Skip to content

SMU’s DeGolyer Library donates books to NTCC

honors scholar with books that were donated

Pictured: Coming NTCC Presidential Scholar, and Mount Pleasant HS Salutatorian, Perla Guzman with some of the books donated by SMU.

By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director

This past 31 May, NTCC’s scholars could see that they had picked the right library for research on the lives of Texas’ early traveling preachers. Head of Public Services of the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University, Christina Jensen, was ready for them. She had laid out diaries, memoirs, and select nineteenth-century monographs on each of the six desks where the NTCC scholars would perform their work.  And they had a sizable room to themselves for three days, plus a series of SMU monitors, who would each work for two-hour shifts.

But what they did not know was that the Director of the DeGolyer Library, Dr. Russell Martin, was originally from Mount Pleasant.  Martin has gone from Mount Pleasant to matriculate at SMU, and then had received his doctorate in English at the University of Virginia.  After working at the American Antiquarian Society, Martin had accepted the position at the DeGolyer, to be back in Texas.  That was in 2001.

The library staff monitoring the Honors Northeast students wondered what kind of disposition they would confront. As the scholars worked steadfastly through the hours paraphrasing their materials, one remarked, “they are so quiet!”

Later, Martin wrote to NTCC honors director, Dr. Yox, noting: “Your students were an absolute delight—terrific researchers. We were impressed by their diligence and studiousness.”

The honors students who conducted film research at SMU included Guzman, Vanessajane Bayna, Michelle Calderon, Luke McCraw, Raul Leija, Neida Perez.

At the end of their research, the scholars were surprised to be introduced to Martin, who began to sing the Mount-Pleasant-High-School song. Scholars from Mount Pleasant, Michelle Calderon and Neida Perez vaguely recognized it.  Martin then presented each of the scholars with two new books by regional authors, Earle Labor, and Jane Roberts Wood. He also came with a dolly and three boxes of books which he personally ferried to the Enterprise van the NTCC scholars came with on the other campus.

Once back at NTCC, the boxes were unloaded, and they included sixty-four new, hard bound books, all within the niche of Tex-Mex history. One is a beautiful collection of the art of Jerry Bywaters, originally from Paris, Texas, who is sometimes acclaimed at the best Texas artist. Another, Alamo Images, again had a series of beautiful images, this time of Texas’ patriotic epicenter. A third is a definitive edition of the sixteenth-century Coronado Expedition with images, maps and text.

Ron Bowden the Director of Library Services at NTCC commented, “these books all fill a niche in one of our most important specializations.  Plus, nearly all of them are rare monographs that we do not have. I am delighted to receive this contribution, and thank the DeGolyer Library for their benevolence.”

Honors Director, Dr. Andrew Yox noted: “we were so thankful to come back from Dallas with the story we needed for this year’s feature-length film.  We were doubly thankful to have these books which will give our scholars working this fall some amazing advantages as they compete for Caldwell Awards, and Touchstonepublications in Texas history.  We thank Mr. Martin for his empathic help.”

Some recent essays published by Honors Northeast scholars on the churches of Northeast Texas, Bill Ratliff, and regional nurses can be found here. Another site of Honors Northeastvodcasts on Texas history is here. Finally one can view the Honors Northeast cinema site of eleven, original feature-length films by clicking here.


Leave a Comment