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Collection of Joseph Coburn Smith Materials

Identifier: CAMS SMITH-2

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence primarily between Smith and Colby's alumni secretaries, and President Strider and his assistant, Richard Dyer. The collection also includes manuscripts of poetry, short stories, editorials for the Echo as well as the Portland Camera Club, press releases regarding the Mayflower Hill campus, and an article series on Colby's fraternities. Journals accounting Smith's travels as well as his Echo editorials are included, and a wide array of photographs, many of Colby for publicity purposes, photos of his travels, photos of Maine's lumber camps to accompany his manuscript "The Maine Woodsmen", and some portraits of Smith himself. In addition, clippings written by and about Smith as well as clippings mentioning Colby are present. Magazines feat. Smith's writing, photography, and Colby, bound volumes containing Smith's photography, Colby publicity publications and other institutions' fundraising publications conclude the collection.


  • 1919 - 1979

Conditions Governing Use

Materials to be used on site during regular Special Collections hours or by appointment. Photocopying or scanning may be possible at discretion of staff for nominal fee. Materials may be protected by copyright.

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1900 and a 1924 graduate from Colby College, Joseph Coburn Smith came from a family steeped in Colby tradition. His aunt, Louise Coburn, was the second woman to graduate from Colby, and his parents, siblings, cousings. aunts and uncles were all Colby alumns. Smith was the editor of the Colby Echo while he was attending, and post-graduation worked as the Publicity Director at Colby from 1930 until 1948, adding on editor postition for the Alumnus 1941-1948. He then moved on to work for Marts and Lundy in publicity consulting until his retirement. In addition to his occupations, Smith was an avid and award-winning photographer; his work appeared not only in Colby's publicity materials for decades, but his work can also be found in several American Photography Annuals and various magazines. His photography was exhibited at the Colby Museum of Art in 1975.


3 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Materials by or about Smith or Colby College, as well as materials about a few other institutions.


Correspondence, Manuscripts, Journals, Photographs, Clippings, Magazines, Bound Volumes, Colby Publications, Other Publications

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials acquired by gift or purchase.

Finding Aid to the Collection of Joseph Coburn Smith Materials
Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Colby College Archives Repository

Special Collections & Archives (SC&A), located in Miller Library, is the college’s repository for historically and culturally -significant materials, including the college archives. Our fabulous materials range in date from the 12th to the 21st centuries and represent a wide range of formats. We fully support Colby’s academic program and innovative pedagogies through aspirational collection development, faculty and student engagement, teaching and exhibition.