The Next Chapter for SMU Libraries

SMU Board of Trustees and administration attend the announcement of the gift of The Rees-Jones Library of the American West, Friday, May 5, 2023 at Umphrey Lee on the SMU Campus.

For the past two decades, Dallas entrepreneur Trevor D. Rees-Jones ‘78 has been unearthing the untold stories of American history through a unique collection of rare historical artifacts of the American West. Now, this native Texan and his wife, Jan Rees-Jones, have made a remarkable gift to SMU.

A substantial portion of the Rees-Jones Collection lies at the heart of the gift, featuring 30,000 items including rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and ephemera. The gift will also establish and develop the Rees-Jones Library of the American West. This major gift is not only a triumph for SMU and SMU Libraries, but also a historical treasure trove for those researching American history and the American West. Dean Jeffcoat expressed her profound gratitude, stating, “We are incredibly grateful to Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones for their generous contribution to SMU Libraries and our community. The Rees-Jones Collection and Rees-Jones Library of the American West will diversify our offerings to students and faculty and enrich crucial conversations about our collective past and future. Importantly, having both the Rees-Jones Collection and the existing DeGolyer Library on the same campus makes our resources on the American West among the very best in higher education and an essential research destination for scholars of the American West.”

Jan and Trevor D. Rees-Jones ’78 give significant portion of their illustrious collection and $30 million to create the Rees-Jones Library of the American West.

Construction of the Rees-Jones Library is expected to commence in 2024, with an anticipated completion date of 2027. As planning for the new library begins, SMU Libraries is dedicated to keeping our campus community updated.