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Archives Concentration

Collage of assorted archival images for the Archives Concentration Banner
The Archives Concentration is designed to make local, regional, national and international histories public through research projects and professional training. Through a combination of academic course work, practical experiences and independent research projects, students learn about the institutions and repositories that shape our knowledge and understanding of our collective pasts through the collection, preservation, interpretation and display of artifacts, manuscripts and representation of historic sites.

Requirements & Courses

The Archives Concentration is open to any student by application and includes the following requirements:

  • A partial-credit gateway course (ARX 140 or 141)
  • Four existing courses offered in departments or programs that involve significant archival research (courses are approved by the ARX advisory committee). (A student may count a maximum of three courses toward the concentration that she also elects to count toward the major.)
  • The capstone seminar, involving an independent research project, usually an exhibit, and a presentation at Celebrating Collaborations.
  • Two practical experiences or internships

Internships

Internships are an integral element of the Archives Concentration. Students complete two internships (paid or supported by Praxis) that enable each student to acquire practical, first-hand knowledge of the professional work of archivists, curators and archival researchers. Concentrators are eligible to receive a second summer of Praxis funding through Smith’s Praxis Plus program. Students can also support internships through the Rosenthal Fund.

To count toward the concentration, an internship will:

  • Consist of at least 100 hours of work (or 220 hours if receiving Praxis funding)
  • Let students gain skills in processing collections, writing finding aids or subject guides, or making exhibits or creating social media with archival materials in at least one of their internships
  • Be supervised by a professional at least once a week
  • Be approved by the concentration adviser
  • Come from a wide array of local, regional, national and international opportunities that are identified and/or approved by the concentration. Students are responsible for researching and securing appropriate internships.

    Other Practical Experiences

    Some other experiences such as working for faculty members in archival projects through CFCD grants or Quigley fellowships may also qualify as one of the two practical experiences.

    If you already completed one or more practical experiences (internships, paid or volunteer work) before entering the Archives Concentration, you are still eligible to receive credit for these experiences.

    You will need to document your experience as follows:

    1. Complete the Practical Experience Approval Form with your concentration adviser
    2. Submit the Superviser Evaluation
    3. Write a reflection paper (about two pages) that addresses the following questions:
    • What were your main duties and accomplishments during your internship, volunteer or work experience?
    • What aspects of your experience were most valuable?
    • What insights did you gain about yourself and your preferred working style?
    • What did the experience help you to think about your future career goals?

    Gateway Course

    The gateway course to the Archives Concentration introduces students to area sites of potential research and internships, and introduces students to the Smith and Five College network of archivists, faculty researchers and potential advisers for senior projects.

    ARX 141 What I Found at the Archives
    This lecture series serves as an introduction to the methods and discoveries of archival research. The course highlights faculty members and archivists describing their puzzles and insights in encountering archival materials. Requirements includes active participation in class, weekly readings, and short written assignments. This course serves as a gateway for students in the Archives Concentration. Graded S/U only. {H} Credits: 1 Normally offered each spring

    Capstone Seminar

    ARX 340 Taking the Archives Public
    The capstone seminar brings together a cohort of concentrators to explore contemporary issues at the intersection of archives and public history. The seminar readings focus each week on case studies about contemporary challenges in preservation, access and interpretation of archival materials. In a variety of media, students analyze how these materials become part of a meaningful and usable past for general audiences. In addition, each concentrator completes an independent project, usually an exhibit that draws upon concentrators’ own expertise developed through their coursework and their practical experiences. Enrollment limited to 15. {H} Credits: 4
    Kelly Anderson
    Normally offered each spring

    Electives in the Concentration

    The courses listed here may be counted as electives toward the Archives Concentration only when you have completed an archival paper or project for the course. Not all of these courses are offered each year. Consult the Smith College Course Search for current offerings and times.. Five College courses that meet these criteria may be counted toward the concentration. You should discuss all of your courses for the concentration with your ARX adviser.

