UT Dallas Magazine

Cool Old Things in the Library

Small book next to a ruler 

Take a Look at the Smallest Book in the Library

We won’t blame you if you overlook The English Bijou Almanac for 1836.

The 19th-century miniature book, which is smaller than a quarter, features six engraved portraits of famous figures — including Lord Byron and the Renaissance artist Raphael — as well as poems by 19th-century English writer Letitia Elizabeth Landon, a calendar and lists of the members of the British royal family and the crowned heads of Europe.

The English Bijou Almanac is on display in the special collections department of the Eugene McDermott Library.

 

Stamps 

All About Stamps

Philately (fi-lat-l-ee). noun. The collection or study of stamps and other postal matter as a hobby or an investment.

The library has an entire collection dedicated to the craft — the Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library.

Since its founding in 1976, the collection provides researchers and collectors with thousands of books, journals and catalogs to peruse. Some areas of note in the collection include Confederate postal history, the detection of forgeries, postal histories of U.S. states and air mail philately.

The library is also home to the records of the Texas Philatelic Association and the San Antonio Philatelic Association.

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Old book open 

The Oldest Book in the Library

The oldest book in the Eugene McDermott Library is Herbarium Latinum. The 1499 volume by Arnaldus de Villanova is part of the Belsterling Collection.

The collection was started by Louise Babcock Belsterling, who taught gardening for many years and published her Planting Manual for Dallas Gardens in 1941. Belsterling was an active member of the Dallas Garden Club of the Dallas Woman’s Club and was considered an authority on Dallas gardening. Her extensive private library included rare books covering horticulture and botany.

Each year, the Louise B. Belsterling Foundation of the Dallas Garden Club donates funds to add to the growing number of books in the collection, which today holds more than 400 items.

 

Medal of Honor 

Aviation Collection Lands at New Location

The History of Aviation Archives, one of the library’s largest special collections, now has its own dedicated space.

The new location in Synergy Park North includes a 24-seat research room, a conference room and special spaces for artifacts, including items from the CAT (Civil Air Transport)/Air America Archives and James H. Doolittle Collection.

Among the archive’s highlights are Gen. Doolittle’s Medal of Honor, custom dinnerware for the German airship Hindenburg and a range of Braniff Airways memorabilia. But wait – there’s more. The archives is also home to thousands of photos and documents.

The aviation collections were previously housed on the third floor of the Eugene McDermott Library.

 

Old photo of students in McDermott Library cafeteria 

How to Contribute to the 50th Anniversary

Along with its other treasures, the Special Collections and Archives Division houses the University Archives, which consists of thousands of photos, documents and items from throughout UTD’s history.

The University will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019. (Can you believe it?)

We’re calling on all Comets to help us commemorate the milestone by sharing your memories, photos and memorabilia.

Email [email protected] to contribute.