Oliver R. Smith papers

Oliver R. Smith papers

Dates: 1935-1979

The six series in the Oliver R. Smith papers are arranged according to genre type. The first series contains Smith's correspondence. The second includes various family newsletters as well as writings by and about Smith. The third series is comprised of university memoranda from the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Another small series contains various photographs, including several of BYU. The largest series is Smith's subject files which contain information on BYU student clubs such as Delta Phi, Kappa Tau Alpha, Omega Nu, and Sigma Delta Chi, as well as information on organizations with which he was affiliated. These organizations include the US Air Force Reserve, Association of Educators of Journalism, Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association, National Council of College Publications Advisers, Red Cross, and Sons of Utah Pioneers. The final series includes artifacts and scripts from the Hill Cumorah Pageant performed in New York state.

  • Extent: 13 cartons (13 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Smith, Oliver R.
  • Call Number: MSS 2087
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; University Archives; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Arranged in six series: 1. Oliver R. Smith correspondence, 1939-1977; 2. Oliver R. Smith family papers, 1940-1975; 3. Oliver R. Smith Brigham Young University memoranda, 1950-1979; 4. Oliver R. Smith photographs and notebook, circa 1935-1974; 5. Oliver R. Smith subject files, 1940-1975; and 6. Oliver R. Smith artifacts and Hill Cumorah Pageant records, undated.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Oliver R. Smith papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial Citation: MSS 2087; Oliver R. Smith papers; University Archives; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following Citations: MSS 2087, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Olivia Baird and Kay Rytting in 1990.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Olivia Baird and Kay Rytting; 1990.
Separated Material
The following books were removed from the Oliver R. Smith papers in 1998: Alter, J. Cecil. Early Utah Journalism; A Half Century of Forensic Warfare, Waged by the West's Most Militant Press. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1938. Beauchamp, Al. Green Among the Blue. New York: Vantage Press, 1969. Bower, W.C., compiler. Behavior Situations of Senior High School Young People. University of Chicago, 1931. Clinger, Morris M. A History of Theatre in Mormon Colleges and Universities. Thesis, University of Minnesota, 1963. Fairbank, Jean Rawls, ed. Who's Who 1967 in College and University Publications. Vol II. National Council of College Publications Advisers. Includes a biographical sketch of Oliver R. Smith. Halliday, John R. Memoirs of John R. Halliday. ca. 1961. Kobre, Sidney. Journalism History Guidebook. Tallahassee, Florida: National College Press, 1955. Scott, John. Political Warfare; A Guide to Competitive Coexistence. New York: J. Day Co., 1955. Seven Year Report of the President (1950-51 to 1956-57) of Brigham Young University and Four Year Reports of the Administrator (1953-54 to 1956-57) of other areas of the Unified Church School System. The following categories of material were also removed from the collection and placed with similar records housed separately in University Archives: pamphlets, Faculty Notes, and other items printed by BYU. Approximately fifty cartons of records were weeded from the collection and destroyed, including: Newspapers, including the Daily Universe, Salt Lake Tribune, and Carbonicle News Releases from Time, Detroit Free Press, and Department of State Pamphlets from the United Steel Corporation, American Railroad Association, and other corporations Advertisements Confidential information about students, including tests and grades Student papers Survey raw data Professional journals, including Quill
Other Finding Aids
File-level inventory available online. http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/MSS2087.xml
Subject Terms
American Red Cross; Hill Cumorah Pageant; Kappa Tau Alpha; National Council of College Publications Advisers; Sigma Delta Chi; United States. Air Force Reserve; Colleges and Universities; Education; Journalism and education
Genre / Form
Artifacts; Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.); Letters; Memorandums; Newsletters; Photographs
Processing Information
Processed; Brian D. Reeves (University Archivist) and Heather Hogge (Family History Student); December 1998 (Revised, March 2000).
Appraisal Information
Personal papers of students, faculty, staff which relate to the university’s work. University history (University Archives collecting policy, February 2010).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Smith (Oliver R.) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Brian D. Reeves and Heather Hogge
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-03-09T04:25-0600
Finding Aid Language
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Instructor and faculty member at Brigham Young University, 1938-1942, and 1946-1978. Served at various times on campus as public relations director, professor of journalism and communications, chairman of Department of Journalism, and chairman of student publications.

