Exhibitions


Caring For Dallas: A History of Our Hospitals

In the early nineteenth century, most Americans gave birth and endured illness and even surgery at home. They belonged to a largely rural society, and few would ever have occasion to visit a hospital. Hospitals in the United States emerged from institutions, notably almshouses, that provided care and custody for the poor. Thus, rooted in the tradition of charity, the public hospital traces its ancestry to the development of cities and community efforts to shelter and care for the chronically ill, deprived, and disabled. Though modest in their origins, public hospitals have grown into multifaceted municipal institutions. This online exhibit tells the history of hospitals and caring for the sick in Dallas.


Polly Smith: Images of Texas

In 1935, Texas was preparing for its biggest celebration to date: a world’s fair to commemorate the centennial of its independence from Mexico. Centennial officials eager to publicize the event needed an abundance of photographic images that would put the state in the best possible light. They hired a young photographer, Polly Smith, who had recently returned from studying in New York, to travel the length and width of the state. Her mission was to capture the people and places that made Texas unique. The body of her work from that laborious journey is held in the Dallas Historical Archives and is the basis for this online exhibit.


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