Skip to main content

Erwin E. Smith Photography Collection

Identifier: AR0888

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Collection of works by and about American West photographer, Erwin E. Smith. His photographs and prints depict life on ranches in the American West, including shots of people at work, cowboys, horses, Native Americans, and his own family members. Types of items include photographs, postcards, a newspaper article, and two event programs--his historical grave dedication ceremony in 1976 and an exhibit at the Sherman Historical Museum in 1986. Various photographs are undated or have approximate dates, including the collection's start date of 1904.


  • Creation: 1904-1986
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1905-1910
  • Acquisition: Date acquired: 08/00/2017


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is not restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Reprpduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Biographical or Historical Information

Born in Honey Grove, Texas in 1886, Erwin Evans Smith (1886-1947) grew up loving the unique life of the American West and sought to capture it through his art. Initially interested in sculpture, he quickly took to photography while working as a teenager on cattle ranches in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. He frequently teamed up with newspaper writer, George Patullo, to feature his photographs alongside stories of the West, which were published in various print works, such as the Saturday Evening Post, National Magazine, and Cattleman magazine. He took over 2,000 photographs in his lifetime, most between 1905 and 1912 from his time on the ranches. His work is considered some of the best examples of early 1900s cowboy life, alongside famous artists Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington. Smith passed away in Texas in 1947.

Note written by Nicole Yatsonsky


1.00 boxes

Language of Materials



A collection of photographic and print works by and about American West photographer, Erwin E. Smith.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged by type of material.

Physical Access Requirements

This collection is stored off-site and requires a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to use.

Source of Acquisition

Michael Laird Rare Books

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions


Separated Materials

Item #25, a large, framed photograph, is kept separately from the main collection box (Box 1).

Erwin E. Smith Photography Collection
Nicole Yatsonsky
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of North Texas Special Collections Repository

University of North Texas, Willis Library
1155 Union Circle # 305190
Denton TX 76203 US