Guide to the Jack Smith Papers, 1925-2004

Robyn Gleasner, Gayle Richardson and Natalie Russell
Henry E. Huntington Library
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2209
Fax: (626) 449-5720
URL: http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary.aspx?id=554
© 2008
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Jack Smith Papers, 1925-2004

Collection number: 2302, 2498

Manuscripts Dept.

Huntington Library

San Marino, California
Processed by:
Robyn Gleasner, Gayle Richardson and Natalie Russell
Date Completed:
January 7, 2009
Encoded by:
Jennifer Martinez Wormser
© 2008 The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Jack Smith papers
Dates: 1925-2004
Collection number: 2302, 2498
Creator: Smith, Jack, 1916-1996
Collection Size: Approximately 7,000 pieces, plus ephemera. 182 boxes.
Repository: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery
San Marino, CA 91108
Abstract: This collection consists of the personal and professional papers of author and columnist Jack Smith (1916-1996).
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please contact the Huntington Library Reader Services Department at readerregistration@huntington.org.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from the collection must be submitted in writing to the appropriate curator. The Huntington's granting permission to publish does not transfer copyright it owns, and permission is granted only to the extent of Huntington ownership of the rights related to the request. Certain works requested which are physically owned by the Huntington may be protected by copyright, trademark, or related interests not owned by the Huntington. The responsibility for determining whether any such intangible rights exist, for obtaining all necessary permissions, and for guarding against the infringement of those rights that may be held elsewhere, remains with the requester.

Preferred Citation

Jack Smith papers, 2302, 2498, Manuscripts Dept., Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Curt B. Smith and Douglas F. Smith in May, 2004; additional material was donated November, 2004. Additional Provenance: Gift of one undated letter from Jack Smith to June Haws Allen made by June Lee Pilsitz on May 12, 2008. Gift of two snapshots of Denise Smith and Jack Smith made by Jeanne Cornwell on April 2, 2008.

