104 boxes (128 linear feet).
The collection contains 160 diaries, 54 sketchbooks, hundreds of prints and drawings, thousands of negatives and contact sheets, more than 850 photographs and 1100 audio and video tapes, in addition to notes, plans, and archival records related to Smith's artistic projects from her student days forward. The archive encompasses not only Smith⁰́₉s career as an artist, but also her work as a writer, teacher, and advocate of the arts in Los Angeles.
Series I. Personal papers includes Smith⁰́₉s diaries from the 1950s to 2009, her personal correspondence from the 1950s to 2011, and miscellaneous personal documents.
Series II. Artworks includes finished and unfinished artworks and related materials, such as artists⁰́₉ books, drawings, paintings, prints, sketchbooks, Xerox artworks and poetry.
Series III.Project files includes documents regarding the production of artworks, performances and exhibitions, as well as graphic design projects, lectures, symposia, travels, grant and funding applications, originally arranged together by the artist. It includes projects Smith participated in or curated, and material as various as photographs, sketches, drawings, notes, charts, diagrams, storyboards, receipts, correspondence, and exhibition ephemera.
Series IV. Professional files includes material related to other activities Barbara T. Smith carried on through the decades, most notably teaching, writing, and her role as a prominent advocator for artists in Los Angeles. It includes artist files (comprising press clippings, gallery ephemera, and correspondence); articles about or written by Smith; research files on topics as various as religions, environment, sexuality and women⁰́₉s organizations; files regarding her various teaching appointments and the workshops she organized; and some miscellaneous papers.
Series V. Photographs includes Smith⁰́₉s vast collection of prints, contact sheets, negatives, transparencies and slides documenting her projects, her private life, and many topics of personal interest.
Series VI. Audio visual materials includes a vast personal section comprising Smith⁰́₉s father⁰́₉s family films, audio recordings of psychic readings and therapy, and film reels documenting daily life. The largest section includes recordings of Smith⁰́₉s performances, her video works, and source materials used in the performances themselves. Many films and tapes had been copied by Smith in various formats, thus the archive frequently includes multiple copies and transfers of the same original film reel or tape. Audio visual material is unavailable until reformatted.
Open for use by qualified researchers, with the following exceptions: audiovisual materials are unavailable until reformatted. Boxes 354-355 are restricted due to fragility; contact the repository to request digital imaging. Boxes 39-41 are sealed for Barbara T. Smith's lifetime. Box 42 is sealed until 2050; box 64 is sealed until 2071.