Working His Way Through College

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

Advertisements

Published by

Helice

Although I am a native New Yorker, I seem drawn to the Pacific Northwest. My current gig as Manuscripts & Special Collections Cataloging Librarian at the University of Washington Libraries represents my third stint out here. Prior to coming to the UW, I have worked at the New York Public Library, King County Archives, New York University, and Columbia University (to name but a few).

2 thoughts on “Working His Way Through College”

  1. Hi, Kirsten at the Musicians’ Association of Seattle here, I just came across your blog post while doing some research on another musician. We have a file for Cecil Smith and he was a member from 1925-1988. We have a copy of his death certificate along with dues payment records if you are interested in looking at his file. And FYI, we have around 20,000 files for musicians that have worked in Western, WA since 1890. 206-441-7600 seattlemusicians.org

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s