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Oliver R. Smith papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2087
The six series in the Oliver R. Smith papers are arranged according to genre type. The first series contains Smith's correspondence. The second includes various family newsletters as well as writings by and about Smith. The third series is comprised of university memoranda from the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Another small series contains various photographs, including several of BYU. The largest series is Smith's subject files which contain information on BYU student clubs such as Delta Phi, Kappa Tau Alpha, Omega Nu, and Sigma Delta Chi, as well as information on organizations with which he was affiliated. These organizations include the US Air Force Reserve, Association of Educators of Journalism, Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association, National Council of College Publications Advisers, Red Cross, and Sons of Utah Pioneers. The final series includes artifacts and scripts from the Hill Cumorah Pageant performed in New York state.

Dates

  • 1935-1979

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Oliver R. Smith papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Extent

13 cartons (13 linear ft.)

Overview

Includes correspondence, family newsletters and news clippings, university memoranda, photographs, artifacts, and a few Hill Cumorah Pageant files. Subject files contain information on BYU student clubs, including Delta Phi, Kappa Tau Alpha, Omega Nu, and Sigma Delta Chi, and information on organizations with which he was affiliated, such as the US Air Force Reserve, Association of Educators of Journalism, Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association, National Council of College Publications Advisers, Red Cross, and Sons of Utah Pioneers.

Biographical History

Instructor and faculty member at Brigham Young University, 1938-1942, and 1946-1978. Served at various times on campus as public relations director, professor of journalism and communications, chairman of Department of Journalism, and chairman of student publications.

Chronology of Oliver R. Smith

1913

Born March 8 in Davenport, Iowa, to Hyrum and June Bushman Smith.

1928

Graduated from Lethbridge High School (Alberta, Canada)

1934-1936

Latter-day Saint missionary, Eastern States Mission

1936

Co-authored and directed Truth From the Earth, pageant performed at Hill Cumorah in New York state

1937

Managing director of America's Witness for Christ, pageant performed at Hill Cumorah; Published Low Out of the Dust in The Improvement Era (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

1938

Graduated from Brigham Young University with B.A. degree in journalism

1938-1939

Reporter for The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah)

1938-1940

Publicity director and Teaching Assistant at BYU

1940-1942

Instructor in Department of Journalism at BYU

1942

Married April 6 to Barbara Fay McKay

1942-1943

Private-sergeant in U.S. Army

1943

2nd Lieutenant in Army-Air Force

1943-1945

1st Lieutenant-Captain, Statistical Officer Army-Air Force in Colorado, Philippines, and Japan

1946-1949

Chairman of Department of Journalism, Public Relations Director, Assistant Professor in Department of Journalism, all at BYU

1946-1973

Captain-Colonel, Air Force Reserves

1947-1948

Reporter and copy reader for The Deseret News

1948-1949

Stringer for United Press

1948-1949

Member of Association for Education in Journalism

1950-1951

Attended and graduated from University of Iowa with Ph. D. degree in mass communications. Dissertation: Printed Mass Media Circulation and Radio Receiver Ownership Patterns in the U.S.

1950-1951

Member of Sigma Delta Chi

1951

Instructor of Journalism at University of Iowa; Published Circulation Gain Greater than Population Growth in Editor and Publisher

1951-1957

Associate Professor of Journalism at BYU

1951-1960

Chairman of Department of Journalism and chairman of student publications at BYU

1952

News reporter for KLRA in Little Rock, Arkansas; Published Upset in Arkansas Won by Talkathon in Broadcasting-Telecasting

1952-1977

Member, national council, Kappa Tau Alpha

1953

Cofounded Utah chapter of Sigma Delta Chi

1955-1970

Executive secretary, Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association

1957-1960

Vice chairman, Council on Radio-TV Journalism

1957-1961

Editor of Journalism Educator, a quarterly magazine of the American Society of Journalism School Administrators

1957-1974

Faculty Adviser for Sigma Delta Chi

1957-1978

Professor of Journalism and Communications at BYU

1958-1966

General Board member, Deseret Sunday School Union; Night Editor for The Daily Herald

1961-1962

Professor at Church College of Hawaii (BYU-Hawaii)

1962-1963

Chairman of Department of Journalism at BYU

1962-1968

Director and vice chairman of Utah County Chapter of Red Cross

1963-1966

Chairman of Department of Communications and of Student Publications at BYU

1964-1965

President of Utah Journalism Educators Association

1966

Adviser of the Year, National Council of College Publications Advisers

1967

Copy reader for The Salt Lake Tribune

1970

Published Six Decades in the Early West: The Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith. (Publishers Press)

1971

Awarded Honor Medal, Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge

1971-1973

Member of national committee of Undergraduate Affairs of Sigma Delta Chi

1972-1974

National vice president, Kappa Tau Alpha

1973

Awarded Air Force Commendation Medal; Published Pioneer Homes of Jesse N. Smith. (Daughters of Utah Pioneers); co-edited Reflections on the Fall of Nauvoo. (Press Publisher Co.)

