Smith College Book Sale — 1962

smith-college-book-sale_may-1-2-1962_WFAA_smuSmith College Club book sale, Highland Park Village…

by Paula Bosse

As the children of a bookseller, my brother and I spent our childhoods surrounded by books — at home, in the Aldredge Book Store, at book shows, and at book sales. The two big annual book sales I remember were the Smith College Book Sale (the really big one) and the Brandeis Book Sale, both being fundraisers for the respective colleges.

The Smith College Club of Dallas put on their book sales. The club was organized by alumnae in 1949 in the home of Mrs. Joseph L. Higginbotham (Elizabeth Higginbotham, Class of ’32), and the first informal sale was conducted on her back porch in Highland Park. Proceeds from the book sales funded Smith College scholarships for Dallas girls.

I was excited to see (silent) film footage of an early Smith College sale, footage which showed up in SMU’s endlessly interesting WFAA-Channel 8 newsfilm collection. I remember much larger sales from the ’70s and ’80s, so this one from 1962 seems very quaint. This 9th annual sale was held on May 1-2, 1962 in an empty storefront at 84 Highland Park Village. Volunteers were wearing “candy striper” uniforms, and shoppers filled up Neiman-Marcus shopping bags.

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Stanley Marcus, always a supporter of book-related events in Dallas (and the father of two Smith grads), even had the event incorporated into a Neiman-Marcus ad that year (their Preston Road location was an official drop-off spot for book donations, and after the store moved from Preston Road to NorthPark, the empty building was given over to the Smith women a few times to use as the site of several of their book sales).

smith-college-book-sale_neiman-marcus-ad_042062
Neiman-Marcus ad, April 20, 1962 (click for larger image)

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Sources & Notes

Top image is a screenshot from the YouTube clip (here), from the WFAA NewsFilm Collection, G. William Jones Film Collection, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University.

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Copyright © 2020 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.