CUL Digital Collections

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Archives of Women of the Southwest

DeGolyer Library

About the Collection



Elisabet Ney's Statue of Lady Macbeth, 1905Established in 1993, the Archives of Women of the Southwest is one of the special collections of SMU's DeGolyer Library. The primary mission of the Archives of Women of the Southwest is to document the historical experience of women in the Southwest, with special emphasis on Dallas and North Texas, as well as a regional focus that includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and the Spanish Borderlands.

Housed in the DeGolyer Library, the Archives currently has over 200 collections that fall into two areas: letters, diaries, and journals of women who settled in or traveled through the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the papers of 20th and 21st century women who have influenced women’s roles in society and shaped the culture, arts, business, social issues, law, and politics in Texas and the Southwest. Examples of the latter include papers of leaders in women's organizations and social and political reform movements; papers of outstanding women in the professions, the arts, and voluntary service; papers of families and of women in private life; records of women's organizations and organizations concerned with women's issues; and oral history interviews. The collection comprises letters, diaries, speeches, photographs, scrapbooks, periodicals, and other print, audio and video materials.

The Archives of Women of the Southwest digital collection contains a sampling of materials held in the DeGolyer Library's Archives. 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.  

Holdings and Highlights

The online collection includes photographs, manuscripts, and documents from multiple accessions, including:

Annette Harvey Diary, 1906-1910

Annette Harvey, of Arkansas and West Virginia, recounts events of her daily life in this "Line a Day" diary. She was the daughter of William Hope Harvey, aka "Coin" Harvey, a well-known businessman, politician, author and a founder of the resort of Monte Ne and the Ozark Association. Annette's brief entries record visits, housework, dances, parties, a train trip to New York, weather, church services and socials over a 5 year period, 1906-1910. Addresses and miscellaneous thoughts, quotations, poems, are recorded at the end of the volume. A photograph of her home made in 1906 is tipped in at the front of the diary.

Edmund Montgomery and Elisabet Ney Papers

[Elisabet Ney], ca. 1896, Berlin

The digital collection contains a subset of the papers of Elisabet Ney (1833-1907) and her husband, Edmund Duncan Montgomery (1835-1911). Ney, a sculptor, immigrated to the United States in 1871 and settled in Texas two years later. Montgomery trained in Germany as a medical doctor and later gravitated toward philosophy and science. The papers in this collection include biographical material; deeds to the Texas plantation that Ney and Montgomery owned; wills of Ney family members; photographs; copies of Montgomery's published articles and books; and correspondence, including that between friends of Montgomery and his biographer, SMU philosophy professor, Ira K. Stephens.

Ney began studying art at the Munich Academy of Arts at the age of 19. She became a sculptor, creating busts of George V (King of Hanover), Giuseppe Garibaldi, Justus von Liebig, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, King Wilhelm I of Prussia, and a full-length statue of Ludwig II of Bavaria. In the United States she created statues of Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Lady Macbeth, and a recumbent statue of Civil War General Albert Sidney Johnston, among others. She is buried at her Texas home, Liendo Plantation, now registered in the National Register of Historic Places.

Ermance Rejebian Papers

[Ermance Rueben], ca. 1940sThe Ermance Rejebian Papers contain the papers of Armenian-born lecturer, author, news commentator, and book reviewer Ermance Rejebian (1906-1989). A finding aid to the collection is available. Rejebian immigrated to the United States at age 14. As an adult Rejebian reviewed hundreds of books (both fiction and non-fiction, as well as classics and 20th-century bestsellers) and presented these reviews to women's groups called "Rejebian Clubs" in Dallas and the Southwest. These clubs existed to hear Rejebian's summaries and critiques. The first of these 'Rejebian Clubs' was organized in 1936, and eventually there were 40 in all.

As she became better known, Rejebian began to give book reviews and news commentaries on local radio. Rejebian provided the 'background of the news' in a weekly broadcast from 1945 to 1952 on WFAA Radio in Dallas, Texas. She maintained a schedule of 170 to 300 speaking engagements per year. In 1951, she was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the seven most influential women of the Southwest. Rejebian was also the first recipient of the Americanism Medal awarded by the Jane Douglas Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution "in recognition of the many contributions she has made as a naturalized citizen." Rejebian wrote two short books describing her immigration to America, her husband's, and their life thereafter, titled Pilgrimage to Freedom and Testament of Faith. She also published a book of her letters titled, Abroad with the Rejebians. Her papers include her book reviews, speeches, notes, photographs, correspondence, audio recordings, and newspaper clippings.


