Deadline to participate in SMU CUL survey is Thursday, March 1, 2018


Students Studying in Fondren Library CenterAttention SMU faculty members: Central University Libraries is seeking your input on the journals and publications you consider essential to your teaching and research.

CUL is preparing its annual budget and wants to identify the most used, most cited, and most valued content among its subscription services. Take their survey and let them know which journals and resources are most important to your work.

The survey is open through Thursday, March 1, 2018.

> Take the SMU CUL Library Plan Survey online


The envelope, please: SMU’s role in preserving Oscar history

1942 Oscar ceremony photoWhile Hollywood prepares to celebrate the 82nd annual Academy Awards March 7, 2010, North Texas can look to SMU to find priceless pieces of Oscar history.

SMU library collections include almost 70 years of Academy Award history, such as Greer Garson‘s 1942 Oscar for “Mrs. Miniver,” four 1951 Academy Award envelopes (complete with red seals and winners’ names), and Horton Foote‘s original screenplay and dialogue notes for his 1983 Oscar-winning screenplay, “Tender Mercies.”

“I’ll never forget that when Mr. Foote came to SMU in 2003 to receive an honorary degree, we had displayed some of the early manuscripts of his play, The Trip to Bountiful,” says Russell Martin, DeGolyer Library director.” He looked at the pages on view in the exhibit case and said, ‘I think I’ll change that. I think I can make it better.’ And so it goes: Literary manuscripts are tangible links to the writer and the creative process. When researchers study such materials at SMU, they help advance our understanding and appreciation of literary works.”

The ephemera from past Oscar ceremonies represent aspects of the physical culture of the Hollywood industry – one of the most influential facets of American society and global culture in the 20th century, says Rick Worland, professor of cinema-television in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

“Everyone knows the catch-phrase, ‘The envelope, please.’ To actually have several of the envelopes from the 1951 ceremony, literally fished out of a trash can, might seem cultish or just dumb,” Worland adds. “But being able to see ephemeral objects such as this can help bring the bit of cultural history alive for people from now on.”

(Above, Greer Garson – left center – at the 1942 Academy Awards with, left to right, Van Heflin, Teresa Wright and James Cagney.)

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Tune In: Texas’ Centennial State Fair remembered

Greeting card from the Texas CentennialDuring 1936, in a state deep within the waves of the Great Depression, Texas held a statewide celebration that marked 100 years of Texas independence. The celebration culminated in the $25 million Central Exposition in Dallas.

Lucille Robinson’s Texas Centennial scrapbook gives a poignant glimpse into the lives of two young friends enthralled with the celebration. The letters carefully pasted into the scrapbook reveal a close friendship between Robinson and Lavonia Rorie, a student at SMU, that began with a mutual love of the Globe Theatre at the Texas Centennial.

The scrapbook is one of many in the Mary McCord/Edyth Renshaw Collection on the Performing Arts, housed in SMU’s Bywaters Special Collections. (Right, a Texas Centennial greeting card sent by Lavonia Rorie, from Lucille Robinson’s scrapbook.)

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