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GWYNNE P. SMITH PAPERS
ca. 1961 2004
bulk dates 1970-1986
Manuscript Collection Number: MSS 528
Boxes 1-23 are housed in Library Annex
Oversize material housed in the Special Collections Department
Extent: 23 linear ft and oversize maps
Contents: correspondence, notes, notebooks, logs, state documents, reports, bills of legislation, drafts of legislation, voter registration lists, district maps, news clippings, newsletters, publications, brochures, campaign ephemera, video and audio recordings, maps, photographs
Access: Access limited pending
completion of processing. Material in annex requires 24-hour notice for retrieval.
Gwynne P. Smith was elected a state representative to the Delaware General Assembly in 1974 and served eight terms until 1990. Her pursuit of public office was an outgrowth of earlier neighborhood civic involvement in Brookside in Newark and Green Acres in Wilmington, where she moved with her family in 1958. From 1968-1973, Smith served on the state board of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs as chair for environmental legislation. During the same period, she served on the environmental committee of the League of Women Voters, and in 1969 she helped organize Delaware Citizens for Clean Air. Mrs. Smith testified at numerous public hearings on clean air, coastal zone, and water resources, and she helped consolidate support for the Coastal Zone Act, the Wetlands Act, the Delaware Environmental Protection Act, the Beachland Presevation Act, and other environmental bills. With Tom Doherty, she helped write the first piece of legislation in Delaware by citizen volunteers that was enacted into law, the Environmental Protection Act of 1970.
In office, Mrs. Smith served on the Governor's Select Committe on Energy Conservation, as chair of the House Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee, as a member of the Joint Sunset Committee (on Agency Review), and as co-chair of the State Advisory Committee on Water Resources Management. As co-chair of the House Ad-hoc Grant-in-Aid Committee, she began a review of the entire legislative grant process. Mrs. Smith worked to verify state land boundaries and got money appropriated for statewide updates of the Delaware Geological Survey topographical maps. She sponsored the Bottle Bill, Drought Emergency Powers, Efficiency Lighting Standards in Public Buildings, Preservation of Natural Areas, and the Delaware Food Ban, Leaking Underground Storage Tank Bill, Natural Areas and Non-Game Check-off Bill, handicapped permits for people 85 or older, and other bills.
Mrs. Smith served on the Sea Grant Board of the College of Marine Affairs at the University of Delaware and has frequently lectured at the University on the Coastal Zone Act and other environmental matters. In 1987, she received a grant and served on the Task Force on Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), which produced recommendations for action in Delaware classrooms that were accepted and supported by the State School Board. Her final committee assignments in the House were on Finance and Human Resources. After retiring from politics, Mrs. Smith served as legislative liaison on the board of the State Federation of Womens' Clubs.
A Legacy from Delaware Women sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Girl Scout Council and the Women's Center of Delaware Technical and Community College and the University of Delaware. Middle Atlantic Press, 1987.
Scope and Contents Note
The Gwynne P. Smith Papers documents the civic activities and legislative career of a woman committed to protecting the environment and improving the quality of life in Delaware. Her papers include "phone logs" of issue notes and calling networks that document the grass roots organization behind Delaware Citizens for Clean Air and other groups in the early 1970s. The Green Acres Newsletter also reflect community communication on social as well as civic issues. Mrs. Smith kept extensive clipping files from Delaware newspapers and collected reports and other research materials related to clean air, water resources, Delaware's coast, and land use. A good amount of the material relates to the Bottle Bill, which Mrs. Smith sponsored, and the Coastal Zone Act, which she successfully defended many times. She worked with Russ Peterson on many issues and her files include correspondence with other Delaware politicians and leaders. Her papers include campaign materials and some papers related to Republican Party leadership in the state and elected women officials.
1 Campaign and elections
Print outs of registered voters, literature, newsletters, brochures, stickers
2 Logs, 1970 – 1994
1969 – 1981
VIP Republican party invitations, Women Elected Officials
4 Correspondence, American Leadership, etc.
House Calendars, 1974 - 1986 (not comprehensive)
Senate Calendars, 1974 – 1984 (not all)
5 Roll Calls, 1977 – 1989 (not all)
Digests of Legislation, 1975 – 1982
Other State pubs
6 Files – Campaign, Bio, Press, Talks
7 Files - Legislative issues – land tax, eminent domain
lobbying, living will, charitable solicitation, school bus reimbursement, etc.
8 Files – Dog bill, possible legislation, Smith bills, privacy
geological survey results, state boundary commission, etc.
9 Bottle Bill, ca. 1974 - 1987
files, clippings, correspondence, background material
10 Bottle Bill – cont’d
Hearings, 1977, files, etc.
HB 77 – mark-ups, press release, litter control, etc.
11 Bottle Bill, 1971 - 1983
Environment / Coastal Zone
Russ Peterson, 1969 – 1991 – election, environmental, clippings, correspondence,
12 Coastal Zone – files, clippings, background
Supporters, 1971-1972, NJ Oil Spill Law, SB 449, oil, gas, mineral
SB 219, HB 274, 1973, Off shore
CZ amend. 129th HB 275
13 Environment / Energy, 1966, 1980 – 1987, 1990 etc.
State Resources, nature, state travel lit, Water News, Delmarva Ornithologist
& Coal, Bill 1039, CZ reports,
14 Misc Environmental / CZ news clipping
Notebook – Del Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, 1976
DE zoning maps, Ag maps, Mid-Atlantic historic maps
15 Mixed topics
130th – gender identification
16 Economic Development
Joint Finance Committee, Div of Revenue
132 GA – HB 84
Superior Court report, 1987
17 Sinkholes, Hockessin, 1981,
HB/SB 217 – Wetlands, Quality of Life in DE, 1975; EPA 1971,
Div of Env Control Strengthened HB298/SB218, 1973
HB 256, 1971 Env Protection Bill; Pollution
Program for Exceptional Children
18 Grant in Aid, ca. 1984 - 1990
United Way, Food Bank, etc.
19 White Clay Creek Historical “stuff”
Kathy Dahl, Women at UD, 1971
CZ Land Use / William Cohen report, 1980
Cartoon for DCCA
20 Energy Conservation, Special Energy Committee, 1977
Procurement Committee, Fiscal Notebook, 1977
21 Misc loose files and papers – env, districting, news, pollution, etc.
Community Supported Agriculture, 1998
HOTS – Higher Order Thinking Skills, 1987
22 News clippings – environment, leg issues, social issues, Wilm, etc.
23 (mss box)
Green Acres Civic Association – file and newsletters