    First-Year Courses

    • FYS 120 Writing Home 
    • FYS 149 An Even Playing Field: Women, Sport and Equity 
    • FYS 153 The Bollywood Matinee: Gender, Nation and Globalization through the Lens of Popular Indian Cinema
    • FYS 161 Immiagration and the New Multiethnic Societies
    • FYS 179 Rebellious Women
    • FYS 171 Women Writing Resistance
    • FYS 182 Fighting the Power
    • FYS 184 Educating Women
    • FYS 187 Writers and the Body: Health and Illness in African Diasporic Women's Literature 
    • FYS 192 America in 1925
    • FYS 197 On Display:Museums, Collections, and Exhibition
    • ARH 101: The Lives of Objects (limited to first- and second-year students)
    • ENG 118 Consumer Culture
    • ENG 118 Riding the Wave: The Women’s Movement 1968–79
    • ENG 119 What's for Dinner?
    • ENG 199 Methods of Literary Study

    Interterm

    All offered during interterm for 1 credit, S/U only
    Mini Archives Research Courses

    Graded S/U. Enrollment limited to 20. 1 credit

    • ARX 105 Class Matters: Organizing for Economic Justice 
    • ARX 106 Oral Histories and Archives
    • ARX 107 Making Teaching and Learning Tangible: Understanding Children Through Archives 

    Afro-American Studies

    • AFR 202 The Black Archive
    • AAS 243 Black Activists Autobiography
    • AAS 237 20th-Century Afro-American Literature

    American Studies

    • AMS 201 Introduction to the Study of American Society and Culture
    • AMS 203 Women, Sex and Gender in Early America
    • AMS 210 The Democratization of Clothing in the United States, 1780-1930
    • AMS 220 Curating American Memory
    • AMS 221 New England Material Culture
    • AMS 237 The Material and Visual Culture of Consumerism in America, 1750-1914
    • AMS 302 New England Material Culture: Historic Deerfield
    • AMS 341 America in 1925 (Richard Millington)

    Art History

    • ARH 101 Writing Art/Art Writing 
    • ARH 267 Gender, Sexuality and the Built Environment
    • ARH 291 Be My Valentine: Ephemera, Ephemerality and Affect
    • ARH 300 Studies in American Art: Collecting American Art at Smith: The Seelye and Tryon Era

    East Asian Studies

    • EAS 200 Methods and Approaches to East Asian Studies: Korean Diaspora: Korea Inside & Outside
    • EAS 350 Modern Girls and Marxist Boys: Consumerism, Colonialism, and Gender in Early 20th-century East Asia

    Education and Child Study

    • EDC 341 Child in Modern Society

    English

    • ENG 118 Consumer Culture
    • ENG 120 Colloquia in Literature: Reading and Writing Short Poems
    • ENG 199 Methods of Literary Study
    • ENG 135 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction: Writing about Sports
    • ENG 299 Green Victoria
    • ENG 299 Crafting Creative Nonfiction
    • ENG 312 Converts, Criminals and Fugitives: Print Culture of the African Diaspora, 1760–1860
    • ENG 341 Poetry of War

    Exercise & Sports Studies

    • ESS 100 Playing the Game intro to Exercise and Sport
    • ESS 550 Women in Sport

    French

    • FRN 360 The Year 1830
    • FRN 254 France Before the Revolution

    Government

    • GOV 205 Urban Politics 
    • GOV 311 Politics of Urban Social Movements

    History

    • HST 246 Memory and History
    • HST 249 Early Modern European History
    • HST 252 Women and Gender in Modern Europe, 1789-1918
    • HST 253 Women and Gender in Contemporary Europe
    • HST 266 Emancipation and the Afterlife of Slavery
    • HST/SWG 270 Oral History and Lesbian Subjects
    • HST 278 Decolonizing US Women's History
    • HST 280 Women Writing Resistance
    • HST 286 Recent Historiographic Debates in Gender and Sexuality
    • HST 289 Aspects of Women's History
    • HST 313 Problems in East Asian History
    • HST 355 Smith College Relief Unit
    • HST 371 African American Women in Slavery and Freedom
    • HST 383 Domestic Worker Organization
    • HST 390 Teaching History

