Monday, June 28, 2010

40 Years of Disney Archivist Dave Smith

Last Friday, I read in the L.A. Times that Dave Smith, the legendary Disney archivist, announced his retirement. It was exactly 40 years and 1 day from the day he first started working for the company.

James and Disney lead archivist Dave Smith. (03/10/2010)
James and Disney lead archivist Dave Smith. (03/10/2010)

Smith began working for the company in 1970, just four years after Walt Disney passed away. His first assignment: Archiving the items in Walt's office, which had been off limits to anyone for four years.

This project led to a 40-year career archiving the storied history of the company. One of his most incredible finds was a small item found in the top drawer of the desk of Walt's brother. It was the very first ticket sold at Disneyland, which Roy Disney purchased for $1 in 1955. It was even marked with the number 001.

I was fortunate to have met Dave Smith recently at a D23 party. Our meeting wasn't a long one, and I'm sure it would not be very memorable to him. But it was memorable for me because I have an incredible amount of respect for this man, who I believe is doing God's work.

Best of luck to you in retirement Dave!

1 comment:

beastandbean said...

I read that article too...how cool that someone had the foresight to even think of something like that back in the early 70's! Hooray for Dave Smith!!