Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Win Your Very Own Oscar P!

Win your very own Oscar P! Come by the Dick Smith Library during our Howdy! Open House today, Wednesday, August 31, between 1 PM and 3 PM.  Have some cookies and enter a drawing to win an Oscar P plush, USB wristband, and a key chain created in the library's Maker Spot. You also win a $5-off coupon for your very own Maker Spot creation. The winner will be announced Thursday, September 1.

(photo by Kym Schow)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Meet Our Staff: Joshua Wallace

Joshua Wallace
Instruction Librarian
Dick Smith Library – Main Floor – room 110A

I began working at the library on June 6, 2016, as an Instruction Librarian. My primary duty is to teach students how to effectively locate, identify, and evaluate information. I also work at the reference desk, and serve as the library liaison to the Criminal Justice and Kinesiology departments.

I grew up in Ider, Alabama (population 723) and I attended The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. There I earned a BA and MA in History and a Master of Library and Information Studies degree. I started my librarian career in 2007 at South Texas College in McAllen. My wife, Yi-Chia Wu, was offered a position teaching Marketing at Tarleton in 2014, and we moved to Stephenville as a result. I then began working as a librarian at Ranger College.

I have been an adjunct history instructor since 2004. I have taught at the University of Montevallo in Alabama, South Texas College, and Ranger College. Starting this fall, I am teaching one section of HIST 1301 (United States History - I) at Tarleton.

In my free time I enjoy traveling, reading history books, cheering for the Crimson Tide football team, and watching science fiction movies. Eating is a real passion of mine. I love trying new restaurants and new cuisine. I also enjoy cooking, but only because I get to eat it afterwards.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Welcome (Back)!

Welcome (back) to the Fall 2016 semester, and to the Dick Smith and Texan Hall Libraries!  Here are our hours for the Fall semester:

Dick Smith Library (Stephenville campus)

Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 2:00 am
Friday 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 2:00 am
(Service at the Circulation Desk stops 15 minutes before the library closes.)

Texan Hall Library (Fort Worth Hickman Building campus)

Library Open:
Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 9:30 pm
Friday - Saturday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Service Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10:00 am - 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

(photo by Tracy Holtman)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Made in the Maker Spot: July 2016

It's been quieter in the Maker Spot this month, so we can't wait for all the students to come back next week! We are so excited to see what everyone makes this semester. We did have some really cool projects last month, though. The campus has been going crazy for Pokemon this summer, and several of our staff have gotten creative this summer. As always, if you see anything that inspires you and you want to try out the Maker Spot for yourself, come visit us in room 250, or go to

If you are looking to get started with 3D design, is a free, browser-based application that you can access from home. They have great tutorials, and we are always happy to help out with designs as well. Happy Making!

Purple Rose

Lego Mindstorm Sorter
Pikachu and Pokeball

Pikachu and Open Pokeball

Thursday, August 11, 2016

New Resources!

The library purchased several new electronic resources and the Texas State Library added additional titles this summer, so we are ready for the new semester!  Here is a list of the NEW electronic databases available to the students, faculty and staff of Tarleton State University for research and assignments.

  • APA Style CENTRAL - 
  • Cambridge Journals
  • Chicago Manual of Style Online
  • Emerald Insight
  • LegalForms
  • Legal Information Reference Center
  • Science in Context
  • SciTech Collection
  • Social Work Reference Center
This bring the total number of electronic resources, available both on and off campus, to over 250!  To access all these resources, click on Databases A-Z on the library's website.  

The library is here to help--if you have questions or need assistance, call the Reference desk at (254) 968-9249 or email   

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Adventures in the Archives: Dr. Richard Lee Thompson

Adventures in the Archives continues....

Here's a little more information about Dr. Richard Lee Thompson, whose papers are part of the archives at the library, pulled together by Crystal Stanley, our former Archives and Reference Assistant (now the Director of Library Services at Ranger College):

Richard Lee Thompson was born in Stephenville on November 4, 1925.  He was the youngest son of Robert Lee Thompson and Corinne Barkley.  They had married in 1920 and purchased a home located at 343 North McIlhaney Street in Stephenville, on the east side of the present-day Tarleton State University campus.

