Browse Exhibits (9 total)

"A Perennial Blessing" : Celebrating Sophia Smith

An exhibition commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of Sophia Smith, August 27, 1796.

History of the Exhibition

The exhibition provides detailed information on the founding and early history of Smith College. College Archivist, Margery Sly along with Jacque Bradley '97 prepared the physical exhibition from January to August 1996 for display in the Smith College Archives. It was adapted for the World-Wide Web by Peter Nelson to allow much fuller access to the Archives' Sophia Smith-related holdings than was possible in the physical exhibition.

It is an early demonstrated product of the Five College Archives Digital Access Project, funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project's main goal is to develop and make widely accessible in electronic format a variety of archival collections that support historical research, teaching and knowledge.

Use Statement

Unless otherwise noted, all the materials displayed in this exhibit are from the Smith College Archives and are intended solely for study and personal enjoyment. Publication in any form or medium without written consent from the Smith College archives is prohibited.

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Marion Dodd and The Hampshire Bookshop


...the Hampshire Bookshop has always been more even than a great bookshop. Here books are not only sold but published as well. Here hospitality and entertainment go hand and hand with learning ... Here have come sailors, explorers, publishers, scholars; and through these doors have passed the living presences of the great writers of our time--appearing in the flesh for a few hours, and remaining forever thereafter in the spirit to become part of the very atmosphere of the place. Here is an institution which has had a profound effect on the cultural life of an entire region.

Richard Warren Hatch in the Smith Alumnae Quarterly, May 1941


This was high praise on the 25th anniversary of The Hampshire Bookshop, founded in Northampton, Massachusetts on April 7, 1916, by two Smith College alumnae: Marion E. Dodd and Mary Byers Smith. Dodd said that a casual remark by her fellow alum who wanted a College bookstore led to The Hampshire Bookshop. It was one of the first bookselling firms in the U.S. to be founded, owned, and managed by women. From its start, it had strong ties to Smith College. Its managers and many of its employees and Board members were alumnae, as were the vast majority of its stockholders, but is was not a college-run business. It served as a bookstore both for the College and for the wider community, offering trade and University Press books, textbooks, children's stories and toys, gifts, stationery, author readings and book-signings, and a welcoming and intelligent atmosphere. The Bookshop was a vital part of Northampton and New England for fifty-five years. This exhibition marking the centennial of its founding offers a glimpse into this extraordinary enterprise.


Women Reading in America


This exhibition supplements A Place of Reading, a loan exhibition from the American Antiquarian Society on view in Neilson Library in the Spring of 2013. The exhibition was curated by students as part of the Smith Book Studies Concentration Capstone Seminar in the Fall of 2012 with Martin Antonetti, Lecturer in Art and Curator of Rare Books.

Cover of Her College Days by Mrs. Clarke Johnson, 1896

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Girl Zines in the Sophia Smith Collection

This exhibit highlights a few of the hundreds of Zines (9 linear feet) housed in the Sophia Smith Collection.  Zines are self-published small magazines.  The Girl Zines  in our collection were created primarily by young women and girls, created circa 1980s to the present.  The numerous topics include politics, "third wave" feminism, fat liberation, sexuality, relationships, art, music, and much more.

The collection is comprised primarily of individual issues, mostly dating from the 1990s, some of which were used in the book, A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World, edited by Karen Green & Tristan Taormino (NY: St. Martin's, 1997).

This exhibit provides just a taste of the riches to be found in the physical collection.  For the complete list of our zine titles, view the finding aid for the Girl Zines Collection.

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Revealing the Obscure in American Journalism: Pauline Frederick and the German Problem


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Pauline Frederick (1908-1990)

The Sophia Smith Collection holds the papers of a number of noted WWII correspondents, including Helen Paull Kirkpatrick, Dudley Harmon, and Pauline Frederick.  Frederick's Papers, rich in their holdings, offer a unique and intriguing look into the cultural climate of post-war Germany. 

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History of the Black Students Alliance at Smith College


The legacy of the Black Student Alliance at Smith College begins in the late 1890s, when Smith's first African-American students, Otelia Cromwell, Class of 1900, and Ethel and Helen Chestnutt, Class of 1901, attended. Seventy years later the Black Students Alliance (BSA) was officially chartered to "establish for its members a sense of unity and identity within the smaller community of Smith College while at the same time emphasizing their common interest in, and relationship to, the larger black community of the nation." Learn more about the BSA's history through this exhibition.


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"A Warm Place in My Heart": Mary Josephine Rogers and Smith College


Mary Josephine Rogers (1882-1955) graduated from Smith College in 1905. "Strangely enough," she later wrote, "God used Smith College as the instrument through which my vocation to foreign mission work materialized and naturally it has a warm place in my heart." Rogers went on to found the Maryknoll Sisters, a group of Catholic Sisters dedicated to missionary work overseas. She received an honorary degree from the College in 1950. This exhibition documents her life as a Smith College student and the development of her interest in Catholic missions.


Smith College Class of 1905, sophomore year group photograph, 1902

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Growing Branches: A History of Smith College's Specialty Libraries

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Joining Neilson Library in its centennial celebration, the branch libraries are hosting their own historical exhibitions. Each of Smith College’s branch libraries has its own unique history and place within the scholarly community. The exhibitions give some background of the events and people behind their founding, and the physical spaces they have occupied over the years.


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The Heart of Our Place of Learning: William Allan Neilson Library, 1909 - 2009

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“A library is the heart of a place of learning.”  
~ Margaret Storrs Grierson, Smith class of 1922, Executive Secretary of the Friends of the Smith College Library, College Archivist, and first Director of the Sophia Smith Collection

Neilson Library opened for research and discovery on November 22, 1909. To celebrate the Library’s centennial and document the history of Smith's first library building, the College Archives presents this exhibition.

This web exhibition is based on a physical exhibition that was on view in the Book Arts Gallery at Neilson Library from 9 November 2009 through 30 March 2010. 

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