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The Max Smith Papers

Call Number: MSS 8

Scope and Contents

The Max Smith Papers contain letters to and from Smith and family members, composers, performers, and critics. Arturo Toscanini is especially well represented; in particular, there are many telegrams and letters relating to Toscanini's decision to conduct the New York Philharmonic in 1926-1927, and also to the Philharmonic's European tour in 1930 . The Papers also hold rough drafts and printed copies of articles by Smith. Smith's life and work are further documented by: programs; photographs; and miscellaneous materials.


  • 1879-1933 (inclusive)


Language of Materials

Materials chiefly in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Papers are open to researchers by appointment. There are no restricted materials in the collection. Please contact the Special Collections staff to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Max Smith Papers are the physical property of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University. Copyrights belong to the composers and authors, or their legal heirs and assigns.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Max Smith Papers were established in the Music Library of Yale University by Smith's brother-in-law, James P. Atkinson, in 1950.


In 3 series as follows: I. Correspondence. II. Articles. III. Miscellaneous.


1 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, articles, and other materials by the American music critic Max Smith (1874-1935)

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Max Smith was born in New York on December 26, 1874. He received the A.B. from Yale in 1898, the same year as Charles Ives. He earned a law degree from Columbia and passed the New York bar, but never practiced. In 1909 he married Mary Hardy. They had no children. Smith studied music for many years, beginning at the age of eight; his teachers included Horatio Parker and Samuel Sanford at Yale. He served as a music editor and critic at the New York Press (1903-1916) and the New York American (1916-1919 and again in 1923). Thereafter he worked intermittently as a foreign music correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune. He died of a cerebral embolism on June 7, 1935.

The Max Smith Papers
Edited Full Draft
Compiled by Cindy Clark
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Music Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Gilmore Music Library Repository

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