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Archives Concentration

News & Events

Archives in the News


Fall Events 2016


Presentation of the Archives Concentration

Wednesday, October 19th
Seelye 110, 4:15 pm




ARX 141 What I found in the Archives Public Lecture

September 22, 2016
7:30 pm Seelye 101





Look at what we found in the Archives!

See the slideshow of our most recent Archives Fair, October 2, 2014


Look what we found in the Archives!

See the link for a wonderful slideshow of the Archives Fair in the Spring of '09


See two of our '13 Concentrator's Digital narratives.

Bethy Williams presented:

A Herstory of Women's Studies at Smith College


And Kayle Ginsburg Presented:

On Our Backs With A Bad Attitude


Monday, April 8, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Alumnae Gym

"Between Mothers and Daughters: A Conversation About Writing a Woman's Life"

President Carol Christ and Professor Susan Van Dyne will facilitate the discussion with former Congresswoman Jane Lakes Harman '66 and her two daughters, Hilary Peck and Justine Harman, assistant editor at Elle and former fashion editor at PeopleStyleWatch.com.


An Archives Concentration Co-Sponsored Event:


A Celebration in honor of Sherrill Redmon,
Director of the Sophia Smith Collection, 1993-2012



February 3, 2013
Weinstein Auditorium,
Wright Hall


3-5 p.m.
In the Archives of Fun Home: A Conversation with Alison Bechdel:
Alison Bechdel and Archives Concentration Director Susan Van Dyne

5-7 dinner break

7-9 p.m.

Activists and Archives: Allies for Social Justice

Keynote address by Gloria Steinem

Katsi Cook, and Loretta Ross in conversation with Anna Holley and Marianne Bullock.

Moderated by Jennifer Guglielmo



4 New Archives Courses during Interterm

Mini Archives Courses

ARX 100 Each of these courses meets for a week and earns 1 credit.

Graded S/U. Enrollment limited to 25. 1 credit (S/U only)
Offered Interterm

ARX 102j: From Subjects of Reform to Agents for Social Change: Working Women in the Industrial Program of the YWCA
Through hands-on research with primary sources from records of the YWCA, we will consider how working women in the first three decades from of the 20th century used the Industrial department to transform the national organization and their own lives and working conditions. How the YWCA's strategies—education of single working girls at risk in low-wage factory jobs, cross-class organizations, and summer camps— provided the tools for working women to become leaders, labor-organizers, and educators of the middle-class professional staff of the YW to embrace labor activism as central to their mission. Enrollment limited to 25.
Susan Van Dyne
January 14-18, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Meets in the Alumnae Gymnasium
and an additional two hours a day of independent research in the Sophia Smith Collection.

ARX 103j: Editing Sylvia Plath's Correspondence
This course will teach students how to edit correspondence. Focusing on the Sylvia Plath Collection in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, students will read and edit Plath's unpublished letters to her Smith College friends. Technical aspects related to the editing of a text will be discussed, including transcription and emendation. Plath's poetry and prose manuscripts, journals, annotated library and other biographical material will also be considered during the course, as well as her papers in the Smith College Archives. Each student will be required to transcribe and edit one letter from the Sylvia Plath Collection. Whenever possible, footnotes will be based upon primary sources. Graded S/U only. Enrollment limited to 15. 1 credit
Karen Kukil
January 7-11, 1:00-5:00p.m.
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Neilson Library

ARX 104j: Becoming a College Woman:Re-seeing Gender at Smith, 1879-1901
By researching diaries, memorabilia books, and students’ letters home during 2 decades of Smith’s early history, we’ll consider how students constructed themselves as “college women,” a new social category at the end of the Victorian era. How did their experiences—in the classroom and in their social life --test the boundaries of conventional femininity? How did sports, drama, female friendships, clubs and chemistry, for instance, transform gender conventions? How did the homosocial world of the women’s college intersect, complement, and contradict at times the heterosocial world of life beyond the college? How do the ephemeral artifacts (bulging scrapbooks, scribbled letters) of ordinary women help us write a social history of the evolution of the “new woman”? Graded S/U only {H/S} 1 credit. Enrollment limited to 25.
Susan Van Dyne
January 7-11, 10:00 a.m-12:00 .m. and two hours of independent research in the College Archives
Meets in Alumnae Gymnasium