Chronology of Oliver R. Smith


Born March 8 in Davenport, Iowa, to Hyrum and June Bushman Smith.


Graduated from Lethbridge High School (Alberta, Canada)


Latter-day Saint missionary, Eastern States Mission


Co-authored and directed Truth From the Earth, pageant performed at Hill Cumorah in New York state


Managing director of America's Witness for Christ, pageant performed at Hill Cumorah; Published Low Out of the Dust in The Improvement Era (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)


Graduated from Brigham Young University with B.A. degree in journalism


Reporter for The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah)


Publicity director and Teaching Assistant at BYU


Instructor in Department of Journalism at BYU


Married April 6 to Barbara Fay McKay


Private-sergeant in U.S. Army


2nd Lieutenant in Army-Air Force


1st Lieutenant-Captain, Statistical Officer Army-Air Force in Colorado, Philippines, and Japan


Chairman of Department of Journalism, Public Relations Director, Assistant Professor in Department of Journalism, all at BYU


Captain-Colonel, Air Force Reserves


Reporter and copy reader for The Deseret News


Stringer for United Press


Member of Association for Education in Journalism


Attended and graduated from University of Iowa with Ph. D. degree in mass communications. Dissertation: Printed Mass Media Circulation and Radio Receiver Ownership Patterns in the U.S.


Member of Sigma Delta Chi


Instructor of Journalism at University of Iowa; Published Circulation Gain Greater than Population Growth in Editor and Publisher


Associate Professor of Journalism at BYU


Chairman of Department of Journalism and chairman of student publications at BYU


News reporter for KLRA in Little Rock, Arkansas; Published Upset in Arkansas Won by Talkathon in Broadcasting-Telecasting


Member, national council, Kappa Tau Alpha


Cofounded Utah chapter of Sigma Delta Chi


Executive secretary, Rocky Mountain Collegiate Press Association


Vice chairman, Council on Radio-TV Journalism


Editor of Journalism Educator, a quarterly magazine of the American Society of Journalism School Administrators


Faculty Adviser for Sigma Delta Chi


Professor of Journalism and Communications at BYU


General Board member, Deseret Sunday School Union; Night Editor for The Daily Herald


Professor at Church College of Hawaii (BYU-Hawaii)


Chairman of Department of Journalism at BYU


Director and vice chairman of Utah County Chapter of Red Cross


Chairman of Department of Communications and of Student Publications at BYU


President of Utah Journalism Educators Association


Adviser of the Year, National Council of College Publications Advisers


Copy reader for The Salt Lake Tribune


Published Six Decades in the Early West: The Journal of Jesse Nathaniel Smith. (Publishers Press)


Awarded Honor Medal, Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge


Member of national committee of Undergraduate Affairs of Sigma Delta Chi


National vice president, Kappa Tau Alpha


Awarded Air Force Commendation Medal; Published Pioneer Homes of Jesse N. Smith. (Daughters of Utah Pioneers); co-edited Reflections on the Fall of Nauvoo. (Press Publisher Co.)


Vice president, Sons of Utah Pioneers


National President, Kappa Tau Alpha


Published as co-editor John Bushman, Utah-Arizona Pioneer. (Community Press)


President of Utah chapter of Sons of the American Revolution


National Vice President of Sons of the American Revolution


President, Sons of Utah Pioneers


Retired from BYU; Awarded Special Citation from University of Utah; Awarded Meritorious Service Award by BYU Department of Communications


Died, December 13 in Provo, Utah

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Cory Nimer
University Archivist - University Archives