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Charlotte M. Smith Papers, Including the Records of the Tamazunchale Press

Identifier: MsC0457

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Charlotte Smith, including the records of the Tamazunchale Press, occupy about eight linear feet and date from 1961 to 2012. Series I includes a variety of personal memorabilia including grade and high school reports, records of a 1972 recipe book she assembled by contacting notable women, letters from many prominent writers, and some of her own attempts at narrative and fiction. In addition, Series I includes a large group of travel diaries: Charlotte developed a habit of thoroughly documenting each of many trips, both within the United States and abroad. Many of the trips included visits to book- and print-related sources as well as meetings with collectors, publishers, printers, marblers, and others in the world of books. Lastly, it includes Charlotte Smith's personal diaries, dated from 1981-2002.The diaries include not only Smith's record of her daily life, but also obituaries, correspondence, and various newspaper clippings. Recorded on the last pages of each diary are the impressive lists of books that Smith read. Series II documents her passion for miniature books. The papers include dealers' catalogs, correspondence (including letters exchanged with members of the Libraries' staff over many years), advertising, and articles. Also included is the Norman Forgue Award presented to Charlotte Smith by the Miniature Book Society in 1993. Records of the Tamazunchale Press, Inc. are organized in Series III. The Press was founded by the Smiths in 1983, with publishing a natural progression for Charlotte who had by then been collecting miniature books for a number of years. The press name, which suggests their own first names, comes from a small Mexican village in which the Smiths honeymooned in 1939. Tamazunchale Press published twenty books between 1983 and 1988, issuing books by both old and new authors hitherto unpublished in miniature book form. The first Tamazunchale book was written by Charlotte herself and titled Book Interlude. It was quickly followed by The Manuscriptby Isaac Bashevis Singer, Confessions of a Wild Boar by John Updike, The Model E by Tom Smith, and My Chinese Childhood by Pearl S. Buck. The last book published by Tamazunchale was Antonin Dvorak by Janet Savin. The records of Tamazunchale Press, Inc., document the making of each book, with typescripts, galleys, contracts, advertising, etc. The files include correspondence with other collectors, publishers, bookbinders, and booksellers, and with some of the authors who permitted their work to be used. Perhaps the most important item in this last category is a letter from Eudora Welty. Box 1 contains electronic materials.


  • Creation: 1970-2001


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.


15.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Publisher of miniature books in Newton, Iowa, founded by Charlotte and Thomas Smith. Correspondence, typescripts, proofs, advertising, contracts, etc., have been combined with Charlotte M. Smith's personal papers.

Method of Acquisition

Donated by Charlotte M. Smith, 1980-2002; Charlotte A. Smith, 2002-2007.

Related Materials

Further information about Charlotte Smith and a partial inventory of our miniature book collection, including the two articles below. Please refer to the links under External Documents for the listing of available materials. "The Joys of Miniature Books" by Charlotte Smith, from Books at Iowa 41 (November 1984). "The Tamazunchale Press: A Bibliographic Checklist" from Books at Iowa 50 (April 1990).

Reprocessed March 2022 by Bailey Adolph
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)