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W. Eugene Smith miscellaneous acquisitions collection

Identifier: AG 79

Scope and Contents

The W. Eugene Smith miscellaneous acquisitions collection comprises forty-seven subgroups, each collected from a separate source and described individually.

Subgroup 1 contains videotapes of a Smith interview on CBS News, 1978.

Subgroup 2 includes a photocopy of manuscript Let Truth Be the Prejudice, 1985.

Subgroup 3 is a record jacket with Smith photograph, "Walk to Paradise Garden."

Subgroup 4 contains photocopies of letters from Smith to Jim Hughes, 1973-1974.

Subgroup 5 is a manuscript by Jain Kelly about Smith, n.d.

Subgroup 6 is a manuscript by Peter Martin about Smith, 1979.

Subgroup 7 is a manuscript by Henning Hansen about Smith, 1982.

Subgroup 8 contains miscellaneous clippings, announcements, ephemera, 1981- .

Subgroup 9 is a manuscript by Dick Swift, 1986.

Subgroup 10 consists of miscellaneous material from John Morris, executor of Smith estate from 1979-1986 and includes photographs, correspondence, exhibition files, publications, catalogs, clippings, and other material.

Subgroup 11 contains material relating to the book and exhibition, Let Truth Be the Prejudice, 1985-1987.

Subgroup 12 is made up of a poem and portraits by Day Williams, 1987.

Subgroup 13 contains correspondence to Smith during his recovery from the war, 1945-1946.

Subgroup 14 comprises research notes and a book dummy for William Johnson's W. Eugene Smith: Master of the Photographic Essay, 1988.

Subgroup 15 includes photographs from Smith's childhood.

Subgroup 16 is a script by Damien Parer, "Fighting Marines of Guam."

Subgroup 17 is a letter from Shirley Freemesser to Smith, 1978.

Subgroup 18 contains “What Makes a Good Doctor,” Life magazine, June 1998.

Subgroup 19 is a photograph, “Wey D. Kenny and Wm. Eugene Smith, Graduation, 8th grade, Cathedral School, Wichita, May 1932, both age 14.”

Subgroup 20 consists of the audio portion of a videotape lecture given by W. Eugene Smith at Rochester Institute of Technology, 16 October 1975 (4 CDs).

Subgroup 21 contains “The Lost Pictures of W. Eugene Smith,” BBC Four production, 2005.

Subgroup 22 is made up of miscellaneous materials about Evangelo Klonis.

Subgroup 23 includes clippings about Victoria Cooper and her son Willie Joe Cooper, mother and baby photographed by W. Eugene Smith for the Nurse Midwife essay, 1951.

Subgroup 24 comprises 35mm negatives documenting Smith lecture at Clearwater, 1976.

Subgroup 25 contains two photo CD and color slides of images made by CCP of WES’s “Big Book, 1997.”

Subgroup 26 consists of an essay by Cherise Smith titled “Let the Lay-Out Be the Prejudice,” n.d.

Subgroup 27 is made up of portraits of W. Eugene Smith, Paul Smith (brother), and Nettie Lee Smith (mother), circa 1931.

Subgroup 28 contains Japan Through the Eyes of W. Eugene Smith (catalog) Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 1996 (196 pp.) and snapshots of CCP preparator Dustin Leavitt at the exhibition.

Subgroup 29 consists of the address book Hitachi Reminder (Tokyo: Hitachi, Ltd., n.d.).

Subgroup 30 is a portrait of “W. Eugene Smith, war correspondent in flag locker” [on board USS Independence], October 8, 1943. Photograph by A. F. “Tex” Matthews, USNR.

Subgroup 31 is made up of a portfolio of 10 photographs and portraits of W. Eugene Smith by Japanese photographer Ruiko Yoshida, n.d.

Subgroup 32 is a portrait of W. Eugene Smith, taken without his knowledge, circa 1950 (?).

Subgroup 33 is an audiotape of an interview with Sam Stephenson on National Public Radio, 11/2/99.

Subgroup 34 contains a stereo 3-D viewer/postcard of Walk to Paradise Garden, circa 2003.

