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Guide to the Bradley Smith Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Bradley Smith Collection
    Dates: 1962-1988
    Identification: MS-0239
    Creator: Smith, Bradley, 1910-1997
    Physical Description: 15.00 linear ft
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
    5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
    San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
    URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
    Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
    Phone: 619-594-6791

    Biographical Information:

    Bradley Smith was born on June 30, 1910 in New Orleans, LA. He and his family moved to Karnes City, Texas when Smith was a child. He began taking photographs of ranchers and cowboys who came through Karnes City at the age of 12.
    During the 1940's while living in New York, Smith began working as a photographer for Life magazine. He also worked as a freelance photographer for several other publications, including Time, The Saturday Evening Post, American Heritage, and Vogue. Considered one of the earliest photojournalists, Smith also worked as an editor for Time magazine, and wrote and illustrated 23 books. His books covered a wide range of topics from erotica to wildlife to foreign countries. He is also known for photographing well-known public figures like Helen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi, and Harry S. Truman as well as jazz musicians Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.
    In 1944, Smith formed the American Society of Magazine Photographers, or ASMP, an organization created to help photographers retain rights to their own work. Still active today, the ASMP, now the American Society of Media Photographers, "promotes photographers' rights, educates photographers in better business practices, produces business publications for photographers and helps buyers find professional photographers."
    Bradley Smith died of throat cancer in 1997 at the age of 87 in La Jolla, CA.

    Access Terms

    This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Personal Papers

    Personal Name:

    Smith, Bradley, 1910-1997 -- Archives


    Photographers -- United States -- Biography -- Sources

    Topical Term:

    Photography, Artistic

    Administrative Information

    Conditions Governing Use:

    The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    This collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation:

    Identification of item, folder title, box number, Bradley Smith Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

    Scope and Contents

    The Bradley Smith Collection documents the career of photographer and writer Bradley Smith. The collection dates from 1962-1988.  It consists entirely of paper records.  The collection documents Smith's professional career through correspondence, research materials, book drafts, mockups, and photographs.  The entire collection is grouped into one series: Project Files.
    The Project Files series documents Smith's research from 1962-1988.  The series covers twenty-two of Smith's books written and published between 1962 and 1988.  These books include: The American Way of Sex: an informal illustrated history; Art for Children; Columbus in the New World; Erotic Art of the Masters: 18th, 19th, 20th Centuries; Escape to the West Indies: a guidebook to the islands of the Caribbean; and Life of the Animals (a series of books on wildlife).  Significant to this collection are book reviews of Smith's work, correspondence with various people and organizations, and outlines and notes related to his research.  Also included are files on projects, project ideas, stories, research material, and general/miscellaneous information.  This series is arranged alphabetically by book title.  Some of the files are also organized alphabetically; others have no distinct organization.