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SMU's DeGolyer Library Donates Thousands of Duplicate Photos

The DeGolyer Library Special Collections at Southern Methodist University in Dallas recently donated their duplicate photograph collection of railroad subjects to the Museum of the American Railroad. Included are images from lines throughout North America spanning some 100 years of railroading during the twentieth century. 

“We are thrilled to add the DeGolyer prints to our collection. They represent a significant period in our nation’s railroad history, including a number of pieces in our collection. They will be invaluable to future programming and exhibits, as well as research,” said Bob LaPrelle, CEO. 

The collection, comprising 14 boxes, contains thousands of black & white images, most of which were printed from negatives. The photographs were carefully culled from DeGolyer’s extensive collection, as duplicate prints. The Library still houses the mates to these prints which are available for research and reproduction. The duplicates will be housed at the Museum in a climate-controlled environment and digitized at a later date. 

The DeGolyer Library Special Collections is truly a gem for railroad historians and researchers. The Collection represents decades of material amassed by two generations of DeGolyers. Everette L. DeGolyer and Everett L. DeGolyer, Jr. were students of western history and railroads. DeGolyer, Jr. is largely responsible for the extensive photograph collection. He is also co-founder of the Museum, having collaborated with Joseph Rucker, Jr., assistant general manager of the State Fair of Texas, to create the original “Age of Steam” exhibit at Fair Park in 1963. 

We are proud and honored to add the collection of duplicate photographs to the Museum’s holdings. We are grateful to the DeGolyer Library for their gift. The Museum continues to enjoy a working relationship with the Library that dates back several decades.   

(Above Left) Everett L. DeGolyer, Jr. admires one of his many O-Scale locomotives. An avid collector of highly detailed model trains, his collection is now displayed at the DeGolyer Library at SMU. 

(Above) A couple of gems from the DeGolyer duplicate photo collection reveal the existence of two very obscure railroads at the turn of the century.  The top image is an undated photo of Arkansas & Choctaw RR locomotive #2, likely around 1900.  The second image shows Altus Wichita Falls & Hollis RR locomotive #103 in 1910.  The line became part of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway.

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