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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Linda Lee Smith papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1966-1993
Creator: Smith, Linda Lee (1948-1992)
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0834
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Muscatine, Iowa native and basoonist who performed and taught at the university level before directing a women's recovery program in California.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright has not been transferred to The Univeristy of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 1157) were donated by Christine Brink in 2008.

Preferred Citation: Linda Lee Smith papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Linda Lee Smith was born in Muscatine, Iowa on October 12, 1948. Her mother Ruth Hartwig Smith was a teacher and her father Lee Smith was a carpenter. She had three adopted siblings: Steven Smith, Marcia Smith, and Tammy Smith. Linda Smith attended the University of Iowa, where she received her Bachelor of Music in 1970. She continued to move around the country, earning an MA in Music from the Manhattan School of Music, taking faculty positions at the University of Massachusetts and Ohio State University and spending time on tour and in Aspen, Colorado for brief stints. In 1980 Smith moved to San Francisco, California, where she earned her MS in Electronics Engineering and began working as a technician for AT&T. She later earned a PhD in Psychology. In San Francisco she fought her dependencies on drugs and alcohol, became sober, and eventually ran multiple marathons. In San Francisco Smith also met her partner in life and in work, Carol Wambaugh. In 1988, after three months of internship, she became the Program Director for the Women's Recovery Association in Burlingame, California where she maintained her position until her death from mylogeneous leukemia in 1992.

The Linda Lee Smith Papers date from 1966 to 1993 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The collection consists of letters Linda Smith wrote to Christine "Chris" Brink. The correspondence, arranged chronologically, documents Smith's romantic relationships, career changes, geographical moves, and reflections on life events. The letters are intensely personal and reveal Smith's feelings towards partners, jobs, her relationship with drugs and alcohol, and her eventual diagnosis of mylogeneous leukemia. The folder dated 1990-1992 includes poems Smith wrote in the final months of her life and the final folder holds a letter written by Carol Wambaugh, Smith's partner, on receipt of a donation to the Linda Smith Memorial Fund by Brink. The personal letters Smith sent are interspersed with programs and fliers announcing her bassoon performances, including a 1966 program of the Tri-City Youth Symphony Orchestra concert conducted by James Dixon. The Biographical Information folder includes a photo of Smith taken in 1991, a biography of Smith's life written by Brink, and Brink's own autobiography.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: General

  • Series 1: General
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical Information - 1966-2008
    [includes photo]
  • Correspondence - 1968-1972
  • Correspondence - 1973
  • Correspondence - 1974-1975
  • Correspondence - 1976-1979
  • Correspondence - 1980-1989
  • Correspondence - 1990-1992
  • Linda Smith Memorial Fund, Women's Recovery Association - 1993