Working His Way Through College

9 10 2008

In an effort to stay one step ahead of Mahrya (who is already making good progress with cleaning up the minimal level records), I decided to pull an individual scrapbook or small collection to create a record that might serve as an (obviously destined-to-be-shining) example of full level cataloging of scrapbooks.

I settled on the first item from the list (which filed that way because of the quotation marks around the creator’s first name, “Cec” Smith), the Cecil Smith scrapbooks because: a) it was small; b) the subject matter (popular music) interested me; and c) we had found a couple of cool photographs on the UW Digital Collections site while I was trying to explain the “creator” concept in the context of scrapbooks.

Since then I have compiled a few vital statistics on Smith, who seems a most interesting character (he’s the one in the center of the picture above).  The scrapbook mainly chronicles his career as a dance band leader (the band itself seems to have gone by several names) during the late 1920s/early 1930s in Seattle.  Smith supported himself as a law school student at the University of Washington through his work as a musician.  The scrapbook ends around 1937 (though there are a couple of items inserted at the back that date from the following year), following Smith’s passing of the bar exam.  He seems to have continued to play music at social functions even after he began to practice law, but the trail ends there.  I was able to determine from Ancestry.com that he died in Bellevue in 1988; presumably he spent his entire career as a lawyer in the Seattle area.  But did he continue on as a musician at all?

More digging awaits as I try to assemble these and other facts into something more lucid.

Image credit: University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division, Seattle Collection, Negative no.14269








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