Daily Figment 105 – Disney Legend: Dave Smith

Dave Smith was inducted as a Disney Legend this year.

This is important to me for two distinct reasons:

  1. Dave Smith is a librarian, and
  2. Without Dave’s tireless and amazing work, we would not have the Disney Archives.
Dave graduated in 1963 with a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of California He spent the next few years working in the UCLA Archives. In 1967, he approached the Disney Company about compiling a bibliography (list of books, articles and resources) about Walt Disney. They were duly impressed and sought out Dave in 1970 when they decided to form the Disney Archives. He joined the Disney Company on June 22, 1970 as the Archivist and he was tasked with creating the Archives.

Through the years, Dave has become the de facto standard and obvious authority on all things Disney.

The Disney Archives is so much more than just Walt’s papers; concept art, models, paint chips, books and other items important to the Disney Company reside in the Archives. The Archives is the cornerstone of the company’s history and heritage. Imagineers have the honor of using the Archives as a springboard. Ride and attraction models are stored in the archives, along with plans, memos, letters and coporate memorabilia. Have you ever watched a deleted or missing scene from a classic animated film? Chances are that the audio and the drawings came from the Archives (or the Imagineering Research Center).

This position would be my dream job: acting as the steward for the Disney Archives; promoting Disney knowledge; cataloging Disney ephemera; and being surrounded by the magic. If we can dream it…

As a close second, working in the Imagineering Research Center (above) would be pretty great, too.

Photographs used with permission from Jeff B. He was fortunate enough to meet Dave Smith in person on the celebration of Epcot’s 25th Anniversary. He also snapped a picture of Lou Mongello interviewing Dave Smith.

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7 thoughts on “Daily Figment 105 – Disney Legend: Dave Smith

  1. Dave is not only the keeper of an incredible wealth of Disney knowledge, he is amazing, funny and friendly person, and a pleasure to talk to. He has always been very helpful and accommodating whenever I have reached out to him, and I am so happy to hear that he has been awarded the well-deserved honor.

    And George, if you ever take over as the gatekeeper to the Archives… just remember the little people (pun intended) like me.

  2. Ray–I agree. We would have lost a lot of the Company’s documentation without Dave.

    Lou–I hope to meet him someday. I would even be happy to be the Janitor if the Archives. (Any thought on setting up a JLH Archives–or have you already done that?)

  3. Disneyana…

    Any good Dave Smith collectibles out there?

    But at least you got to go to C25!

    Are you going to make an appearance at MouseFest?

    I heard that Lou is going to do a meet and Greet for all of his fans (and Mike Newell will be first in line!).

  4. Lovely Post George – if the Disney Archives is the Holy Grail of Animation and Walt Disney were Jesus then we can safely save Dave Smith is something akin to Indiana Jones? Well anyways, Dave truly is a legend and it’s high time he be honored as such. This is great news. Thanks so much for the post George.

  5. The only Dave Smith collectibles I’ve seen is the ‘Dave Smith Pin Collection.’

    I can’t make it to MouseFest because of school and lack of funding.

    I’m 80% positive I will be at Magic Meets, but we’ll see how that goes.

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