The Samuel F. Smith collection contains material related to the author of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" ("America"). Many items pertain to the song, such as holograph copies of the lyrics signed by the author and a facsimile of its first printed version. Other items include handwritten copies of the poem "The Eve of Decoration Day" and the hymn "The Morning Light is Breaking," along with a letter to D.A. Wilbur in which Smith expressed doubts about the legitimacy of what Wilbur believed to be an original copy of "The Morning Light is Breaking" (January 4, 1895).
The collection also has several personal letters that Smith wrote near the end of his life, a brief autobiographical statement, a prose work entitled "The Prayer," a statement about the Harvard College Class of 1829, and several portraits, including one bearing Smith's autograph. Also included is a printed program from a "Testimonial Benefit Tendered to Rev. S. F. Smith, D. D.," held on April 3, 1895, as well as a published volume, Poems of Home and Country, once owned by J. F. C. Hyde. See the Detailed Box and Folder Listing for a complete inventory.