Fonds MC168 - Madge Smith

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Madge Smith

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • 1904-1974 (Creation)
    Smith, Madge

Physical description

1.2 m of textual records and 1276 photographs

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Biographical history

Elizabeth Marjorie (Madge) Smith was born on 7 [April] 1898 at Iden, near Rye, Sussex, England, the daughter of Edwin James Smith and Beatrice Neeves. In 1901, the family, including four boys and three girls, moved to Fredericton, NB. Madge Smith graduated from Fredericton High School in 1917. It was during this time that Smith became interested in photography. She began taking snapshots with a box camera and a vest pocket camera. In the fall of 1917, Smith attended Fredericton Business College and in 1918 began work in the office of FitzRandolph's wholesale grocery. In 1924, she went to work at Harvey Studios and remained there until 1930. Finally, in 1936, she became proprietress of her own shop at 518 Queen Street. She sold hand-coloured photographs coloured with Windsor and Newton oil colours and she also introduced Deichmann pottery to her customers. In her spare time, she took snapshots of the winter market, ice-cutting on the river, the Odell property, and Wilmot Park.

In 1940, Madge Smith moved to another store on Queen Street. She sold her own personal photographs and also photographs of the Queen, wife of King George VI, taken by Frank Pridham of Harvey Studios. In addition to selling photographs and Deichmann pottery, Smith also sold stone and silver jewellery from Nova Scotia and articles from the Madawaska weavers. As well, she carried paintings by a number of Canadian artists, including Jack Humphrey, Pegi Nicol MacLeod, Lucy Jarvis, and Fritz Bradtner. Smith played a significant role in helping New Brunswick and Maritime craft become better known and appreciated.

Smith retired from her shopkeeping business in 1961. In 1970, the University of New Brunswick and the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick held a joint exhibition of her work at the Provincial Archives. Her photographs also formed part of the exhibit "Fredericton: The Early Years," shown at the Provincial Archives in April 1974, shortly after her death which occurred on 18 February 1974.

Source: Autobiography of Madge Smith. (Series 2, File 31)

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds documents Madge Smith's professional activities as an art dealer and photographer over several decades. It includes business and personal correspondence with art galleries, art centres, museums, art clubs, and art associations, as well as with prominent writers, artists, and politicians, including Lord Beaverbrook, Molly Bobak, Bruno Bobak, Miller Brittain, Kjeld Deichmann, Erica Deichmann Gregg, Hugh John Flemming, Milton Gregg, Dorothy Gregg, Lucy Jarvis, Pegi Nichol MacLeod, Alden Nowlan, Leonard O'Brien, Charles G. D. Roberts, Frances Roberts, and Goodridge Roberts.

The bulk of the fonds consists of more than 1200 photographs taken by Madge Smith of landmarks, buildings, residences, ceremonies, celebrations, or street scenes of Fredericton and surrounding area and of communities located on the Miramichi and the Fundy Coast -- Saint John, St. Andrews, Grand Manan, and Campobello. A number of photographs of Pegi Nichol MacLeod are also included. The photographs have been transferred to the Photographic Section (P120).

There are also printed materials on writers and artists, scrapbooks, guest books, newspaper clippings, and copies of bills and receipts.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Madge Smith in 1970 and 1977.


Language of material

  • English

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No restrictions

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Finding aids

An inventory is available.

Associated materials

UNB Archives and Special Collections Department houses other records relating to Madge Smith. See MG H80 Madge Smith fonds at UNB.

Made Smith photographs are located in P120 Madge Smith photographs.


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