Vernon L. Smith Papers

Summary Information

Special Collections
Vernon L. Smith Papers
20th century
5.0 Linear feet (7 boxes)

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Biographical/Historical note

Vernon Lomax Smith was born January 1, 1927 in Wichita, Kansas where he attended Wichita North High School and Friends University. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Caltech in 1949, an M.A. in economics from the University of Kansas in 1952, and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1955.

Smith shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel Kahneman. Much of the research that earned Smith the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was conducted at the University of Arizona between 1976 and 2002. In 2002 Smith left Arizona for George Mason University. In 2008, Smith founded the Economic Science Institute at Chapman University in Orange, California.

Vernon Smith is professor of economics at Chapman University School of Law and School of Business in Orange, California, a research scholar at George Mason University Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a Fellow of the Mercatus Center, all in Arlington, Virginia. Smith shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel Kahneman. He is the founder and president of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics and an Adjunct Scholar of the Cato Institute in Washington D.C.

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Scope and Contents note

The Vernon L. Smith Papers consist of books from Vernon Smith's personal library (located in the Vernon L. Smith Reading Alcove, 2nd floor Leatherby Libraries), a number of honorary degrees, plaques, and awards given to Smith by various institutions as well as his Nobel Prize for Economics, the Nobel certificate and a bronze replica of the medal (on display in the Reading Alcove). Accompanying the Nobel Prize are photographs and ephemera relating to the Prize ceremony and a related trip to Japan. In addition, there are offprints of authored articles in academic journals.

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Arrangement note


1. Plaques, awards (8)

2-5. Scrapbooks, Nobel Prize ephemera/photos, 2002

6. Videotapes (2), Nobel Prize ephemera, photos ca 2002

Folder (box 6)

1. Correspondence, congratulations on Nobel Prize award

2. Photographs, pre-Nobel Prize ceremony

3. Photographs, Nobel Laureate International Press Conference

4. Ephemera, Nobel Prize ceremony

5. Photographs, Nobel Prize ceremony

6. Ephemera, Nobel Prize dinners

7. Photographs, entertainment/banquet at the Nobel dinner in City Hall, Nobel Nightcap

7. Coin, gold, 1/2 oz, "Denationalization of Money", Friedrich A. Hayek, 1979; e-mail, from Vernon L. Smith to Candace Allen, 1996; color photographs of the Smiths and President George W. and Laura Bush; honorary degrees and awards; photo album, photos, and postcards from trip to Japan; journal offprints from Vernon Smith authored articles, and about 130 journal offprints from other scholars in the field of economics.

8. Award, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences w/ presentation box, 2002 (located in safe)

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Special Collections

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Smith, Vernon, (Vernon Lomax), 1927-


  • Chapman University. Economic Science Institute.
  • Faculty papers
  • Nobel Prize winners

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