David Smith is the subject librarian for History & CMRS, and focuses on supporting the research and teaching of undergrads, grad students and faculty in these fields through in-depth consultations, the development of the University Library’s historical collections, and library and archives instruction.
David recently authored the book Cowboy Presidents: The Frontier Myth and U.S. Politics since 1900 (U of Oklahoma Press, 2021) based on his PhD dissertation, which explores how four presidents – Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush - identified with and manipulated frontier imagery in their foreign and domestic agendas.
He has also published eleven history articles and book chapters on subjects that include the tourist image of his hometown of Victoria, BC, Owen Wister’s novel The Virginian, American Cold War images of the Soviet Union, the history of NASA in the Hawaiian Islands (in press), the making of A Stó:lō - Coast Salish Historical Atlas, and online research resources about Indigenous peoples. His current projects focus on the legacy of Presidential ranches and on NASA’s Voyager program.
Current Research Areas: myths of the American West, US presidential history, and space exploration history.