A photo posted by Tarleton State University (@tarletonstate) on

The Thompson house had belonged to James Cox, who became President of John Tarleton College in 1913.  Cox had the house built in 1915, and lived and worked in the house until the Thompsons purchased it from him in 1920.  The original price for the house and surrounding acre of property was $4,800.  The house has a second front door because it was the door to Cox’s Presidential office.  Most of the house itself is still the original construction, minus three fireplaces, which were taken out in 1937 and replaced with a natural gas heating unit.
Richard’s parents are credited with providing John Tarleton College a soda shop, called Campus Corner. His mother Corinne operated the establishment for 20 years. However, the Campus Corner did not make enough profits to keep open, and it was closed.

Richard Thompson graduated from Stephenville High School in 1943.  That same year, he enlisted into the U.S. Navy on his eighteenth birthday.  Six weeks later, he was drafted.  He served as a medic with the Marine Corps for three and a half years, from 1944 until 1946.  He participated in the invasion of Okinawa, Japan, where he spent one year of his service.

Upon returning home, he enrolled in John Tarleton College.  He then attended Southern Methodist University, where he worked as a student instructor in Biology.  After graduating, Dr. Thompson was accepted into the Baylor University Dental School.

Dr. Thompson practiced for ten years at the State Hospital in San Antonio and was working in the VA Hospital in Chicago when his father Robert died in 1969. He returned to Erath County and took over the family real estate business. Over the years, the Thompson family acquired the full block of property adjacent to Tarleton on McIlhaney and at times had as many as 22 renters living in the houses once there.

Dr. Thompson's mother Corrine Barkley Thompson passed away in 1984.  Thompson continued to live in the family home.  In 1998, Dr. Thompson donated six land parcels on McIlhaney to the university for use as parking for nearby dorms. He also donated a 20-foot magnolia tree moved from one of his rental properties to a location near Davis Hall. When renovations on the Trogdon House (then called the Hall of Presidents) were completed and a request was made for donations of authentic period furnishings, Dr. Thompson contributed items with  unique historical ties the furniture has to the University.  The Tarleton Alumni Association named him a Distinguished Friend at Homecoming in October 2002.

Dr. Richard L. Thompson passed away on Saturday, June 5, 2004.  In his will, he created a trust fund of $100,000, where the interest alone would pay for the upkeep of his family home.  His will further stipulated that the house and all the furnishings remain as is.  The house currently functions as the Tarleton State University Alumni Association building.

A photo posted by Tarleton State University (@tarletonstate) on

Monday, August 1, 2016

Adventures in the Archives: Dr. Richard Thompson Collection - daguerrotypes and tintype

Adventures in the Archives continues....

When processing an archival collection, one may come across a rare find. In the case of the Dr. Richard L. Thompson D.D.S Papers, Crystal Stanley, our former Archives and Reference Assistant (now the Director of Library Services at Ranger College) found quite a few rarities. Six daguerreotypes and one tintype were discovered. You may be asking yourself: 

The first six images in this post are daugerrotypes.  They were on a silver-coated copper plate.  Daguerreotypes have a reflective surface, somewhat like a hologram. When viewed from one angle, a daguerreotype appears shiny and light-colored, and from the other angle it is negative with a duller matte finish.

Daguerreotypes are usually in a case sealed behind a thick piece of glass for protection, as the silver coat of the image is easy to damage.  The case often has a hinged cover, and the outside is sometimes covered with embossed leather, and lined with silk or velvet facing the picture.

Daguerrotypes were first used about 1839 and were popular until about 1860.

There is one tintype in the collection, which is pictured at left.  Tintypes, also known as ferrotypes, have grayish-white images with low contrast.  Tintypes were made on a thin black-enameled (or japanned) iron plate.  The process to make them was first developed about 1853.  Because then end product was lighter in weight, and because it was quicker and cheaper than the process to make daguerrotypes, tintypes had pretty much replaced the older process by 1860.  They remained popular in the early 1900s and even until about 1940.

Unfortunately, we have no idea who is pictured in this photographs.  All we can say for sure is that the daguerrotypes date after 1839 (and probably before 1860), and the tintype dates after 1853.   Likely these are images of ancestors of Dr. Richard L. Thompson, the owner.  More about him in the next post in this series.

For assistance with or to request to see archival materials, contact Collections Archivist Gary Spurr by phone at (254)968-1808, email at or