Papers of Helen Smith

Scope and Content

A small collection of personal papers belonging to Helen Jane Hall Smith and various members of her close family, with printed papers and research notes on the history of her extended family. Personal papers of Elsmie Hall Smith (b 1882), Secretary Barclays Bank (France) Ltd.; Harvey Hall Smith (b 1880), General Manager of North of Scotland Bank, 1922 - 1943; Margaret Hall Smith (d 1913); Garden Grant Smith (1860 - 1913); artist and editor of Golf Illustrated; Dr John Hall (fl 1869 - 1870); and Anne Agnes Paterson (d 1930s) have been identified thus far. As listing progresses, other individuals may be added to this list.

Helen Smith's own papers comprise 2 boxes of miscellaneous correspondence (unsorted), 1950s - 1970s; and approximately 8 boxes of printed papers and research notes relating to her family history. Her family history research contains papers relating to John and William Smith, architects, including John Smith's role as first Aberdeen City architect, and details of the (often prestigious) commissions with which they were involved. A further 2 boxes contain correspondence, cuttings, sketches, and other personal effects of her father, Elsmie Hall Smith (b 1882). These include his army book, containing official papers regarding his appointment and decommissioning, correspondence, and postcards of war-damaged towns and cities, c 1914 - c 1918; engagement diaries, 1950s - 1960s (many gaps); and papers re. Anne Agnes Paterson's estate, 1930s, for which he was appointed receiver. The papers of her uncle, Harvey Hall Smith (1880 - 1958), who died unmarried and without issue, include trust papers relating to his estate, correspondence and miscellanea (such as passports, bank pass books). An album of postcards sent from friends and family to her aunt Margaret Hall Smith (d 1913), whilst a patient at Nordrach-on-Dee Sanatorium, Banchory (now Glen O' Dee Hospital) is also included in the collection.

The papers of Garden Grant Smith extend to 5 boxes of correspondence, newspaper cuttings, notebooks, sketchbooks, photographs, postcards, and miscellanea. They include his diary for 1892 (with printed transcript); scrapbook containing reviews of his exhibitions, c 1891 - c 1895, and cuttings from and articles written for various golfing magazines, c 1897 - c 1898; memoranda of agreement, 28 Mar 1890, and associated correspondence, 1889 - 1890, re. engravings of Luxembourg Palace, Paris, which Smith had commissioned Michael Haider, of Paris, to produce for publication and sale, 1890.

Lecture notes taken by Dr John Hall, whilst a student at the University of Aberdeen, 1869 - 1870 have also been identified.

Administrative / Biographical History

Helen Jane Hall Smith (c 1921 - 1990) was a descendent of the famous Aberdeen architects, John [Tudor Johnnie] and William Smith, who built Balmoral Castle in 1851. She died in Edinburgh on 1 Jan 1990, aged 68 years.

Her father, Elsmie Hall Smith (b 1882), youngest son of John Smith, architect (son of William and grandson of Tudor Johnnie), was a banker with Barclays' Bank (France) Ltd., serving as Secretary until his retirement in 1942. His siblings, Harvey Hall Smith (1880 - 1958), General Manager of the North of Scotland Bank, 1922 - 1943; William J. Hall Smith (1879 - 1957), Branch Manager of the Union Bank of Scotland; Margaret Hall Smith (d 1913); and Gertrude Hall Smith are also represented in this collection.

Garden Grant Smith (1860 - 1913), artist and editor of Golf Illustrated, was the son of William Smith, architect of Balmoral Castle. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen, and subsequently studied art at Edinburgh School of Art, and in Paris, under Carolus Duran. After graduating he travelled widely on the Continent, living abroad, principally in Paris, in the period 1883 - 1889. During this time his works were exhibited at the Royal Academy and other British galleries; however, he ceased painting c 1898, when he was appointed editor of Golf and Golf Illustrated. He married Charlotte Irene Hayes, daughter of William Hayes of Cardiff, in 1898.

Further details on Harvey Hall Smith and Garden Grant Smith will be found in Who's Who, 1945 and Who Was Who, 1897 - 1916, respectively.


Listing in progress

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the University in Jan 1990, under the terms of Helen Jane Hall Smith's will.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

Papers of John Smith (senior), architect, and others, 1841 - 1883 (GB 231 MS 2393)

Papers of John Smith (senior), architect, and others, 1841 - 1883 (GB 231 MS 2393)

Papers of Robert Harvey Smith (GB 231 MS 3631)


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Additional Information

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