Highlights from SMU’s Central University Libraries’ Digital Collections
Posted on March 5, 2018 by Elisa Welder
34 documents, ca. 1875-1910, into the Texas: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection as part of the TexTreasures FY2018 grant program, sponsored by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Striving to attract immigrants to Texas, these promotional pamphlets, booklets, brochures, and maps usually describe soil and climate conditions, crop production, livestock, mineral resources, land prices, train routes, advertisements for local businesses, commerce, and industries. Some pamphlets refer to the Texas Constitution, specifically its Homestead Law, as a way to emphasize favorable land settlement conditions. Texas locations portrayed include Brazoria County, Cameron County, Dallas, Freeport, Galveston, Hemphill County, Lampasas, Lipscomb County, Pecos River Valley, Raywood, San Antonio, Texarkana, and Wichita Falls. Homes in Texas on the line of the International & Great Northern R.R., 1880-’81: International (Lone Star) Route is one of the most comprehensive guides, listing towns and parcels of land for sale or rent in 52 Texas counties. Published in 1904, “Galveston in a Nutshell,” delivers a rare window into historical photographs and written accounts about the rebuilding of the island city in the wake of the Great Storm in 1900. Many images and articles focus on various stages of the seawall’s construction and raising the city’s grade.
Promotional material from Austin includes a souvenir album of images from the photographer Samuel B. Hill and a pamphlet from the Austin Board of Trade providing a summary of the city’s climate, businesses, and other features, ca. 1890. Similarly, many images from unknown photographers are featured in a pamphlet promoting the settlement of Dallas. This pamphlet was produced by Thomas William Field, an early citizen of Dallas. The photographs included feature the construction of Holy Trinity College, images of other early structures, and portraits of early citizens of Dallas, including former postmaster Charles H. Durgan and former mayor Dr. Sam B. Pryor. Munger Place, Dallas, Texas, ca. 1905, provides an interesting read for Dallasites or anyone wishing it was possible to invest in subdivision lots prior to the full development of East Dallas.
A couple of pamphlets focus on rhetorical and epistolary writing, and among these are a compilation of Horace Greely’s letters about Texas and the lower Mississippi region that he addressed to the farmers of Texas, and speeches Mr. Greely delivered in New York concerning the settlement of postbellum Texas. The latter pamphlet, entitled Through Texas, comprises a collection of writing that the journalist Walter Barlow Stevens published through the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company. These letters appeared originally in the fall of 1892 in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and each “present a graphic picture of Texas, its social and industrial life blended into charming narrative.” Stevens’ writing is accompanied by ink illustrations on nearly every page, some of which depict events in Texas history and famous early Texans, including the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte.96 sketches by Jerry Bywaters to the Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest. These sketches depict a wide variety of subjects, including landscapes of the U.S. Southwest, cities and towns, ranches, and people. The set contains a number of watercolors, including a preliminary watercolor sketch for Bywaters’s 1940 lithograph, The Surgeons.
314 issues of The Daily Campus, SMU’s student newspaper, from 1981, 1982, and 1983. Included among the stories in these issues are The Daily Campus‘s reporting on the appointment of the first female Supreme Court Justice, midterm elections in Texas, and coverage of a visit to SMU by Coretta Scott King.6 Baldwin Locomotive rosters from the Collection of Baldwin Locomotive Works Records. These rosters cover over 40,000 construction numbers, listing the company’s work from July 1910 through 1956.
1 detail drawing, 1902, from the Collection of Baldwin Locomotive Works Records for a tender truck for the Arizona & New Mexico Railway.
8 photographs, taken on June 19, 1913, by George McCuistion, from Collection of African American Photographs. These images depict Emancipation Day, or Juneteenth, celebrations in Corpus Christi in 1913. Many of the images feature men and women in horse-drawn carriages that were decorated for the celebration.