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Guest Book, 1951 - 1986

 File — Container: Box 23, Item: 9

Collection Scope

From the Collection:

SERIES I: Biographical (1925-2005; n .d.) includes correspondence, vital records, life events, army records, and clippings. SERIES II: Professional (1951-1991; n.d.) Subseries 1: Cody High School contains materials related to Melvyn’s career as a teacher at the school.It contains guidebooks, news clippings, and photographs relating to the Comet Yearbook which was innovative for its time and won awards and press attention. It also contains administrative and instructional documents, as well as printed materials related to education and teaching English language and literature.

Subseries 2: Wayne State University documents Melvyn’s continued relationship with the university through the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Phi Delta Kappa membership, and the Smiths’ contribution to the Betsey Welling Memorial Court and the sculpture, as well as Sara’s involvement with the University Theatre. SERIES III: Community Organizations (1961-1994; n.d.)

Subseries 1: Arts Council Triangle was a collaborative organization including the cities of Troy, Bloomfield and Birmingham, which aimed to promote the arts in the community. This subseries contains meeting minutes, programming, and newsletters.

Subseries 2: General holds the same materials for numerous other ventures that do not have sufficient material to require a subseries.

Subseries 3: Theatre contains materials related to speech and diction, and many play scripts for performances that Sara Smith was involved in, primarily with the Popcorn Players Theater School at Birmingham Community House.

SERIES IV: Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House (1949-2017) reflect the phases in both the legal holding and the use of the house, first as the Smith family residence then its renovation and preservation as a historic house.

Subseries 1: Smith Residence contains materials related to the construction and additions to the property, including the garden room and lake, art objects for the house, and for the gazebo/tea house that was never built. It also contains thank you letters from participants of house tours, including Brookside School children, as well as materials reflecting the maintenance of the house under the Melvyn Maxwell and Sara Smith Foundation after its cessation as an active residence.

Subseries 2:Towbes Foundation contains materials relating to the renovation and maintenance of the house, correspondence regarding house tours, and materials related to the transition to Cranbrook staff leading house tours between 2013-2017. SERIES V: Printed Materials (1938-2017; n.d.) contains announcements and flyers, booklets, catalogs, news clippings, periodicals, and ephemera predominantly related to Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin, but also covering other architects, artists, education, and performing arts. The ephemera includes postcards, some featuring Frank Lloyd Wright designs; and postage stamps featuring Frank Lloyd Wright. SERIES VI: Guest Books (1951-2017) holds five guest books which cover the entire life of the house from 1951 through 2017 when it was donated to Cranbrook. SERIES VII: Photographic Materials (1932-1980; n.d.) contains many photograph albums collected by the Smiths, as well as loose photographic materials which were found with the printed materials. Most photographic albums contain a small amount of ephemera, clippings, and correspondence. Box 26C contains slides. SERIES VIII: Oversize series (1908-2005) contains oversize printed, photographic, and graphic materials, a scrapbook, and books signed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Landscape Architect, Thomas Church.

SERIES IX: Architectural Drawings (1948-1949)


  • 1951 - 1986


Access to the collection is unrestricted.


From the Collection: 21.7 Linear Feet ((30 MS, 5 OS, 7 OS folders) )

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research Repository