Collection Profile: The Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library/ Southern Methodist University

Contact Details
Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library
Central University Libraries
Southern Methodist University
P. O. Box 750356
Dallas, Texas 75275-0356
Phone: 214-768-2894
Fax: 214-768-1800
Web site:

The Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library opened in fall 1990 under the Central University Libraries system at Southern Methodist University. The circulating and reference collection contains over 180,000 items on the visual and performing arts. The Library also has a collection that includes over 300 periodicals and access to more than forty online resources specific to the arts. The art and art history print collection is strong in Iberian, classical, medieval, Renaissance, and nineteenth-century through late twentieth-century art.
The Library has two archives, the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections and the G. Williams Jones Film and Video Collection. The Bywaters Special Collections houses the Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest, McCord/Renshaw Collection on the Performing Arts, Greer Garson Collection, and the Paul Van Katwijk Collection on music. The Jones Film and Video Collection, founded in 1970 as the Southwest Film/Video Archives, contains over 9,000 film prints and negatives in all formats and over 3,000 videotapes stored in a climate-controlled facility. Print materials and antique film equipment are also part of the collection. Among the Collection’s moving image holdings are feature films, news film and video, animation classics, documentaries, television series, and student films. Highlights include the Tyler, Texas, Black Film Collection; the Gene Autry collection; the Belo news film collection; the Sulphur Springs pre-nickelodeon films; and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1926 feature, The Pleasure Garden.

The Library has an eight member staff including a director, three subject librarians for areas taught in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts: music, art, theater, dance, film, and communications; two curators and one curatorial assistant for the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections. The circulation staff includes a print circulation supervisor and an audio visual supervisor.

Most of the circulating and non-circulating collection can be accessed through the SMU library catalog. SMU’s Digital Collections provides access to some images in the Bywaters Special Collections. Research Guides for subjects and courses in the arts at SMU feature many of the print and online resources available at Central University Libraries.

Hamon Library
Reference Collection at the Hamon Library

by Beverly Mitchell