and Washington D.C.


Theodore Laidley Mexican War letters Theodore Laidley was a United States Army officer during the Mexican War. His letters to his father describe Mexico and military life.