Kenda North Photographs

This collection contains the works of photographer Kenda North. The list of North’s achievements, exhibitions, and awards is long. She has been working and exhibiting her photography since receiving her MFA in 1976.

Kenda North has been specifically working in color in photography her entire career with innovative work with dye transfer materials in the late 70s and early 80s. Her career has been marked by consistent experimentation and techniques of available color processes. North has had over 50 one person exhibitions and participated in over 100 group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her photographs are in over 50 public collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. From 1989 to the present, North has been on the faculty at the University of Texas, Arlington.

A retrospective exhibition of her work is on view at the Arlington Museum of Art from August 19-October 8, 2017. 30 of her photographs are currently viewable online.

Lee Cullum Papers

This collection contains the papers of Lee Cullum, journalist, reporter, interviewer, commentator, and host of public television station KERA's monthly series CEO. Items in the collection include Cullum's correspondence with friends, relatives, fans, and interviewees; drafts, corrected manuscripts, taped interviews, and notes for her book, 'Genius Came Early'; awards; press passes; and political campaign buttons.

Lucy Stevens Caldwell, page 35

Online are a variety of opinion pieces Cullum wrote for KERA, ca. 1980s. These items are currently restricted to on-campus use.

Lucy Pier Stevens Papers

This collection contains the papers of Lucy Pier Stevens (1838-1913). As a young woman from Ohio, Stevens found herself unable to leave Texas where she was visiting family when the Civil War broke out. During her time there she kept several diaries, recounting daily life during the Civil War in Texas. In 1865 she boarded a blockade-runner to Cuba, from where she eventually made her way back home. The collection includes three of her handwritten diaries dated 1860-1861 and 1863-1865, as well as a photograph album. (Shown right: Lucy Pier Stevens under her married name, Lucy Stevens Caldwell.)

Lynn Lennon Photographs

The physical collection contains the photographs of Lynn Lennon, circa 1971-1985, including cityscapes, landscapes, people, and animals. Subjects include the Mustangs of Las Colinas, Dallas, the Big Thicket, Texas, Louisiana, Mexico, China, fantasy self-portraits, dogs, and cats. Also part of the collection are portraits of sculptor Roy Fridge, artist David McManaway, photographer David H. Gibson and his wife Lorine, book dummies, and exhibition prints.

Lynn Lennon's photographs online include Swan, ca. 1977-1979, by Lynn LennonFantasy Self Portraits, ca. 1977-1979, and Mustangs of Las Colinas, 1981. Lennon's State Fair of Texas photographs, 1984-1993, are available in the Texas: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection.

Nell Goodrich DeGolyer papers, 1896-1978

Nell Goodrich DeGolyer was a well known and respected civic leader and philanthropist. Her papers include manuscripts, letters, printed material, and photographs dealing with her childhood, schooling and married life with Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. Diaries document daily activities of Mrs. DeGolyer. The photographs and scrapbooks provide rich detail into the DeGolyer's courtship, lifestyle, estate and gardens. A finding aid to the collection is available.

Included online are 75 photographs showing Rancho Encinal, the DeGolyers' estate built in 1939, including its construction, gardens, and rooms. Rancho Encinal is now part of the Dallas Arboretum. Other images show Nell DeGolyer with her granddaughter, Roberta, and images of Nell DeGolyer entertaining guests on her patio and gardens at Rancho Encinal.

Sue Yeager Austin Collection on Mary Martin
This collection contains items from Sue Yeager Austin's (1912-1998) lifelong friendship with actress Mary Martin. Texas native Mary Martin was a Tony Award winning actress who starred in theater productions of Peter Pan, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Leave It to Me, and I Do! I Do! Austin collected letters, photographs, theater programs, news clippings, magazines, records, and ephemera relating to Ms. Martin's life and career. Also included are letters from Mary Martin and her husband, Richard Halliday, to Sue Yeager Austin.

Several photographs of Mary Martin throughout the decades are online; some are restricted to on-campus viewing.

Digital Collections Guidelines and Procedures

[Lucy Pier Stevens' Photograph Album], ca. 1861-1865

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