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Harry Smith papers

Smith, Harry Everett, 1923-1991, creator.

Available at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (2013.M.4 ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    Harry Smith papers
  • Variant Title: Harry Everett Smith papers.
  • Author/Creator: Smith, Harry Everett, 1923-1991, creator.
  • Creation Date: 1888-2010, bulk 1987-1990
  • Biographical/Historical Note: Harry Smith, polymath filmmaker, painter, and collector of American vernacular art, music, and artifacts, is best known for compiling The Anthology of American Folk Music (1952) and for his unique abstract experimental films.
  • Arrangement: Organized in nine series: Series I. Correspondence, 1974-1992, undated; Series II. Writings, research, and artwork, circa 1920-1991, undated; Series III. Photographs, slides, and transparencies, 1940-2006, undated; Series IV. Printed matter, 1943-2008, undated; Series V. Audio recordings,1964-2010, undated; Series VII. Film projects, 1947-2003; Series VIII. Videos, 1964-2007; Series IX. Collections, 1888-circa 1990, undated.
  • Physical Desc.: 154 videocassettes: (VHS): 1/2 in. original..
    503 sound cassettes (120 min.) : analog ; original..
    24 sound tape reels (60 min.) : analog original..
    16 film reels: 16 mm. original..
    82 sound discs: digital original..
    229 linear ft., (340 boxes; 3 flat file folders).
    2 versital discs: digital original + ADD2 (3 DVDs).
  • Summary: The collection, assembled by the Harry Smith Archives after Smith's death, comprises most of what remained of Smith's work after an itinerate life. Correspondence in Series I is focused on the last few years of Smith's life, when he received mail from former students, acolytes, and medical or social service institutions. Series II contains interesting examples of Smith's poetry, photocopy collage art, and daily ramblings in his journals, though much of the written material is in the form of photocopies. Series III contains a large number of photographs of Smith in a range of activities, some by notable American photographers, and a number by Allen Ginsberg. Series IV contains biographical research, clippings from several decades about Smith's work, and about the posthumous performances of his work organized by the Harry Smith Archives, which is also the primary focus of the videos in Series VII. Series V contains recordings by and about Smith, along with Smith's Materials for the Study of Religion and Culture in the Lower East Side or Movies for Blind People, comprised of audio cassette recordings of collected sounds such as faucet drippings, wind, bird calls, and traffic. Series VI contains most of the extant works in 16 mm film, and amply documents Smith's major film, Mahagonny, which the Harry Smith Archives transferred to various formats. Smith's collections in Series VIII are the highlight of the archive, where Smith's unique aesthetic strikingly emerges in the patterns that embrace multiple cultures, commercial and handmade objects, and paper ephemera of every imaginable kind.
  • Language: English
  • Notes: Other Smith materials are held at the Smithsonian Folkways, the Anthology Film Archives, the Harry Smith Archives, and with private collectors.
    Gift of Harry Smith Archives.
    ADD1 (paper airplanes): Gift of Anthology Film Archives.
  • Form/Genre: Audiotapes
    Experimental films
    Folk art (traditional art)
    Motion pictures (visual works)
    Paper airplanes
    Photographs, Original
    Photographic prints
    Video recordings
    Born digital
  • Subjects: Smith, Harry Everett, 1923-1991 Naropa Institute Art -- Collectors and collecting -- United States Folk music -- United States
  • Contributors: Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997, contributor.
  • ID/Accession Number: 2013.M.4
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers, with the exception of unreformatted audio visual materials, which are unavailable until reformatted. Box 340 is sealed.
  • OCLC Record Number: 862233488
  • Source: GRI Library Catalog

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