The papers of Benjamin Lee Smith, North Carolina educator and Duke University alumnus, span the years 1916-1961, and contain correspondence, memoranda, clippings, and other printed material related to public education at both the local and state levels in North Carolina. There are also several dozen photographs of N.C. school buildings and personnel, circa 1930s-1950s. Other topics include prohibition and the elections of 1928, and religion and politics in North Carolina. A small but significant amount of material concerns school integration in Greensboro and associated civil rights issues in North Carolina. The collection also includes material on charitable organizations in which Smith was active, especially the Methodist Church, North Carolina Education Association (NCEA), Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, and the Horace Mann League.
Materials selected for this project document Smith’s tenure as the superintendent of Greensboro’s school system during the 1950s as the city struggled with school desegregation. Included are correspondence, reports, court documents, and speeches.
For more information on this collection, please consult the
collection finding aid.