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Mary McCord/Edyth Renshaw Collection on the Performing Arts

Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library

About the Collection


Uncle Tom's Cabin, ca. 1892

The Mary McCord/Edyth Renshaw Collection on the Performing Arts digital collection includes a sample of materials from this extensive collection, housed in the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections Wing of the Hamon Arts Library.

Hamon Arts 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.

The treasures of the collection encompass a diverse cross-section of performing arts and represent the wide-ranging forms of theater, music, dance and film.

Collection Background

The McCord/Renshaw Collection originally began as the McCord Theatre Museum at Southern Methodist University in 1933 and was first located in Dallas Hall. It was founded by Department of Speech faculty members, including David Russell and Edyth Renshaw, and named in honor of Mary McCord, the first speech professor at SMU.

While the museum succeeded in acquiring wonderful items throughout its 57 years as a separate entity on campus, a lack of funds and adequate staffing prevented a complete inventory from ever being completed.

The photograph pictures (left to right) Aaron Spelling and Marilyn Nix in the 1946 Arden Club production ''The Hasty Heart'' performed in the Arden Playhouse.

The collection is currently being processed and many rare and important items have been discovered, the majority of which have never been exhibited. A number of these items are featured in the digital collection and concentrate on the collection’s noteworthy resources in the history of SMU and Dallas, as well as the performing arts.

The collection is divided into 24 subcollections and series. Below are links to subcollections and series that contain items in the digital collection.

Of particular interest are a set of theater programs, 1925-1941, from the Little Theatre of Dallas Collection. The programs include cover art by Gordon Conway, Dorothy Sutton, O'Neil Ford, Lynn Ford, David R. Williams, Alexander Hogue, and Jerry Bywaters.

Related Collections

Twelfth Night in Arden Forest, 1917

The Mary McCord/Edyth Renshaw Collection of the Performing Arts digital collection is one of a growing number of unique digital collections from the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections Wing of the Hamon Arts Library that are available through SMU's CUL Digital Collections.

For more information, see:

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 nCDS 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 Bywaters Special Collections, Southern Methodist University when using this file. For more information contact

Contact Info

For more information about the collection, please contact