William E. Smith Student Diaries Collection Edit

Summary

Identifier
8 FAC SMI
Finding Aid Date
2020-11-16
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description
English

Dates

  • 1942 – 1957 (Creation)

Extents

  • 33 Linear Feet (Whole)
  • 33 Boxes (Whole)
  • 993 Items (Whole)

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Preferred Citation

    Researchers are requested to use the following citation in all footnote and bibliographic references:

    William E. Smith Student Diaries Collection, The Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives, Miami University Libraries, Oxford, OH

  • Biographical / Historical

    In 1942, Miami University President Alfred H. Upham established a committee to document the University’s involvement in the Second World War. He appointed Dr. William E. Smith, a history professor, to chair the committee. In this role, Smith was charged with collecting documents and other contextual items that would later be used to write a war history for the University. Smith had a personal affinity toward diaries and personal letters, and viewed them as indispensable artifacts in capturing first-hand reactions and opinions during the war period. This thinking prompted Smith to assign his students the task of keeping personal diaries as a way to record the happenings of both the war and university life from their own perspectives. Smith continued the assignment every semester until 1957.

    Dr. William Ernest Smith was born in Licking, MO on April 30, 1892. Smith served from 1913-1918 as a high school principal in Walnut Grove, MO. He later went on to serve for five years as superintendent of the schools in Belton, MO. Subsequently, Smith received a baccalaureate degree from Southwest Missouri State Teachers College in 1923, a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1924, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1927. Smith joined the faculty of Miami University as an Assistant Professor of History in 1926 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1929, and later Professor in 1931. Four years later in 1935, Smith became Chairman of the Department of History, a position which he held until 1957. From 1950-1959, Smith also served as Dean of the Graduate School. Smith completed his service at Miami University as a Research Professor of History from 1959-1962 and as Director of the McGuffey Museum. Miami University honored Dr. Smith by conferring the degree of Doctor of Letters upon him in August 1962. Smith passed away in Oxford, OH on December 12, 1969. He was survived by his wife, Ophia D. Smith, and one son.

  • Scope and Contents

    This collection includes over 990 diaries written by over 800 individual undergraduate and graduate students of Dr. William E. Smith in the Department of History at Miami University between 1942 and 1957. The project originated as a means for Dr. Smith and the university to document student perceptions and campus life during World War II, but continued following the war’s end. The contents of the diaries provide commentary on practically every subject relating to World War II, current events, and university life between 1942 and 1957. Included in this collection are 16 diaries written by students from the University of Cincinnati who participated in an evening history course taught by Dr. Smith. Some diaries were written with complete anonymity, while others remain closed to the public for a specified period of time at the request of the author.

  • Arrangement

    Series I: Miami University Student Diaries, 1942 - 1957

    Subseries I: Student Diaries, 1942 - 1943

    Subseries II: Student Diaries, 1943 - 1944

    Subseries III: Student Diaries, 1944 - 1945

    Subseries IV: Student Diaries, 1945 - 1946

    Subseries V: Student Diaries, 1946 -1947

    Subseries VI: Student Diaries, 1947 - 1948

    Subseries VII: Student Diaries, 1948 - 1949

    Subseries VIII: Student Diaries, 1949 - 1950

    Subseries IX: Student Diaries, 1950 - 1951

    Subseries X: Student Diaries, 1951 - 1952

    Subseries XI: Student Diaries, 1952 - 1953

    Subseries XII: Student Diaries, 1953 - 1954

    Subseries XIII: Student Diaries, 1954 - 1955

    Subseries XIV: Student Diaries, 1955 - 1956

    Subseries XV: Student Diaries, 1956 - 1957

    Series II: University of Cincinnati Student Diaries, 1944 - 1949

    Diaries are arranged following a [Last Name, First Name] scheme and are arranged alphabetically within subseries by the author's last name.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research. Item level restrictions are imposed for diaries that remain closed to the public for a specified period of time at the request of the author.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright Undetermined

    The copyright and related rights status of this Item has been reviewed by The Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives, but the organization was unable to make a conclusive determination as to the copyright status of the Item. Please refer to The Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives for more information. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use.

    Notices:

    Unless expressly stated otherwise, The Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives makes no warranties about the Item and cannot guarantee the accuracy of this Rights Statement. You are responsible for your own use.

    You may find additional information about the copyright status of the Item on the website of The Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives.

    You may need to obtain other permissions for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy or moral rights may limit how you may use the material.

  • Language of Materials

    Materials are in English.

  • Custodial History

    Received by the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives as a donation.

  • Accruals

    No further additions are expected.

  • Processing Information

    Collection processing completed 2020-02-14 by Darby Edmondson, Austin Hall, and Cody Sprunger. Finding Aid completed 2020-05-07 by Cody Sprunger. Finding Aid revised 2020-11-16 by Cody Sprunger. Finding Aid revised 2021-01-12 by Cody Sprunger.

  • Related Materials

Instances

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