Accessibility menu option: Skip to main content Accessibility menu option: Skip to main navigation

DeGolyer Library

Oral Histories

Oral History cover

DeGolyer Library has several oral history resources of interest to researchers. The most extensive is the Ronald Davis Oral History Collection on the Performing Arts, which was formed over a thirty-year period by Professor Ronald Davis of the SMU History Department. The goal of the Oral History Program was to gather primary source material for future writers and cultural historians on all branches of the performing arts. Included are interviews with writers, directors, actors, producers, singers, composers, and vaudeville and burlesque performers. The typed transcripts are housed in DeGolyer Library. A published guide to the collection is also available (download the pdf). Among the hundreds of performers featured in the Davis Collection are Lucille Ball, Rosemary Clooney, Rock Hudson, Mary Martin, and Gregory Peck.

Other oral history recordings can be found in the SMU Archives, the Maura McNiel collection (interviews and programs with notable twentieth-century feminists), the Stanley Marcus collection, the J.C. Penney collection, the Belo archives, the Horton Foote collection, the Norman Macht collection (interviews with baseball players), and elsewhere.