Subgroup 35 comprises portraits of W. Eugene Smith at University of Texas, Richardson, 1977.

Subgroup 36 is made up of the Eugene Register-Guard (newspaper) November 18, 1975.

Subgroup 37 contains Hippocrates: Health and medicine for physicians November/December 1992.

Subgroup 38 consists of audio tapes of a lecture by W. Eugene Smith, ASMP Los Angeles, 1970s.

Subgroup 39 is made up of photocopies of letters from LIFE to Dr. Ernest Ceriani, 1950-1959.

Subgroup 40 is a DVD copy of a 1975 16mm film by Art Wright about W. Eugene Smith.

Subgroup 41 contains two letters between W. Eugene Smith and Arnold Crane, December 1969.

Subgroup 42 is the exhibition catalog for Eugene Smith Photography, University of Minnesota, 1954.

Subgroup 43 consists of research files by Glenn Willumson for his book W. Eugene Smith and the Photographic Essay, 1992.

Subgroup 44 is a copy of U.S. Camera Annual 1947.

Subgroup 45 is made up of a copy of Flying magazine, June 1944.

Subgroup 46 contains five issues of LIFE magazine, 1945-1957.

Subgroup 47 comprises publications with articles about Smith, 1966-1985.


  • circa 1931-2005


Language of Materials

Material in English

Conditions Governing Access

To access materials from this collection, please contact

Conditions Governing Use

Unless otherwise noted, photocopying of personal correspondence and original manuscripts is not allowed without permission from the author.

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright owner (which could be the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates or literary executors) prior to any copyright-protected uses of the collection.

The user agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, including its officers, employees, and agents, from and against all claims made relating to copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Biographical Note

William Eugene Smith was born in 1918 in Wichita, Kansas. He took his first photographs at the age of 15 for two local newspapers. In 1936 Smith entered Notre Dame University in Wichita, where a special photographic scholarship was created for him. A year later he left the university and went to New York City, and after studying with Helene Sanders at the New York Institute of Photography, in 1937 he began working for News-Week (later Newsweek). He was fired for refusing to use medium-format cameras and joined the Black Star agency as a freelancer.

Smith worked as a war correspondent for Flying magazine (1943-44), and a year later for Life. He followed the island-hopping American offensive against Japan, and suffered severe injuries while simulating battle conditions for Parade, which required him to undergo surgery for the next two years.

Once recuperated, Eugene Smith worked for Life again between 1947 and 1955, before resigning in order to join Magnum as an associate. In 1957 he became a full member of Magnum. Smith was fanatically dedicated to his mission as a photographer. Because of this dedication, he was often regarded by editors as 'troublesome.'

A year after moving to Tucson to teach at the University of Arizona, Smith died of a stroke.


3.5 Linear Feet

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


Miscellaneous materials documenting the life and career of W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978), photographer. Includes correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, publications, photographic materials, and audio-visual materials. Each group of materials is described separately. The collection is active.


The Collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Box 1 Subgroups 1-3
  2. Box 2 Subgroups 4-9
  3. Box 3 Subgroup 10
  4. Box 4 Subgroup 10
  5. Box 5 Subgroup 11
  6. Box 6 Subgroup 10
  7. Box 7 Subgroups 12-38
  8. Box 8 Subgroup 25
  9. Box 9 Subgroups 39-45
  10. Box 10-11, 13 Subgroup 43
  11. Box 12 Subgroup 46-47

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials in this collection were acquired from a wide variety of different sources. This is an artificial collection, compiled to document the career of Smith from a variety of perspectives.

Related Materials

AG 33, W. Eugene Smith archive

Processing Information

Initial inventory compiled April 1986. Revised April 1988, August 1992, June 2002, June 2008.

W. Eugene Smith miscellaneous acquisitions collection circa 1931-2005
Finding aid created by CCP Archives Staff
© 2020
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Finding Aid Based On Dacs (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)
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Finding aid encoded in English

Repository Details

Part of the Center for Creative Photography Archives Repository

1030 N. Olive RD
Tucson Arizona 85721 United States