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Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History

Important Announcements:
All visiting researchers can now access the Special Collections Reading Room by booking an appointment 24 hours in advance. The Special Collections Reading Room is open to Smith students, faculty and staff who are in the campus COVID-19 screening program. Emeriti faculty, Five College students who are registered for a Smith course, Smith research affiliates, and invited guests are also welcomed. Masks continue to be required in all indoor shared spaces.

Buttons from the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History

About Us

The mission of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History is to collect, preserve, and make accessible records documenting the history of women and other gender minorities. It is a rich source for those interested in women’s movements for social change, particularly suffrage, reproductive rights and reproductive justice, and the women’s liberation movement. We collect these records so that any researcher has the opportunity to tell the full, complicated story of these social and political movements. For this to be possible, the records we steward must reflect the diversity of the people and movements that have changed everyone’s lives.

Archival materials can be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room, which is open to the public.

What We Collect 

This list represents topics documented in our collections of historical records. Most of our collections have been assigned to multiple categories. For more information on the kind of materials the Sophia Smith Collection collects and the topics it plans to steward in the future, please visit our collection development strategy.

The Sophia Smith Collection is committed to anti-oppressive subject analysis. This means that while we primarily use Library of Congress Subject Headings (“LCSH”) to describe and categorize our collections, we also acknowledge that many LCSH terms are offensive or outdated. In those cases, we use our best understanding of the preferred terms as defined by the communities the subjects describe.