The Smith Collection comprises 458 sheet maps, 685 atlases and books, and 62 terrestrial and celestial globes from the 16th through the 20th century. The globes are all on display in the specially built cases in the OML reading room. The Smiths' reference books are housed separately in OML's reference collections.
Lawrence M. C. Smith (1902-1975) and Eleanor Houston Smith (1910-1987) became summer residents of Maine in 1946, when they purchased Wolfe's Neck Farm in Freeport. During the next three decades they acquired many maps, globes, and atlases that reflect their interest in history and geography and their devotion to the Maine coast. Their commitment and generosity to the state expressed itself in a number of ways. They gave Mast Landing Sanctuary in Freeport to the Maine Audubon Society and Wolfe Neck Woods to the people of Maine. Their foresight and generosity made possible the acquisition of Popham Beach as a state park. In 1984, Mrs. Smith gave Wolfe's Neck Farm to the University of Southern Maine; in 1986, she donated to the university the cartographic collection that had delighted her and her husband for so many years. Their enthusiasm and love for early cartography lives on through their magnificent legacy.
A memorial catalog of the collection was published by the Smiths’ children: James E. Mooney, Maps, Globes, Atlases and Geographies Through the Year 1800: The Eleanor Houston and Lawrence M. C. Smith Cartographic Collection at the Smith Cartographic Center, University of Southern Maine (Freeport, Me.: The Renfrew Group, 1988).
Date of Donation: 1986