July 2, 2013

In a year of remarkable experiences centered on libraries, SMU will present another history-making event when President George Washington’s personal copy of the Acts of Congress goes on display at DeGolyer Library July 14-27. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

For two weeks the priceless piece of U.S. history will be part of DeGolyer’s summer exhibit, “Hail to the Chief: American Presidential History in Word and Image,” July 14-October 4.

George Washington's annotated copy of the Acts of Congress will be exhibited at SMU July 14-27. Photo courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association

George Washington’s annotated copy of the Acts of Congress will be exhibited at SMU July 14-27. Photo courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association

The 106-page, leather-bound Acts of Congress with Washington’s annotations includes his copy of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other laws passed by the first session of Congress.

Washington’s volume will be part of a larger exhibit of presidential materials drawn from various DeGolyer collections.

For the convenience of visitors, the exhibit will be open during regular library hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as on these weekends only:

  • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 14 and July 21
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 and July 27

On Saturday, July 20, history comes to life from 9 a.m. to noon during a special community event. Bring the family to enjoy free colonial-themed activities, crafts and performances, and by signing the exhibit guest book, receive a discount on tickets to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Register here.

The Acts of Congress at DeGolyer Library is sponsored in partnership with the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and will be the ninth stop on a seven-month, 13-stop tour of the nation’s presidential libraries. The tour is made possible by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) and the National Archives and Records Administration. The MVLA, which operates Washington’s historic estate, purchased the Acts of Congress at auction for a record $9.8 million in June 2012.

More Year of the Library Exhibits and Programs

Bridwell Library
Entry hall – “Documents from the First Decade of SMU,” a selection of 18 documents produced between 1911 and 1920 that offer insight into the development of the University, will be on view through August 18.

Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries – “Highlights from Bridwell Library Special Collections: The Reformation” in June and July, and in the fall, “Fifty Women,” featuring more than 50 books from the Bridwell’s special collections that date from the late Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century and were written, produced, owned or inspired by women.

Find more exhibit information here.

DeGolyer Library

“Treasures of the DeGolyer Library,” featuring materials from some of SMU’s most significant special collections, will be on view October 24 through February 28, 2014. Find more library information here.

Hamon Arts Library

“Color and Chiaroscuro Prints,” featuring selections from the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections, September 16- December 31 in the Hawn Gallery. Find more library information here.

Friends of the SMU Libraries

  • Thursday, August 29, 5 p.m. – Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, the 2013 Common Reading selection. Location to be determined. Co-sponsored with the Common Reading Program.
  • September 19, 7 p.m. – Jamie Ford, author of Songs of Willow Frost. Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC), 3300 Mockingbird Lane. Co-sponsored with HPUMC and Friends of the Highland Park Public Library.
  • October 8, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. lecture and book signing – Andrew Isenberg, author of Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life. DeGolyer Library. Co-sponsored with Clements Center for Southwest Studies and DeGolyer Library.

Find more information about Friends of the SMU Libraries here.