Biography / Administrative History

Jack Clifford Smith, born August 27, 1916, in Long Beach, California, was a journalist and author who began his career in Bakersfield in 1937; he served in the USMC, 1944-1945. Smith was a reporter for several newspapers before coming to the Los Angeles Times as a reporter in 1953; he became a columnist in 1958 until his death on January 9, 1996. Smith is also the author of Three Coins in the Birdbath, 1965, Smith in Wry, 1970, God and Mr. Gomez, 1974, The Big Orange, 1976, Spend All Your Kisses, Mr. Smith, 1978, Jack Smith's L.A., 1980, How to Win a Pullet Surprise, 1982, Cats, Dogs, and Other Strangers at My Door, 1984, Alive in La La Land, 1989; a compilation of his columns, Eternally Yours, was published posthumously in 1996.
Smith married Denise Bresson in 1939 and they had two sons, Curtis B. Smith and Douglas F. Smith. They lived for many years in the Mt. Washington area of Los Angeles as well as in Baja, California.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of the following series:
1. Correspondence Series I (Boxes C1-C39) are arranged alphabetically by author. This series includes letters from many famous and noteworthy people and also letters from other readers. Please note that Jack Smith filed these letters separately, but the cataloger has combined the letters for easier access. Smith used and quoted many of these letters in his columns. This series also includes Christmas cards and Get Well cards and condolence cards sent to the Smith family after Jack Smith's death. Also included are business and personal letters and cards to Denise Smith, as well as condolence cards sent to the Smith family upon the death of Denise Smith. Please note that Jack Smith was in the habit of jotting down comments and responses on the letters he received from readers, therefore, many of the letters also contain autograph or typewritten notes by Jack Smith written on or attached to the original letter.
2. Correspondence Series II (Boxes C40-C42) are arranged alphabetically by author. This series includes letters written to and from Jack and Denise Smith as well as other friends and family during World War II.
3. Correspondence Series III (Boxes C43-C46) are grouped alphabetically by author. This series includes letters, notes, and copies of checks regarding donations to the Jack Smith Memorial Fund. Also included are notes written by Denise Smith regarding the paperwork and administration of the memorial fund.
4. Oversize Correspondence (Box C47) are grouped alphabetically by author. This series includes letters and attachments from readers and family to Jack and Denise Smith that are printed on legal size paper.
5. Subject Files Series I (Boxes S1-S45) includes files kept by Jack Smith over many years and is divided into two large groups: the files stored in the garage, covering the late 1960s - 1990 (Boxes S1-S33) and the files stored in the house, covering 1991-1996 (Boxes S34-S45). Please also note these files are not always in alphabetical order because, as much as possible, Smith's original order was retained. Because of this, these files also contain manuscripts and letters by readers and Jack Smith, photographs, newspaper and magazine articles, etc.
6. Manuscripts by Jack Smith and Various Authors (Boxes M1-M19) are arranged alphabetically by author and then by title and date. This series includes manuscripts by various authors as well Jack Smith. This series also includes notebooks that Jack Smith kept with miscellaneous notes for columns and meetings. Post-it notes from Denise, Curtis, and Douglas Smith were on drafts of Eternally Yours. These notes were removed from the manuscripts and placed on acid free paper. Most of the post-it notes either covered or pointed to handwritten notes on the page. Cataloger made notes on the acid free paper with the page number and reference if the note was pointing directly to something.
7. Ephemera (Boxes E1-E71) This series includes Jack Smith's collection of printed material including newspaper and magazine clippings of articles by himself and others, magazines, programs, newsletters, financial documents, and photographs, etc.
Financial Documents are foldered by year and then alphabetically if it contains a span of years. This box includes tax returns; letters from the Smith's accountant, E. Evans Banbury; letters from the IRS; and letters from organizations that the Smiths made donations to; as well as letters from other publications that published Jack Smith. Also included are letters from the Los Angeles Times or Times Mirror regarding finances and employment.
Brochures, Flyers, and News Releases includes information from parks, museums, music centers as well as information regarding gadgets.
Oversize Ephemera
Magazines - Some of the magazines are damaged in the corners. The magazines were housed in Jack Smith's garage and it appears that mice may have eaten the spines and corners.
Programs - Book Documents section includes correspondence and information regarding book signings in addition to legal contracts regarding royalties and rights. This section also includes some promotional materials. Programs section includes some invitations if attached to the program.
Strengths of the collection: The collection has several strong subject points for the purpose of research including journalism and the writing process and the history of Los Angeles. There are many letters written during World War II that discuss life in America as well as abroad, especially Iwo Jima.
Note: A more extensive version of this finding is available in the repository.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series: Correspondence, Subject Files, Manuscripts, and Ephemera.
Correspondence is divided into three subseries; the first contains the majority of correspondence between Smith and readers and many noteworthy persons. The second series includes letters written to and from Jack and Denise Smith as well as other friends and family during World War II. The third series includes correspondence regarding donations to the Jack Smith Memorial Fund.
The Subject Files represent files kept by Jack Smith over many years and are divided into two large groups, those files stored in the house and those stored in the garage. Smith's original order has been retained as much as possible.
Manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by author and then by title and date, and include items by Smith and others. The Ephemera series includes newspaper and magazine clippings of articles by Smith and others, magazines, programs, newsletters, financial documents, photographs, audio and video cassettes, computer disks, awards and certificates.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Smith, Jack, 1916-1996 -- Archives.
Los Angeles Times (Firm).
Bird watching.
Journalism.
Journalists -- California.
World War, 1939-1945. -- Personal Narratives.
Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula)
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century.
Letters (Correspondence) -- United States -- 20th Century.
Manuscripts -- United States -- 20th Century.
Ephemera -- United States -- 20th Century.
Photographs.
Family Papers -- United States -- 20th Century.


Container List

Boxes: C1-C39

Series I Correspondence with Readers, Family, and Friends

Physical Description: 39 boxes.
 

Box C1 8-Ball - Armstrong

 

Box C2 Arnold - Basehart

 

Box C3 Bass - Blumberg

 

Box C4 Blume - Brooke

 

Box C5 Brooks - Carron

 

Box C6 Carruth - Coffey

 

Box C7 Cohen - Crystal

 

Box C8 Cuadra - DeYoung

 

Box C9 Diack - Elder

 

Box C10 Eley - Finke

 

Box C11 Finney - Gati

 

Box C12 Gault - Gray

 

Box C13 Graydon - Hastings

 

Box C14 Hasty - Hofer

 

Box C15 Hoffen - Jenkins

 

Box C16 Jenks - Kendrick

 

