Southern Methodist University

Helen DeGolyer papers

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: DeGolyer, Helen Warren
Title: Helen DeGolyer papers
Dates: 1955-1995
Abstract: Helen Warren DeGolyer, wife of Everett L. DeGolyer Jr., was an eager bibliophile and actively passionate about both arts and politics. She travelled around the world and corresponded with close family and friends and former business associates of her father-in-law from his geology days. This collection focuses on the personal effects amassed from the activities she enjoyed most: travel, correspondence, the arts, and politics. The collection documents her involvement throughout the 1980s and 90s with women’s reproductive rights within the framework of the Republican Party.
Accession No: MSS 80
Extent: 3 boxes (3.75 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Helen Warren DeGolyer, born to Colonel Joseph H. and Mildred Elgin Warren, spent most of her childhood travelling the world. She was born in the Philippines, studied bookbinding in Switzerland, and eventually settled down in Dallas, Texas, after graduating from Vassar College in 1947. In Dallas, she met and married Everett Lee DeGolyer, Jr. (Ev), son of Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr., a foremost book collector and oilman. She and Ev had three children: Edith, Clare, and Everett Lee DeGolyer, III. Upon his father’s death in 1956, Ev became the director of the DeGolyer Foundation, which included his father’s immense book collection, some of which is now housed at DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University. But Helen DeGolyer became important in her own right, amassing her own treasured collections of historical documents and books, as well as perfecting and honing her talent as a bookbinder. Her support lent her name to such organizations as the Aspen Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, Bridwell Library at SMU, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Opera, and the Dallas Symphony. She endowed a scholarship at the Dallas Museum of Art called the Clare Hart DeGolyer Scholarship for aspiring young artists, as a memorial to her daughter, who died in 1975. She was an avid Republican and an enthusiastic supporter of Planned Parenthood.

At the age of 68, Mrs. DeGolyer died of pneumonia at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas on February 9, 1995.


"Death & Funeral Announcements,"Dallas Morning News, February 11, 1995.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection focuses entirely on Mrs. Helen DeGolyer’s adult life, specifically after her marriage to Ev. Box 1 contains personal items such as family papers, calendars, information on the various DeGolyer estates, and photographs but mostly correspondence. The correspondence ranges from family postcards, letters, and Christmas cards to business letters to programs from funerals, weddings, graduations, christenings. Access to some family documents remains restricted. Materials in Box 2 include newsletters, pamphlets, news clippings, invitations, meeting minutes, and literature on organizations relating to Mrs. DeGolyer’s passions: the performing arts, bookbinding, the fine arts, gardening, and books. With materials dating primarily from the late 1980s through the early 1990s, Box 3 focuses on Mrs. DeGolyer’s politics and beliefs—especially her views on abortion and women’s rights; it also has information on her travels across the globe as well as her collegiate endowments and gifts.

Arrangement of the Collection

Helen DeGolyer papers consist of one series, and the creator’s original order was maintained.


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use, except for Box 1, folders 6, 7, and 8, which are restricted.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
DeGolyer, Helen Warren.
DeGolyer family.
Women -- Political activity -- Texas.
Dallas (Tex.) -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.

Related Materials

This is one of the collections in the Archives of Women of the Southwest.

Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. papers, Mss 60

Nell Goodrich DeGolyer papers, Mss 56

Homer DeGolyer Collection, Mss 47

Everett Lee DeGolyer collection, Mss 48

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Helen DeGolyer papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Acquisition Information

Gift, Everett Lee DeGolyer, III, 1995.

Processing Information

The collection was processed in 1995. Materials were refoldered, duplicates were removed, and the papers were left in the original order with folder titles retained except when unclear.

Finding aid written by

Margaret Elder, 2010.

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2011.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1
3 boxes

