Finding Aid for the Albert E. Smith Papers, 1897-1933

Processed by Manuscripts Division staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Manuscripts Division
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 1997
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid for the Albert E. Smith Papers, 1897-1933

Collection number: 2004

UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections

Manuscripts Division



Los Angeles, CA

Contact Information

  • Manuscripts Division
  • UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
  • Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
  • Box 951575
  • Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
  • Telephone: 310/825-4988 (10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Pacific Time)
  • Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
  • URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
Processed by:
Manuscripts Division staff, 1997
Encoded by:
Caroline Cubé
Online finding aid edited by:
Josh Fiala, November 2002
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Albert E. Smith Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1897-1933
Collection number: 2004
Creator: Smith, Albert E.
Extent: 15 boxes (7.5 linear ft.) 6 oversize boxes
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Abstract: Albert E. Smith (1875-1958) co-founded the Vitagraph Company of America as the Reader, Smith, and Blackton Combination in 1894. He invented the Vitagraph, one of the first successful motion picture projectors, in 1896. The collection consists of correspondence, scrapbooks, albums, photographs, auditor's reports, and trade agreements pertaining to the business of the Vitagraph Company of America, of which Smith was co-founder.
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

Additional Physical Form Available

A copy of the original version of this online finding aid is available at the UCLA Department of Special Collections for in-house consultation and may be obtained for a fee. Please contact:
  • Public Services Division
  • UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
  • Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
  • Box 951575
  • Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
  • Telephone: 310/825-4988 (10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Pacific Time)
  • Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lucile Smith, 1959.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Albert E. Smith Papers (Collection 2004). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Biography

Smith was born in 1875 in Faversham, England; co-founded the Vitagraph Company of America as the Reader, Smith, and Blackton Combination in 1894; Vitagraph producer, writer, and executive with actor and director J. Stuart Blackton until sale of the company to Warner Brothers in 1925; invented the Vitagraph, one of the first successful motion picture projectors, in 1896; had a wife, Lucile, and 6 children; died August 1, 1958 in Los Angeles.

Scope and Content

Collection consists of correspondence, scrapbooks, albums, photographs, auditor's reports, and trade agreements pertaining to the business of the Vitagraph Company of America, of which Smith was co-founder. Runs of ephemeral publications, Vitagraph releases (1916-1920) and six bound volumes of the Vitagraph Bulletin (1906-1916) complete the Vitagraph documentation. There are 17 reels of audiotapes recorded by Smith on the subject of motion picture history, as well as a copy of his autobiography.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:
  1. Collection arranged chronologically.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Smith, Albert E.--Archives.
Blackton, James Stuart, 1875-1941.
Vitagraph Company of America--Archives.
Motion picture producers and directors--United States--Archival resources.
Motion picture industry--History--Archival resources.
Audiotapes.
Scrapbooks.
Photographs.
Vitagraph Company of America.
Vitagraph bulletin. Vitagraph releases.


Container List

Box 1

Early beginnings. 1897-1904.

Physical Description: 291pp.

Scope and Content Note

Newspaper clippings, documents, early film catalogs (1901-1904), folder of notes for book and typescript manuscripts of history of Vitagraph Company by Albert E. Smith.
Box 2

1908-1916.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, ephemera and clippings, auditor's reports, stock certificates, agreements (bound volume) re ownership of Vitagraph Company and By-Laws of Smith-Blackton Company, 1916.
Box 3

Vitagraph Bulletins. 1909-1916.

Physical Description: Six bound volumes.
Box 4

1916.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, contracts, auditor's statements. The Big Four Family, publication of Vitagraph, Lubin, Selig, Essanay, Incorporated. Bound (vol.1-4).
Box 5

1915-1918.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, legal documents; Vitagraph Releases. 1916-1917 (two bound volumes). Vitagraph family, vol.9-12. June 1917-June 1918 (bound).
Box 6

1917-1920.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, legal documents, auditor's reports. Vitagraph Releases. 1918, 1919 (two bound volumes). Shadowland, the magazine of magazines. (M.P. Publishing Company, New York). vol.1 no.1. September 1919.
Box 7

1920-1922.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, contracts and agreements, copies of legal briefs involving Vitagraph Company, auditor's reports. Typescript of Releases 1920 (bound) containing synopses and credits.
Box 8

1923-1924.

Scope and Content Note

Legal documents, correspondence.
Box 9

1924-1929.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, publicity releases.
Box 10

1925-1956.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, ephemera, photographs, auditor's report 1917. Two reels and a crank. Autographed copy of book.
Box 11

Notebooks containing story ideas. Reports on individual theatres. 1920. Legal contracts. 1924.

Boxes 12, 15

Stills.

Box 13

Scrapbook of clippings on the death of John Bunny. 1915.

Box 13

Scrapbook of newspaper clippings. 1914.

Box 13

Miscellaneous motion-picture publications.

Box 14

History of Vitagraph Company.

Physical Description: 17 reels tape.
Box 16

Photograph album. Stills from Vitagraph productions of O'Henry stories.

Box 16

Photograph album. Jean Paige - stills from Vitagraph productions.

Boxes 17-19

Album of stills.

Box 20

Scrapbook. 1925.

Scope and Content Note

Newspaper clippings covering Vitagraph's break with Hays Office (MPPDA).
Box 20

Scrapbook. Clippings. 1923-1933.

Box 21

Panoramic photograph of Vitagraph personnel. 1910.

Note

Missing, January 1990.