Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Fond Farewell from Dave Smith

Disney Archivist Dave Smith 

As many of our readers already know, Disney Archivist Dave Smith is retiring this month, after 40 years of service. Dave created the Disney Archives, saving decades of Disney history for future generations to enjoy and learn from. He has also made himself an invaluable resource for Disney enthusiasts, sharing his time and expertise to answer trivia questions (a longtime feature for Disney Insider readers!), meet Guests at the Parks and on Disney Cruises, and create trivia and reference guides to all things Disney.

Dave and his partners at D23 have been kind enough to let us share a special farewell letter from Dave with you. As he makes it clear, he will still be very much a part of the Disney family – as he will always be!

Dear friends, fellow cast members, and Disney fans:

It has been so gratifying to me to have established the Walt Disney Archives and run it for the past 40 years, helping to preserve the history of a company that means so much to so many people around the world. When I reported for my first day of work at the Disney Studio back in June 1970, I never envisioned myself staying in the same role for four decades. But, what started out as a mere job turned into a labor of love.

From a glimmer of an idea, the Archives has turned into a department which continually proves itself invaluable to The Walt Disney Company. I am very pleased to have had the support of an ever-growing and knowledgeable staff and of every CEO of this company from Roy O. Disney to Bob Iger. If these corporate leaders had not championed the Archives, we would not have the department that we have today – one that is so beneficial to the entire Disney organization.

But I won't be going far. Rest assured, I will still be dropping by the office occasionally to help out when needed – keeping up "Disney A to Z," speaking to D23 and other groups, and advising authors that are writing on Disney subjects. And of course, I'll also be on hand to answer future "Ask Dave" questions.

So as I retire, I am comforted to know that I am leaving behind a very viable department for our new director, Becky Cline, to take over. And with your support, I am sure that the Archives will continue to serve our company for many years to come!

Yours always,


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