    Jewish Studies

    • JUD 110j Elementary Yiddish: Language and Culture

    Landscape Studies

    • LSS105 Introduction to Landscape Studies
    • LSS 200 Socialized Landscapes
    • LSS 300 Rethinking Landscape

    Presidential Seminars

    • Cultural Literacy
    • PRS 317 Fearing Haiti

    Psychology

    • PSY 374 Psychology of Political Activism
    • PSY 375 Political Psychology of Gender

    Program for the Study of Women and Gender

    • SWG 105 Intro to LGBTQ Histories
    • SWG 150 Introduction to the Study of Women and Gender
    • SWG 200 The Queer 90s
    • SWG 222 Gender, Law and Policy
    • SWG 223 Sexual Harassment and Social Change
    • SWG/HST 270 Oral History and Lesbian Subjects
    • SWG 271 Reproductive Justice
    • SWG 305 Queer Histories and Cultures
    • SWG 314 Documenting Queer Lives
    • SWG 312 Queer Resistances: Identities, Communities and Social Movements
    • SWG 370 Women Against Empire

    Theatre

    • THE 154 "Reading" Dress: Archival Study of Clothing

    Selection of Recommended Five College Courses

    The following are Five College courses that are recommended for Archives Concentration credit. Consult current course catalogue to check availability.

    Amherst College

    American Studies

    • AMS 274 Native American Literature: Decolonizing Intellectual Traditions

    English

    • ENG 62 Writing and Reform
    • ENG 75 The Unprinted Page: Working with Manuscripts
    • ENG 274 Native American Literature: Decolonizing Intellectual Traditions

    History

    • HIST 84 Seminar in U.S. Cultural History: Class and Culture Wars at the Turn of the 20th Century

    Hampshire College

    Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies

    • HACU 235 "Odd" Women: Gender, Class and Victorian Culture

    Social Science

    • SS 121 Biography and History: Radicalism, Anti-Communism, and Internationalism in the 1950s
    • SS 235 Queer Publics

    Mount Holyoke College

    Gender Studies

    • GNDST 333f U.S. Gender History Research Seminar

    University of Massachusetts Amherst

    Art

    • ART 297 Monuments and Memorials

    History

    • HST 397 Introduction to Public History
    • HST 497 Mining the Museum: Adventures in the Theory and Practice of Museum Work
    • HST 397 Public History Workshop
    • HST 397 Special Topics: History of Reproductive Rights in the U.S.
    • HST 791 Seminar in U.S. Women's and Gender History

    Capstone Seminar

    In the capstone seminar for the Archives Concentration, ARX 340 Taking the Archives Public, students create online exhibits of archival materials from the Sophia Smith Collection and College Archives.

    2019 Digital Exhibits
    Sampling of Past Online Exhibits

      Examples of On-Campus and Local Opportunities

      • Paid internships at Smith repositories (SSC, SCA, MRBR), several each year, including CDO, SWG (SSC), Fraenkel (SSC). Most are term, some summer.
      • Internship Program at the Smithsonian Institution
      • Volunteer work in a regional historical society—Historic Northampton, Forbes Library local history collection, the Coolidge Library, Old Deerfield.
      • Volunteer work gathering and processing the archives of a Smith student club, organization, publication, for donation to the campus archives.
      • Quigley research assistantships in SWG that involve archival research
      • STRIDE work on the Smithipedia

      Digital Archives

      • Jewish women’s history archives
      • Women and social movements archives
      • George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media

      Editing Projects in Archival Collections

      • Margaret Sanger Papers Project (NYU)
      • Emma Goldman Papers (Berkeley)
      • Eleanor Roosevelt Papers (GW)
      • Stanton-Anthony Papers (Rutgers)

      Praxis Opportunities Throughout the United States

      • Hormel Collection on gay and lesbian history (San Francisco Public Library)
      • Lesbian Herstory Archives, Brooklyn
      • Swarthmore Peace Collection
      • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (New York)
      • Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston
      • American Antiquarian Society, Worcester
      • Rockefeller Archives Center, Sleepy Hollow New York
      • Iowa Women's Archives at the University of Iowa
      • Hunter College Center for Puerto Rican Studies, NYC
      • Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York Public Library)
      • Newberry Library, Chicago
      • Huntington Library, California
      • National Library of Medicine's History Division, Bethesda Maryland
      • The Chemical Heritage Foundation Archives in Philadelphia

