Billy Graham Center

Ephemera of Rodney "Gipsy" Smith - Collection 109

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent.]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions


An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

Lists of Audio Tapes, Phonograph Records, and Photographs in This Collection (Location Records)
    Audio Tapes
    Phonograph Records
List of the Contents of Boxes of Paper Records in This Collection (Container List)

Brief Description.

Newspaper clippings, audio tapes and phonograph records of Smith singing hymns, and photographs. Newspaper clippings are about meetings held by Smith in Denver, Colorado (1909) and with Billy Sunday in Boston, Massachusetts (1935); included are extended excerpts from both men's sermons.

Collection 109 [September 18, 2009]
Smith, Rodney "Gipsy"; 1860-1947
Ephemera; 1909-1935, n.d.
1 Box (ODC, .6 cubic feet), Audio Tape, Phonograph Records, Photographs

Restrictions: None


Full name Rodney "Gipsy" Smith
Birth March 31, 1860, near London, England
Death August 4, 1947, aboard the ship Queen Mary while traveling from England to New York
Parents Cornelius Smith and Mary Welch
Siblings Four sisters and one brother
Marital Status Married first Annie Pennock, December 17, 1879 (d. 1937)

Married second Mary Alice Shaw, June 2, 1938

Children Albany Rodney (b.1880), Alfred Hanley (b.1882), Rhoda Zillah (b.1884)
Conversion At the age of sixteen
1877 Joined the Salvation Army as an evangelist at William Booth's invitation
1880-1883 Preaching assignments in Chathan, Hull, and Hanley (England)
1882 Dismissed from the Salvation Army for accepting a gold watch and money from friends
1889 First evangelistic trip to America preaching in New York City, Philadelphia, Denver, Washington, Nashville, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Winston-Salem, Dallas, and other smaller cities. 
1892 Founded the Gipsy Gospel Wagon Mission

Preached in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland

1894 Held evangelistic meetings in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, Australia
1904 Meetings in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa and Boston, Massachusetts
1914-1918 Ministered to the British troops in France
1939-1945 Toured the United States and Canada with his second wife
Other significant information
1917 Made a member of the Order of the British Empire by King George V
 Authored As Jesus Passed By (1905), Gipsy Smith: His Work and Life (1906), Evangelistic Talks (1922), Real Religion (1929), The Beauty of Jesus (1932), and The Lost Christ. 

[Note: In the Scope & Content section, the notation "folder 2-5" means "Box 2, Folder 5"]

Scope and Content

This collection consists of newspaper clipping of Smith's 1909 evangelistic meetings in Denver (folder 1-16), scrapbook pages (folders 1-1 through 1-13) containing newspaper reports about Smith's 1935 meetings in Boston, phonograph records of Smith singing, and a tape of Smith singing. A complete list of the songs sung by Smith can be found in the location records which follow. A scrapbook of newspaper clippings from 1929 recounts Smith's Boston campaign in March (folder 1-15); a few clippings are from meetings held by Billy Sunday in Boston during 1931. Two 1947 clippings (folder 1-17) contain articles about Smith's death and the ministry of Gipsy Smith, Jr. A postcard photograph of Gipsy and Annie Smith is also included, as well as one of Smith with three unidentified people, and Smith's meeting of the First Congregational Church at the Uline Arena in Washington, D.C.


The materials for this collection were received by the Center in July, October, and November 1979, May 1980, February, April, and September 1984, November 1986, June and August 1999, and September 2009 (Ms. Elisabeth Mason).

Accession 79-80, 79-118, 79-133, 80-31, 80-71, 84-27, 84-56, 84-115, 86-127, 88-35, 09-52

April 7, 1980
Robert Shuster
M. Hilton
S. Kouns

June 23, 1980, revised
M. Buffington
S. Kouns

September 28, 1984, revised
J. Nasgowitz

November 25, 1986, revised
J. Nasgowitz

Accession 99-40, 99-56
June 3, 2002, updated
Wayne D. Weber

Accession 09-52
September 18, 2009
Bob Shuster

Accession: 79-118
Type of Material: Audio Tapes
The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE file

# R/C speed Contents Dates
 T1 R 3-3/4 Tape of Columbia Record 5336 of Rodney "Gipsy" Smith singing "He Leadeth Me" and "Christ My All" n.d. 

Accession: 79-118
Type of material: Phonograph Records
The following items are located in the PHONOGRAPH RECORD FILE:

P1 - 12", 78 rpm. Side 1: "Saved By Grace;" Smith, accompanied by piano, Side 2: "O Beautiful City of God;" Smith, accompanied by piano. Columbia Graphophone Company, A5147, ca. 1909.

P2 - 12", 78 rpm. Side 1: "Jesus Is My Light and Song;" Smith, accompanied by piano, Side 2: "When the Mists Are Rolled Away;" Harrison and Anthony, accompanied by orchestra. Columbia Graphophone Company, A5158, ca. 1909.

P3 - 12", 78 rpm. Side 1: "Somebody Knows;" Smith, accompanied by orchestra, Side 2: "Who Could It Be;" Smith, accompanied by orchestra. Columbia Graphophone Company, ca. 1909.

Accession: 84-56, 84-115, 86-127, 99-56, 09-52
Type of material: Photographs
The following items are located in the PHOTO FILE; request by folder title (in bold) at the beginning of each entry below.

SMITH, RODNEY "GIPSY". Two photographs of Rodney "Gipsy" Smith with three unidentified people, two portrait photographs of Smith alone, one postcard with a picture of Smith and his wife Annie, one of Smith's meeting of the First Congregational Church at the Uline Arena in Washington, D.C., one photo of Smith standing by his parentsgrave in Norton Village churchyard in Hertfordshire, England; n.d. 7 b&w.


Box Folder Folder title
Newspaper Clippings
1 16 March 1909
1 1 April 29, 1935
1 2 November 4, 1935
1 3 November 5, 1935
1 4 November 6, 1935
1 5 November 7, 1935
1 6 November 8, 1935
1 7 November 9, 1935
1 8 November 11, 1935
1 9 November 12, 1935
1 10 November 15, 1935
1 11 November 15-17, 1935
1 12 November 18, 1935
1 13 November 1935 (Fragile)
1 17 1947
1 14 n.d.
1 15 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings; 1929-1931

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Last Revised: 6/3/02
Expiration: indefinite