Scope and arrangement
The Leo Smit Papers contain documents from 1905 to 1998 and cover the professional musical career of the decorated pianist and composer, Leo Smit. The collection is divided into nine series: Correspondence, Writings, Presentations and Lectures, Clippings and Programs, Dickinson Materials, Librettos, Scores, Photographs, and Oversized Materials. Correspondence includes letters between Smit and his friends and colleagues, including Aaron Copland, Harold Shapero and Leonard Bernstein. The Emily Dickinson materials are also noteworthy, and include research and notes on Dickinson, her life, and her poetry. Smit devoted a large portion of the late 1980s and early 1990s creating a song cycle around Dickinson’s poetry, and amassed quite a bit of research on the subject. This includes notes, slides, and photocopied research materials. The Librettos series includes much of Smit’s work, and is notable for the several drafts and rewrites, with notes from Smit. One can assess how he worked and made changes in his compositions. The collection is lacking in materials of a personal nature, though fortunately many of Smit’s working relationships were also close friendships, and this can be seen in the correspondence.
The Leo Smit papers are arranged in nine series:
Correspondence between Smit and his friends and colleagues. Includes correspondence between Smit and Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and others.
Includes published and unpublished writings by Smit, both typed and handwritten pieces.
Handwritten and typed lecture texts by Smit.
Clippings and programs from Smit's many concerts.
Writings and research materials gathered by Smit during his research on Emily Dickinson.
Librettos from operas and other works Smit composed for/wrote. Includes final copies and handwritten drafts.
Includes personal photographs of Smit, his friends and family. Also includes slides used in presentations, and oversized photographs - many of which were taken by Smit.
Larger portraits of Smit and family, most mounted. Also includes shots taken by Smit as a photographer.