        International Internships

        • NGOs based in Geneva
        • Sexuality archives located in Amsterdam
        • Women’s Library of the London Metropolitan University
        • Mass Observation Archives at the University of Sussex
        • International Information Centre, Amesterdam
        • Archives for the Women’s Movement, Amsterdam
        Rebecca Samay Rosenthal '07

        The Rebecca Samay Rosenthal ’07 Fund supports student internships and capstone research in the archives and book studies concentrations.

        During her undergraduate years, Rebecca, known as Becca, was a student assistant in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, where she processed the correspondence in the Sylvia Plath Collection under the direction of Karen Kukil, associate curator of special collections. After graduation, Becca tried her hand at music promotion and banking before returning to her first passion—archival work. She was in the process of earning her graduate degree from Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science before her untimely death in October 2012, at the age of 27. Friends and family established this memorial fund in 2014 in the hopes that each recipient will honor Becca's multitalented gifts and extraordinary appreciation of special collections, becoming devoted archivists and librarians in her stead.

        How to Apply

        To apply for the Rosenthal Fund, please download and fill out the application below.

        For more information, please contact Beth Myers, director of special collections.

        Recent Recipients of the Rosenthal Fund

        • Tanya Pearson ’16: Women in Rock Oral History Project, awarded funds for capstone research
        • Sarah Orsak ’16, Archiving Gretchen Phillips, awarded funds for an internship
        • Jenny Park ’18, Women’s Suffrage Movement Tactics, awarded funds for capstone research

        Advisory Committee

        Members of the Archives Advisory Committee serve as advisers to students in approving course selection and internships and may be consultants to independent research projects in the capstone seminar for the concentration.

        Kelly Anderson
        Lecturer in the Study of Women & Gende and Lecturer in Archives, Director of the Archives Concentration
        413-585-2975

        Carrie Baker
        Professor of the Study of Women & Gender
        413-585-3606

        Darcy Buerkle
        Associate Professor of History
        413-585-3724

        Maureen Callahan
        Sophia Smith Collection Archivist
        413-585-2981

        Jennifer Guglielmo
        Associate Professor of History
        413-585-3712

        Karen Kukil
        Associate Curator of the Morimer Rare Book Room
        413-585-2908

        Richard Millington
        Professor of English and American Studies
        413-585-3319 

        Andrea Moore
        Assistant Professor of Music
        413-585-3162

        Christen Mucher 
        Assistant Professor of American Studies
        413-585-3737 

        Elizabeth Myers
        Director of Special Collections
        413-585-2978

        Samuel Ng
        Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
        413-585-6787

        Kathleen Nutter 
        Accessioning Archivist Sophia Smith Collection
        413-585-2985

        Cornelia Pearsall
        Professor of English Language & Literature
        413-585-3346 

        Elizabeth Pryor
        Associate Professor History
        413-585-3701

        Andrea Stone
        Assistant Professor of English Language & Literature
        413-585-3455

        Nanci Young
        College Archivist, Smith College Archives 
        413-585-2976

         


        Forms

        Advising Checklist

        A concentration gives students a way to organize a combination of intellectual and practical experiences around an area of interest. By declaring a concentration, students receive focused advising to help them design a program in their area of interest.

        Practical Experiences

        The following required documentation must be submitted for each practical experience. These forms must be completed and signed prior completing your practical experience.

        Internship Supervisor Form

        To arrange an internship, supervisors are asked to supply the following information by March 31.
        SUPERVISOR FORM


        How to Apply

        Sophomores and juniors are encouraged to apply online. First-year students may apply in the spring (April 1) after completing at least one course in the concentration.

        APPLY NOW

         

        Contact

        Archives Concentration

        18 Henshaw B3 203
        Smith College
        Northampton, MA 01060

        Phone: 413-585-2975
        Email: kpanders@smith.edu

        Director: Kelly Anderson

        Administrative Assistant: Lorraine Hedger