Box C17 Kennedy - Larson

 

Box C18 Larue - Littlejohn

 

Box C19 Litten - Maldonado

 

Box C20 Manne - Miller

 

Box C21 McDonald - Montero

 

Box C22 Montgomery - Mt. Washington Elementary School. Grade 1 and 2

 

Box C23 Mt. Washington Elementary School. Grade 3 - Newman

 

Box C24 Newton - Parsons

 

Box C25 Pater - Polos

 

Box C26 Polsky - Ribeiro

 

Box C27 Rice - Ruzek

 

Box C28 Ryan - Seelze

 

Box C29 Sefton - Smiley

 

Box C30 Smith, A. - Smith, J.

 

Box C31 Smith, L. - Stodola

 

Box C32 Stoltz - Thomerson

 

Box C33 Thompson - Victor

 

Box C34 Vignol - Weintraub

 

Box C35 Weir - Winston

 

Box C36 Winter - Zundler

 

Box C37 No Last Names; Aaron - Janis

 

Box C38 No Last Names; Jean - Radine

 

Box C398 No Last Names; Rayma -Will; No Names, Envelopes

Boxes: C40-C42

Series II World War II Correspondence

Physical Description: 3 boxes.
 

Box C40 Estelle - Smith, J.

 

Box C41 Smith, J. to Smith, Denise

 

Box C42 Smith, J. - Warner

Boxes: C43-C47

Series III Correspondence regarding Smith, Jack, 1916-1996 Memorial Fund

Physical Description: 5 boxes.
 

Box C43 A-G

 

Box C44 H-P

 

Box C45 Q-Z, No Last Names

 

Box C46 Envelopes A-Z, No Names

 

Box C47 Oversize Correspondence

Boxes: S1-S33

Subject Files - Series I Garage

Physical Description: 33 boxes.
 

Box S1 A-B

 

Box S2 Baja - Bicentennial

 

Box S3 Big - Butterflies

 

Box S4 Calafia - Cats

 

Box S5 Catalina - Conrad

 

Box S6 Crapper - Diabetes

 

Box S7 Doomsday - Eight Ball

 

Box S8 England - English Puns

 

Box S9 English Sexism - English Words

 

Box S10 English Words - Fifties

 

Box S11 Franglais - Gomez Reviews

 

Box S12 H - Historical Society

 

Box S13 Holocaust - Journalism

 

Box S14 Journalism - L

 

Box S15 L - Los Angeles

 

Box S16 Los Angeles - Los Angeles-Engineering

 

Box S17 Los Angeles-Heritage Board - L.A. Civic Center

 

Box S18 L.A. Downtown - L.A. Historic

 

Box S19 L.A. Historic - L.A. Name

 

Box S20 L.A. Pro & Con - M

 

Box S21 M - Moon

 

Box S22 Mt. Washington - Music, Sheet

 

Box S23 N - Pentagon

 

Box S24 Permissions - Presidents

 

Box S25 PSI - R

 

Box S26 R - Raid

 

Box S27 Random - Seniors

 

Box S28 Seniors - Smith, J. pers.

 

Box S29 Smith, J. pers. - Three Coins

 

Box S30 Thurber - Usage

 

Box S31 V - Watts

 

Box S32 Weaver - Women's Rights

 

Box S33 World War II - Z

Boxes: S34-S45

Subject Files - Series II House

Physical Description: 12 boxes.
 

Box S34 Abortion - Cats

 

Box S35 Censorship - Churchill

 

Box S36 Clark - Errors

 

Box S37 Flat Earth - Hollywood

 

Box S38 Hollywood - Instructions

 

Box S39 Inter-continental - Los Angeles

 

Box S40 Manzanar - Pasadena

 

Box S41 Pasadena - Rod

 

Box S42 San Diego - Scouts

 

Box S43 Sea - Templeton

 

Box S44 Tidepool - Women

 

Box S45 Words - Zoo

Boxes: M1-M19

Manuscripts Manuscripts

Physical Description: 19 boxes.
 

