Dave Smith (archivist)

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Dave Smith
Born David R. Smith
(1940-10-13) October 13, 1940 (age 76)
Pasadena, California, U.S
Nationality American
Occupation Former Chief Archivist at Walt Disney Archives

Dave Smith (born October 13, 1940) is the founder and former chief archivist at the Walt Disney Archives, which is located in the Frank G. Wells Building at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

Early life[edit]

Dave Smith was born David R. Smith on October 13, 1940 and raised in Pasadena, California. He appreciated Disney movies as a child and having lived in California, visited Disneyland frequently.[1] He later graduated from University of California, Berkeley and spent a year and a half as an intern at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He then moved back to California and worked as a librarian at UCLA for five years.[2] In the late 1960s, Smith was working on a bibliography on Walt Disney when he first heard of a possible archive being created by The Walt Disney Company. Smith, still working at UCLA at the time, wrote a letter to the Disney Company offering his services, which was accepted.[3]


He joined the company on June 22, 1970, as its first archivist.[4] His first task was to document all the items in Walt Disney's office which had sat dormant since his death in 1966.

Smith has written many books, including Disney A to Z, an official encyclopedia of Disney knowledge, as well as the Walt Disney Trivia Books, and also co-authored Disney: The First 100 Years. In 2007, Smith was honored with the Disney Legends Award, an honor given to people who have made significant contributions to The Walt Disney Company.[5] During his acceptance speech, he stated that he has at one time worked with nearly all the other Disney Legends.

Forty years later, on Thursday, June 24, 2010, he announced he would soon be retiring.[6]



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