Lyman Herbert Smith Papers

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Lyman Herbert Smith papers
Creator: Smith, Lyman Herbert
Call Number: D.283
Dates: 1936-1946
Physical Description: 5 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Ephemera
Collection Overview
Title: Lyman Herbert Smith papers
Creator: Smith, Lyman Herbert
Call Number: D.283
Dates: 1936-1946
Physical Description: 5 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Scope and Content
The majority of the letters in this collection were written to Catherine (Strong) White by her fiancé Lyman Herbert Smith between 1941 and 1945. There are also several letters written to her by Lyman's mother, Cora Smith; Catherine's brother, Stockton Birney Strong; and a few other unidentified individuals. Along with the many letters are a few miscellaneous items that Lyman collected during the period in which the letters were written, including ticket stubs from Cornell football games, a Nazi armband, newspaper clippings and currency.

Smith was drafted in 1942 and spent several months traveling with the Army War Show to muster support for the war effort. He then spent the majority of his army training at Camp Polk in Louisiana, where he worked with a tank division. On August 29, 1944 Smith left New York City for his transatlantic voyage to Europe. He arrived in the countryside of England where he spent one month. He spent the next two months traveling from France, near Normandy, to Luxembourg and then Belgium, before arriving in Germany, where he spent much of the remainder of the war, until January 1945. Throughout the letters there are not many details of specifically where Smith was stationed and what battles he fought in, because as an officer he was expected to abide by the laws of censorship. However, we do know that he did fight in the Battle of St. Vitts and was part of one of the first campaigns to cross the Rhine.

The letters are rich in detail and imagery. Smith, a graduate of the Cornell Law School, made many references to popular culture and literature throughout his writing. He presented Catherine with details and vivid descriptions of the landscape and people of Europe and many events that he participated in during his tenure with the army. The letters offer insight into Lyman's reactions to the war, to what he sees around him and his it affected him and his fellow soldiers.

Also contained in the collection are several other items unique to World War II. Included are several issues of the Stars and Stripes. There are also several letters sent by V-mail. V-mail was used primarily during the later parts of World War II as a means by which soldiers could correspond with loved ones at home. The letters were written on special forms, which were then photographed and placed on film. The reduction of size of the original letter made for cheaper and easier transport overseas and allowed for mail to be sent and received in less time. The government encouraged soldiers to use this form of correspondence, which "made it possible for servicemen halfway across the world to hear news from home on a weekly basis."

Subject(s):
World War (1939-1945)
Correspondence
Smith, Lyman Herbert
White, Catherine Strong
Smith, Cora
Strong, Stockton Birney
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was a gift of Catherine White on September 29, 2001. Undergraduates Rob Weinstein '02 and Elisabeth Wightman '02 organized and processed the papers during the spring semester of 2002.Access
The Lyman Herbert Smith papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Lyman Herbert Smith papers, D.283, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Series I: Correspondence
Box 1, Folder 1-10Correspondence, 1941
Box 1, Folder 11Correspondence, 1942
Box 1, Folder 12Correspondence, 1943
Box 2, Folder 1-9;
Box 3, Folder 1-6
Correspondence, 1944
Box 3, Folder 7-9;
Box 4, Folder 1-6
Correspondence, 1945
Box 4, Folder 7Correspondence, 1946
Box 4, Folder 10Correspondence: Stockton Birney Strong, 1936-1945
Box 4, Folder 11Correspondence: Bill, September 29, 1941
Box 4, Folder 12Correspondence: Lyman Smith, Sr., 1944
Box 4, Folder 13Correspondence: Col. Tod, 1937-1938
Box 4, Folder 14Correspondence: Cora Smith, 1941-1945
Series II: Ephemera
Box 4, Folder 8Lyman Smith obituary, November 3, 1996
Box 4, Folder 9Lyman Smith eulogy, November 6, 1996
Box 4, Folder 15Articles on Stockton Birney Strong
Box 5, Folder 1, 4Miscellaneous items, 1941-1946
Box 5, Folder 2Foreign currency
Box 5, Folder 3Newspaper clippings
Box 5, Folder 5Photographs from letters postmarked, December 2, 1944 and May 23, 1945
Box 5, Folder 6Descriptions for items in displayed in Rush Rhees Library case, 2002
Box 5, Folder 7Article in Currents, May 28, 2002
Box 5, Folder 8Beth Wightman notes on Catherine White Papers


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