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These photograph albums have been donated over a period of time to the Archives, primarily by family members of the individual Smith College undergraduate. The photograph albums are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives, without any additional restrictions. Single photocopies and/or photographic prints may be made for research purposes. In many cases the Smith College Archives owns the rights to these images. Permission to publish images from the photograph albums must be requested from the College Archives.
The College Archives houses over 278 photograph albums of Smith students and Class albums from 1879 to 1968. The photograph albums listed here span the history of the College as well as the history of photography, and provides an opportunity to explore college life, as documented by the students themselves. You will find representations of early photographic processes such as albumen prints, tintypes, and cyanotypes right through the modern process of the Polaroid in this collection. We anticipate digital images to be part of the future of the collection. A researcher will find formal portraits taken by commercial photographers, but the majority of the collection consists of amateur snapshots of student life.
The College Archives has a large collection of scrapbooks, many that contain photographs. These scrapbooks are currently housed with the Class Records Collection. Please use the Shelf List to identify particular boxes. In addition, many members of particular houses created photograph and/or scrapbooks. These may be found in the Buildings and Grounds Collection.
Many of the photograph albums are oversize and do not have a box number. When requesting this material, please use the “Class of” and “Student Name” information.
Please be careful when handling the photograph albums, as many are in fragile and poor condition. You will also be asked to wear cotton gloves when looking at the photograph albums. These gloves prevent the transfer of oils from your fingers that might damage the prints.