Exploring the Budner Collection on Theodore Roosevelt from home

Southern Methodist University is refining plans for the eventual reopening of campus, following the Covid-19 campus closure.  In the meantime, history enthusiasts can browse our extensive digital collections,  including the Doris A. and Lawrence H. Budner Collection on Theodore Roosevelt.

Painting of Theodore Roosevelt hunting


The Budners spent more than 20 years building their collection of books, photographs, and ephemera related to the 26th president.  The couple were Dallas civic leaders, involved in public healthcare access, social welfare, and the Jewish community. 

Both were historians of President Roosevelt, with Lawrence writing his SMU master’s thesis on Roosevelt and how his time in the American West shaped his progressive social politics. 



Theodore Roosevelt giving a speech in Kansas

The Budner collection is comprehensive, ranging from Roosevelt family correspondence to campaign ephemera.  One of the more memorable items for DeGolyer staff was a Roosevelt matchbook.  If your job was to store and preserve large amounts of paper, how would you safely house a matchbook? The archivist processing the collection decided on (according to best practices) cutting off the match tips, and keeping the book. To get an idea of the scope of the collection, click here to view its finding aid.  

The immense project of making the collection available digitally begins with the photographs, which you can browse by clicking here. Also digitized is the smaller print collection, which you can view by clicking here.

If you’d like to learn more about the Budner Roosevelt collection, contact Head of Public Services Christina Jensen at cwjensen@smu.edu