1973-1977

Vice president, Sons of Utah Pioneers

1974-1976

National President, Kappa Tau Alpha

1975

Published as co-editor John Bushman, Utah-Arizona Pioneer. (Community Press)

1976-1977

President of Utah chapter of Sons of the American Revolution

1977

National Vice President of Sons of the American Revolution

1977-1978

President, Sons of Utah Pioneers

1978

Retired from BYU; Awarded Special Citation from University of Utah; Awarded Meritorious Service Award by BYU Department of Communications

1990

Died, December 13 in Provo, Utah

Arrangement

Arranged in six series: 1. Oliver R. Smith correspondence, 1939-1977; 2. Oliver R. Smith family papers, 1940-1975; 3. Oliver R. Smith Brigham Young University memoranda, 1950-1979; 4. Oliver R. Smith photographs and notebook, circa 1935-1974; 5. Oliver R. Smith subject files, 1940-1975; and 6. Oliver R. Smith artifacts and Hill Cumorah Pageant records, undated.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.
Other Finding Aids File-level inventory available online. http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/MSS2087.xml

Custodial History

Donated by Olivia Baird and Kay Rytting in 1990.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Olivia Baird and Kay Rytting; 1990.

Appraisal

Personal papers of students, faculty, staff which relate to the university’s work.

University history (University Archives collecting policy, February 2010).

Separated Materials

The following books were removed from the Oliver R. Smith papers in 1998:

Alter, J. Cecil. Early Utah Journalism; A Half Century of Forensic Warfare, Waged by the West's Most Militant Press. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1938.

Beauchamp, Al. Green Among the Blue. New York: Vantage Press, 1969.

Bower, W.C., compiler. Behavior Situations of Senior High School Young People. University of Chicago, 1931.

Clinger, Morris M. A History of Theatre in Mormon Colleges and Universities. Thesis, University of Minnesota, 1963.

Fairbank, Jean Rawls, ed. Who's Who 1967 in College and University Publications. Vol II. National Council of College Publications Advisers. Includes a biographical sketch of Oliver R. Smith.

Halliday, John R. Memoirs of John R. Halliday. ca. 1961.

Kobre, Sidney. Journalism History Guidebook. Tallahassee, Florida: National College Press, 1955.

Scott, John. Political Warfare; A Guide to Competitive Coexistence. New York: J. Day Co., 1955.

Seven Year Report of the President (1950-51 to 1956-57) of Brigham Young University and Four Year Reports of the Administrator (1953-54 to 1956-57) of other areas of the Unified Church School System.

The following categories of material were also removed from the collection and placed with similar records housed separately in University Archives: pamphlets, Faculty Notes, and other items printed by BYU.

Approximately fifty cartons of records were weeded from the collection and destroyed, including:

Newspapers, including the Daily Universe, Salt Lake Tribune, and Carbonicle

News Releases from Time, Detroit Free Press, and Department of State

Pamphlets from the United Steel Corporation, American Railroad Association, and other corporations

Advertisements

Confidential information about students, including tests and grades

Student papers

Survey raw data

Professional journals, including Quill

Processing Information

Processed; Brian D. Reeves (University Archivist) and Heather Hogge (Family History Student); December 1998 (Revised, March 2000).
Title
Register of Oliver R. Smith papers
Status
completed
Author
Brian D. Reeves and Heather Hogge
Date
December 1998
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Revision Statements

  • finding aid revision date not supplied: <date calendar="gregorian" normal="2000-03" era="ce" encodinganalog="date">2000 March</date><item>Finding aid revised.</item></change><change><date calendar="gregorian" normal="2009-08-03" era="ce" encodinganalog="date">2009 August 03</date><item>GilEADized to correct small errors.</item></change><change><date calendar="gregorian" normal="2009-08-07" era="ce" encodinganalog="date">2009 August 07</date><item>Updated to DACS and CCLA compliance by Elisabeth Ross.</item>

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

Contact:
1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States