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Dave Smith, Disney archivist, honored with window on Main Street U.S.A.

by Susan and Simon Veness

Dave Smith founded the Walt Disney Archives in 1970. Now he has his own window on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland.

Dave Smith Disney Archivist
Photos courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

On January 24, Disney Legend Dave Smith received a window in his honor, which will be placed above the Fortuosity Shop on Main Street U.S.A. The inscription on the window reads:

“New Century Historical Society, Dave Smith, Town Archivist, Preserving, Protecting & Presenting Fond Memories of the Past.”

Dave’s family and friends joined Walt Disney Archives employees, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock, Disneyland Park Vice President Kris Theiler, Archives Director Becky Cline, and Disney Ambassadors Mark Everett King Jr. and Nataly Guzman to celebrate his tenure as chief archivist, and to witness the unveiling of his window.

Dave Smith window Main Street U.S.A.

Disney Legend Dave Smith, founder of the Walt Disney Archives, was honored with his own window above the Fortuosity Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland park.

Dave, who also authored “Disney A to Z” and other titles, passed away in 2019, but his sister, Jean Marana, was on hand during the celebration, sharing memories of her brother.

Kris Theiler also spoke during the event, saying, “You can imagine this is a special tribute, not only because Disneyland is Walt’s original theme park, but also, it is a place that Dave loved. The windows here on Main Street are a long-standing tradition that was started by Walt, to recognize those who went above and beyond to support the mission and magic of The Walt Disney Company. And today, for all those who come to this happy place, these windows tell the stories of extraordinary people, offering living lessons about their roles, their contributions, and the legacy they left behind.”

Kris Theiler, vice president, Disneyland park and Becky Cline, director, Walt Disney Archives, reveal a replica of the window.

Kris Theiler, vice president, Disneyland park and Becky Cline, director, Walt Disney Archives, reveal a replica of the window.

Dave’s original archive consisted of an extensive bibliography on Walt Disney, and grew to include Walt’s papers, awards, memorabilia, and more.

Becky Cline offered her thoughts during the ceremony, saying, “It’s because of Dave’s vision, and his passion, and his efforts, that the Walt Disney Archives is still going strong today, and is bigger than ever. With new technology that we have today, we are doing things a bit differently, but the core values that Dave instilled in us will always inform our mission – to protect, preserve, and share the rich history of The Walt Disney Company, and to support the creation of all the magic yet to be.”

Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock added, “Like our friend Jiminy [Cricket], Dave’s work has helped to guide and shape us into who we are today, and it is evident in our cast, our resorts, and our amazing company. There is no greater wish-come-true than to realize that your contributions have served so many, so well. And as time moves on, Dave’s work will be more important than ever, because it provides us with a lasting connection to the past.”

Next week, D23.com will share highlights from the window unveiling ceremony, along with a special presentation of stories and memories celebrating Dave’s legacy.

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