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DeGolyer Library: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints

DeGolyer Library

About the Collection


[Caricature of Everette DeGolyer Sr.]

DeGolyer Library: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints provides a sample of the photographs, images, albums, and more held by SMU's DeGolyer Library. Please note that many other DeGolyer Library digital collections exist that fall into thematic or geographical categories. To view other DeGolyer Library digital collections, please see the CUL Digital Collections browse page.

DeGolyer Library digital collections are part of CUL Digital Collections, which contain thousands of digitized photographs, manuscripts, imprints, and works of art held by SMU's Central University Libraries special collections.  

Collection Materials

SMU’s DeGolyer Library holds 110,000 rare books, over 2,500 separate manuscript collections, more than 500,000 photographs, approximately 3,000 early maps, over 2,000 periodical and newspaper titles, and a sizable collection of printed ephemera. The great strengths of the DeGolyer Library include early travel and exploration accounts, especially those related to the European discovery and exploration of the New World. The Texas, Mexican, and Western Americana materials are among the finest in the country. Geology and the history of the oil business are also well represented in the book and manuscript collections. The DeGolyer Library digital collection contains items from many accessions and collections held by the DeGolyer Library.

Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. papers

	Everette DeGolyer sitting on Potrero well with geologist Leon Russ, ca. 1913

Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr., a major figure in the twentieth-century oil business, was known for his pioneering work in petroleum geology and geophysics. Throughout his career, DeGolyer founded several major corporations including the Amerada Petroleum Corporation, the Geophysical Research Corporation and DeGolyer and MacNaughton. Mr. DeGolyer was also an extraordinary book collector and philanthropist. During his lifetime, he gave his collection of American and English literature to the University of Texas and his history of science collection to the University of Oklahoma. After Mr. DeGolyer's death in 1956, the family library was maintained by the newly-incorporated DeGolyer Foundation and was aggressively expanded by the son of the founder, Everett L. DeGolyer, Jr. In 1974 the DeGolyer Foundation gave the library to SMU, where it is now housed in the original Fondren Library building.

Even in its early days the DeGolyer Library played a significant role on the cultural scene in Dallas. It was housed in its own splendid library room at “Rancho Encinal,” the DeGolyer estate overlooking White Rock Lake. The City of Dallas purchased the DeGolyer estate in 1982 and opened an arboretum and botanical garden in 1984.

This digital collection contains a growning number of documents and photographs from Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. (1886-1956) Papers. A finding aid to the collection is also available online.

Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. papers on Mexico Oil

Reconnaissance Geologic and Topographic Map of Las Naranjas and Environs, 1910

The Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. papers available online provide a rich sample of the photographs, maps, albums, and more, relating to Mexican oil. For example, dozens of maps of Mexican oil fields and related documents on oil exploration and development in Mexico in the early 20th century are now online. Many of these maps represent oil fields from each of the three most important areas of exploration in Mexico at that time: the Ebano-Panuco area in Veracruz, the "Golden Lane" in Veracruz, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Together these geologic and topographic maps shed light on the work being conducted in Mexico by noted oil exploration companies, like the Mexican Eagle Oil Company, for whom Mr. DeGolyer worked from 1909-1919. You may also view hundreds of additional items on petroleum development in Mexico in the DeGolyer Library's Mexico: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection.

Below is a non-inclusive list of examples of the Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. papers relating to Mexican oil exploration and development in the early 1900s.

Holdings and Highlights

Listed here are some of the accessions held by the DeGolyer Library that are represented in this digital collection:

Eighteen years behind the bars.: An outline sketch of the prison life of the once famous outlaw, C.D. Hildebrand, 1840

Digital Collections Guidelines and Procedures

Items in Central University Library Digital Collections are digitized following the SMU Central University Libraries Digitization Guidelines and Procedures. Digital collections are created under the guidelines of the CUL Digital Collections: Filenaming, Workflow, and Metadata Guidelines, or through specialized metadata profiles tailored for the collection.


Copyright usage terms vary throughout the collection. Each item contains information about usage terms. If SMU does not have the right to publish the item on the Internet, only the item's metadata will be available and the digitized object will be available on a restricted access basis. Such items may only be viewed on campus. When items are available for use, please cite DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University. A high-quality version of these files may be obtained for a fee by contacting

Contact Info

For more information about the collection, please contact