Box Folder
1 01 Aspen, Colorado, House – Mason & Morse
02 Personal – Miscellaneous
03 Calendars
04 Personal – Marriage License
05 Miscellaneous
06 VAULT (restricted access) – DeGolyer Trust
07 VAULT (restricted access) – E. L. DeGolyer, Sr. Life Insurance
08 VAULT (restricted access) – Estate of Nell V. DeGolyer
09 Estates, Clare DeGolyer – "From Clare’s Desk"
10 Estates – Everett Lee DeGolyer, Jr.
11 Estates – Nell Goodrich DeGolyer
12 Correspondence: Family – Arnold: Dottie, Milton, & Douglas
13 Correspondence: Family – Aunt Pearl
14 Correspondence: Family – DeGolyer, Clare
15 Correspondence: Family – DeGolyer, Edith
16 Correspondence: Family – DeGolyer, Everett Jr.
17 Correspondence: Family – DeGolyer, Lee
18 Correspondence: Family – DeGolyer, Nell (Birdie)
19 Health
20 Correspondence: Family – DeGolyer, Roberta
21 Correspondence: Family – Maxson, Peter
22 Correspondence: Family – McGee, Celia
23 Correspondence: Family – Warren: Mary, Joe; Cathy, Carol,Celia, Christin & Kitsie
24 Correspondence to Everett Jr.; DeGolyer, Charles E.
25 Correspondence to Everett Jr.; Bartz, Robert
26 Correspondence to Everett Sr.
27 Correspondence to Everett Jr.; DeGolyer, Helen
28 Correspondence to Everett Jr.; DeGolyer, E.L. Sr.
29 Correspondence to Everett Jr.; McGhee, George C.
30 Correspondence to Everett Jr.; Phillips, James
31 Correspondence – Berger, Theodore
32 Correspondence – Boland, Marge
33 Correspondence – Burke, John & Peggy
34 Correspondence – Chapman, Brainerd & Martha
35 Correspondence – Eppler, William & Jeannett
36 Correspondence – Evetts, Deborah
37 Correspondence – Franchin, Robert & Marjorie
38 Correspondence – Gerhardt, Mary Gene
39 Correspondence – Gould, Joyce
40 Correspondence – Grayson, Ann W.
41 Correspondence – Green, David & Anita
42 Correspondence – Hanna, Archibald
43 Correspondence – Henderson, Jerry & Harriet
44 Correspondence – Homeyer, Eve
45 Correspondence – Keller, Candace
46 Correspondence – Lada-Wocaski, Polly
47 Correspondence – Laughlin, James & Ann
48 Correspondence – McCorison, Marcus/American Antiquarian Society
49 Correspondence – Mason, Bill & Betty
50 Correspondence – Materka, Barbara
51 Correspondence – Mears, Nip, Anne & Alie; Cordaru, Holly & Rodger
52 Correspondence – Merzbach, Tamara
53 Correspondence – Munson, Mona & Sharron
54 Correspondence – Peller, Hugo & Elizabeth
55 Correspondence – Phinneys, Maggie & Bob
56 Correspondence – Porter, Phil
57 Correspondence – Rouse, Dudley
58 Correspondence – Streeper, Susan
59 Correspondence – Truscott, Ida P.
60 Correspondence – Turner, Dechard
61 Correspondence – Venturi, Robert
62 Correspondence – Vincent, Michael
63 Correspondence – Walls, Jack, Gerta, & Charlotte
64 Correspondence – Whitehill, Virginia (Ginny) & Jim
65 Correspondence – Wike, J. Roffe & Penney
66 Correspondence – Zeilin, Jake
67 Correspondence: Calling Cards, Misc. Addresses, etc.
68 Correspondence – Miscellaneous (First Names only)
69 Correspondence – Adele & DuPont
70 Correspondence – Gina & Jamie
71 Correspondence – Simons (?)
72 Correspondence – Susan, Chris, & Pam
73 Invitations
74 Photograph
75 House Hints
Box Folder
2 01 Allegro Dallas
02 Art Galleries
03 Books: Arion Press
04 Books: Aspen Book Group
05 Books: BB book designs
06 Books: Bookbinding Books
07 Books: BB Catalogues
08 Books: Bookbinding
09 Books: Henry Morris, Bird & Bull Press
10 Books: Still Point Press
11 Books: Warwick Press
12 Books to Read
13 Craft Guild
14 Craft Guild – Development Committee
15 Craft Guild – Financial/New Space
16 Craft Guild – Packet
17 Congressional Campaign
18 Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Society
19 Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Society – Roberta Coke DeGolyer Memorial
20 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts – Artist Awards Committee
21 Dallas Museum of Art – Awards to Artists
22 Dallas Museum of Art – Awards to Artists
23 Dallas Museum of Art – Awards to Artists Committee (1988)
24 Dallas Museum of Art – Awards to Artists (1990-1991)
25 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts – Clare Hart DeGolyer Memorial Fund
26 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts – Clare Hart DeGolyer Memorial Fund
27 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts – Chicago Trip
28 Dallas Museum of Art – DMA agendas, Events, Exhibitions, etc.
29 Dallas Public Library
30 Dallas Symphony Association
31 Elizabeth Reed Keller Memorial Exhibition
32 Friends of the DeGolyer Estate
33 Friends of the DeGolyer Estate
34 Greater Dallas Coalition for Reproductive Freedom
Box Folder
3 01 League of Women Voters
02 Museums
03 Music
04 New Year’s Eve (1993)
05 Planned Parenthood
06 Politics
07 Republican Party – Coalition for Choice
08 Republican Party – Hutchison Letter
09 Republican Party – Precinct Lists
10 Republican Party – Republicans for Responsible Decisions
11 Republican Party – Republican pro-Choice
12 Republican Party – Republican pro-Choice, Dallas
13 Republican Party – Republican Receipts
14 Southern Methodist University – Colophon
15 Southern Methodist University – Colophon
16 Southern Methodist University – Meadows Museum
17 Texas Abortion Rights Action League
18 Texas Abortion Rights Action League-National Abortion Rights Action League
19 Travel
20 Travel
21 Travel, Africa
22 Travel, Antarctica
23 Travel, China
24 Travel, Greece
25 Travel, Italy
26 Travel, Red Sea Passage
27 Travel, South American Discovery Voyage
28 Travel – Hotel Bills
29 Travel – Itinerary
30 University of Texas at Austin – Humanities Research Center
31 Vassar
32 Walls, Jack M. (Architect for Aspen House)
33 Wish List