Box M1 A-C

 

Box M2 D-M

 

Box M3 Shaw - Smith, J. (E)

 

Box M4 Smith, J. (E)

 

Box M5 Smith, J. (E)

 

Box M6 Smith, J. (E)

 

Box M7 Smith, J. (E)

 

Box M8 Smith, J. (E)

 

Box M9 Smith, J. (E-F)

 

Box M10 Smith, J. (G-I)

 

Box M11 Smith, J. (J-N)

 

Box M12 Smith, J. (N)

 

Box M13 Smith, J. (N)

 

Box M14 Smith, J. (N)

 

Box M15 Smith, J. (N)

 

Box M16 Smith, J. (N-P)

 

Box M17 Smith, J. (S-W) - Weaver, 3 poems

 

Box M18 Oversize Manuscripts - Smith, J. (B-E)

 

Box M19 Oversize Manuscripts - Smith, J. (J-U)

Boxes: E1-E71

Ephemera Ephemera

Physical Description: 71 boxes.
 

Box E1 Magazines - 8 - F

 

Box E2 Magazines - L

 

Box E3 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1985 - 1986, Jan. - Jul.)

 

Box E4 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1986, Aug. - Dec.)

 

Box E5 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1987, Jan. - Jul.)

 

Box E6 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1987, Aug. - Dec.)

 

Box E7 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1988, Jan. - Jul.)

 

Box E8 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1988, Aug. - Dec.)

 

Box E9 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1989, Jan. - Jul.)

 

Box E10 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1989, Aug. - Dec.)

 

Box E11 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1990, Jan. - Jul.)

 

Box E12 Magazines - Los Angeles Times Magazine (1990, Aug. - Dec., 1991)

 

Box E13 Magazines - M-R

 

Box E14 Magazines - S-V

 

Box E15 Newsletters

 

Box E16 Brochures, Flyers, Invitations, and Press Releases

 

Box E17 Booklets, Catalogs, and Reports

 

Box E18 Financial Documents

 

Box E19 Tributes and Obituaries

 

Box E20 Biographical Information

 

Box E21 L.A. Times Style Book

 

Box E22 Los Angeles Times Car & Accident / Jack Smith Multipurpose Building Documents

 

Box E23 Miscellaneous

 

Box E24 Programs & Documents Regarding Writing

 

Box E25 8x10 Photographs

 

Box E26 8x10 Photographs

 

Box E27 5x7 Photographs

 

Box E28 5x7 Photographs

 

Box E29 5x7 Photographs

 

Box E30 Oversize Photographs

 

Box E31 Clippings of newspaper columns and magazine articles

 

Box E32 Newspaper columns

 

Box E33 Newspaper columns

 

Box E34 Newspaper columns

 

Box E35 Newspaper columns

 

Box E36 Newspaper columns

 

Box E37 Newspaper columns and Oversize Ephemera

 

Box E38 Scrapbooks

 

Box E39 Copies of Newspaper columns - Oversize

 

Box E41 Copies of Newspaper columns

 

Box E42 Copies and Reprints of Newspaper columns

 

Box E43 Reprints of Newspaper columns

 

Box E44 Reprints of Newspaper columns

 

Box E45 Reprints of Newspaper columns

 

Box E46 Copies and clippings of Newspaper columns and magazine article (1986-1994)

 

Box E46 Newspaper articles by various authors - Oversize

 

Box E47 Newspaper articles by various authors - Oversize

 

Box E48 Newspaper & Magazine articles by various authors - Oversize

 

Box E49 Newspaper & Magazine articles by various authors - Oversize

 

Box E50 Newspaper & Magazine articles by various authors

 

Box E51 Subject Card File

 

Box E52 Address file and business cards

 

Box E53 Books and VHS Video Cassettes

 

Box E54 Books and VHS Video Cassettes

 

Box E55 VHS Video Cassettes

 

Box E56 VHS Video Cassettes

 

Box E57 Oversize Ephemera

 

Box E58 Awards and Certificates

 

Box E59 Awards and Certificates

 

Box E60 Awards and Certificates

 

Oversize Folder E61 Awards and Certificates

 

Oversize Folder E62 Awards and Certificates

 

Box E63 Computer floppy disks

 

Box E64 Computer floppy disks

 

Box E65 Computer floppy disks and audio tapes

 

Box E66 Audio tapes and computer diskettes

 

Box E67 Audio tapes

 

Box E68 Audio tapes

 

Box E69 Honorary degrees

 

Box E70 CDs of photographs

 

Box E71 CDs of artworks