ARX 105j Class Matters: Organizing for Social Justice
This course will introduce students to several SSC collections of individual papers and organization records that shed light on the fight for economic justice, especially for American women, both white and of color.  In addition to some short secondary source readings, students will then choose pre-selected documents from 14 designated collections and in conversation with each other, both in class and in five written responses on Moodle, discuss the ways in which a particular individual or organization has addressed issues of economic injustice, what worked, what did not, what needs to happen next.  Enrollment limited to 20. Kathleen Nutter
January 14-18, 1-4pm


Archives Fair this Thursday, Sept. 27 11:30-1:30
Chapin Lawn

Learn hoop-rolling and get a taste of why archives are exciting by dropping by and talking with archivists and students

Haven't been back to the Archives since orientation?

Here's your chance to see some of the amazing treasures in broad daylight: a Smith time capsule, a Hollywood Oscar, political buttons from the 1970s.

Practice hoop rolling on the lawn, a forgotten Smith tradition.

Hear about the Archives Concentration from students who have chosen it.

Stop by on your way to or from lunch!


Susan Van Dyne





Archival Tour of Smith
by Iris Howorth

See Iris Howorth's final Capstone project by clicking here

Opening Reception of
The Archives Capstone Exhibits
May 7, 2012



Archives concentrator, Maggie Kraus '12, sings for her friends in the archives on April 24. Enjoy this song, "Long Before We Left," from her personal archives...she wrote as a sophomore in highschool.Her second album with Hannah Hickock '11 is out later this spring and it is called "Muscle and Bone"








Archives concentrators Kayla Ginsburg '13 and Bethy Williams '13 prove in this photo shoot that they really are twins separated at birth. Kalya spent the fall studying in Senegal and Bethy is now in Cordoba.

Scholars in Studio:
Becoming a College Woman

Susan Van Dyne, Professor of the Study of Women and Gender
Director of the Archives Concentration

Studying archival photographs from the early days of Smith College, Susan Van Dyne traces the changing styles, attitudes and modes of dress of Smith students, who defied Victorian-era convention to express themselves through academics, athletics and dramatics. These self-consciously crafted and carefully curated images allow us to witness the emergence of modern womanhood.




January 17, 2012

Archives Concentrator Amanda Ferrara ’13 and alumna Judith Lager Glazer-Raymo ’53 collaborated on a poetry reading of works by Sylvia Plath ’55 at the Grolier Club in New York City.



November 8th

Queer History of Smith College
An Archival Exhibit Curated by Mandy Lineweber and Olivia Mandica-Hart

Gallery Talk with Olivia Mandica-Hart
at 4:30 p.m.
Alumnae Gym


Public History 2036, The Next 25 Years

A two day Conference on Public History at UMASS September 23 & 24.

Included in the speakers is Graciela Sanchez, a contributer to the Sophia Smith Collection.

See Link for more details

Public History 2036


Opening Reception for Archives Capstone April 29, 2011

Opening Reception for Archives Capstone and STRIDE student exhibits

Are Archivists Today's Real Peacemakers?
The New Yorker, February 3, 2010
"Politicians, beauty queens, and rock stars all claim they want world peace. But could the unassuming archivist, more likely to be found buried in a stack of yellowing newspapers than at a global summit, be the true peacemaker of our time?..."
Read more >

Special Collections as Laboratories
Financial Times, October 16, 2009
Other colleges are discovering the power of special collections, something Smith has known and used for decades.

Historians look to the future
Financial Times, August 10, 2009
Helping designers to develop skincare products was not what Sophie Clapp had in mind when she trained as an archivist. But after working with Churchill's wartime papers—via a spell in Unilever's archive—that is what she ended up doing, at Boots. The result was Boots Original Beauty Formula, an apothecary-style range marking the company's 160th anniversary.