This informational brochure on the Walt Disney Archives is hand-signed by renowned Disney Archivist Dave Smith.
Smith, the Walt Disney Studio’s first archivist, is chiefly responsible for having curated the extensive collection, which is now housed in the Frank G. Wells building on the studio’s Burbank lot. In the late-60s, a few years after Walt’s death, the company began considering establishing an in-house archive to preserve and officially document their storied history. Smith, a librarian at UCLA at the time, was putting together a Walt Disney bibliography and had been in contact with the studio throughout. Upon learning of their interest in such an undertaking, he offered his services and was hired in the summer of 1970 to begin the process. Smith amassed and catalogued the thousands of items and documents stored in boxes and filing cabinets across studio property into a tangible representation of the “Disney story.” As the brochure states,
The collections of the Walt Disney Archives are as varied as the activities of The Walt Disney Company. Some files deal with Walt Disney and the Disney family, but others cover such fields as motion pictures (live-action and animated), theme parks, character merchandise, publicity, promotion, publications, and recordings.
The brochure goes on to outline these separate categories, providing examples and pictures in their descriptions.
Dave Smith, who in addition to his role as Chief Archivist would author several books dealing with Disney history over the course of his career, has signed the front cover above a fitting picture of the company’s founder. The back cover includes contact information for the Archives (formerly located in the Roy O. Disney building), which at the time of the brochure’s publication, were available for use by writers and researchers (a policy that has since become much more stringent).
This brochure, hand-signed by the man who started, maintained, and oversaw the Walt Disney Archives for more than forty years, is a unique collectible—itself now a part of the Disney story.