03 October 2009

SMU Digital Collections

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a very nice lady named Ms. Cindy Boeke who is a Digital Collections Developer for the Norwick Center for Digital Services at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. She had read some of the historical essays that I wrote for Malcolm Lubliner's "CityVisions" website and invited me to take a look at the digital photograph collection they are building, called “Mexico: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints.”. The Mexico collection is part of a larger collection called the SMU Central University Libraries (CUL) Digital Collections.

I can't tell you how much that I was impressed by this collection. There are photos of Mexico that I have never seen before. One photo in particular I found extremely interesting. It is a rare full figure photo of General Tomás Mejía posing for the camera. General Mejia was executed by firing squad alongside Emperor Maximilian and General Miguel Miramón at Cerro de las Campanas near Querétaro on 19 June 1867. I have always been fascinated by the story of Maximilian and so the photo of General Mejia in the SMU Digital Collection was a great find for me. I am really indebted to Cindy Boeke.

In addition to the photo of General Mejia there are some excellent photos of Mexico City during the revolution and they show what a tragedy the revolution really was. After all, it was more of a civil war among multiple parties than a revolution and it broke out late in the year 1910 almost exactly one hundred years after the fight for Mexican independence from Spain began in Guanajuato. Knowing that the year 2010 will mark the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the fight for independence and the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the revolution makes it particularly interesting to look back and reflect on what actually occurred. The release of the digital collection of SMU for public viewing over the Internet is therefore a very helpful and timely event. My sincere thanks to all of the people who made this possible and I encourage anyone who has an interest in Mexican history to take advantage of this opportunity and have a good look. As a bonus, if you go to the main SMU/CUL Digital Collections page you will find many other interesting photo collections. If you like what you see, please send Cindy a thank you note (cboek AT smu DOT edu). Thank you Cindy!


Ekanthapadhikan said...

Couldn't go through all of them but I did go through 'Frank J. Davis World War II Photographs'. They're amazing!

Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...


Me ha encantado la colección de fotografías, sobre todo las del México de antaño. Impresionante.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.