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Wallace Smith papers

Identifier: Ax 269

Scope and Contents

The papers include manuscripts and published pieces, minor correspondence, drawings and illustrations, photographs, and miscellaneous documents.

Manuscripts include short stories, articles, and movie scripts by Smith. These include the musical play, May Wine(1935), written by Smith with Eric von Stroheim. Testimony from an arbitration between Stroheim and Smith is also included with this manuscript. Published pieces are, for the most part, illustrated by Smith.

Correspondence consists of 19 letters, 1916-1934.

There are approximately 400 sketches and drawings by Smith, including a torso and head of Carl Sandburg. There are also eleven illustrations, as published, from Fantazius Mallare by Ben Hecht, with three copies of each. Certificates of copyright for these and other illustrations are included with the materials.

Photographs include personal photographs and portraits as well as glossy prints of many of Smith's illustrations. There is also a photograph album of scenes from the 1916 "Mexican Expedition" of the United States against Francisco "Pancho" Villa. Smith was a correspondent for in Mexico at that time.

Miscellaneous documents include contracts and royalty statements, clippings of Smith's work and pieces about Smith, and a story idea book with a detailed cover illustration drawn on, in ink, by Smith. There is also a single folder of materials related to Echo Smith (Mrs. Wallace Smith)


  • Creation: 1916-1935


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Wallace Smith (1888-1937) was a newspaperman, novelist, and artist. He was born in Chicago, and worked as a reporter in Mexico for the Chicago Evening American. He wrote articles, stories, and books (The Little Tigress) based on his experiences in Mexico.

As an artist Smith illustrated Ben Hecht's Fantazius Mallare (Chicago, 1922) and other books, designed book jackets and end papers. Along with Hecht, he received an obscenity fine of $1000 for his work in Fantazius Mallare. In 1929 he went to Hollywood and worked on screenplays with Anthony Veiller, Eric von Stroheim, and others.


8.75 linear feet (6 containers)

Language of Materials



Wallace Smith (1888-1937) was a newspaperman, novelist, and artist. The papers include Smith's manuscripts and published pieces, minor correspondence, drawings and illustrations, photographs, and miscellaneous documents.


Collection is organized into the following series: Manuscripts and Published Pieces, Correspondence, Contracts, Idea Book, Sketches and Drawings, Illustrations, Photographs, Clippings, and a section of materials related to Echo Smith (Mrs. Wallace Smith).

Other Finding Aids

Paper finding aid with additional information is available in Special Collections & University Archives.

Related Materials

A collection of Wallace Smith's short stories, with illustrations can also be found at Special Collections and University Archives in the Oregon Collection: Oregon Sketches, F881.S55 1925.

Physical Description

1 record storage box, 1 manuscript box, 1 legal half manuscript box, 1 solander case; Photoboxes: 1 small box, and 1 oversize box.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Wallace Smith Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by University of Oregon Libraries, Archivists' Toolkit Project Team and Austin Munsell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA