The Smith College Archives document the life of the College by collecting materials created by students, faculty, administrative and departmental staff during the course of their time here. The records in the College Archives can provide researchers with answers to specific questions or help them to understand broad social and cultural issues.
Special Collections Finding Aids - The best place for you to start is with our finding aids (collection guides), as that is the same resource staff have access to for collection information.
- Search for names, events, or organizations.
- Click the arrows to see the folders under each topic.
- Read the Scope and Content notes as well as the Biographical/Historical note on the main page to get a sense of the materials and subjects covered in the collection.
|Special Collections Finding Aids
|To review digitized material available for each collection, click on the "View Digital Material" tab for each finding aid.
|College Archives Digital Collections
|Image galleries, online exhibitions, oral histories, and documentation of significant events in the history of Smith College.
|Digitized College Publications
Smith College Monthly 1893-1930,
Smith Alumnae Quarterly 1909-1934,
Classbooks/Yearbooks 1897-1933, and the
Smith College Catalogue 1872+
|Five College Archives Digital Access Project
|Provides digital images of early and important material relating to the history of Smith College.
|Archive-It Web Archiving
|Archived web content for Smith College including the Libraries and Special Collections.
|Smith College Archives Research Resources
|A comprehensive guide to finding resources in College Archives. See especially Quick Start Guides and Search Strategies.
|A guide to finding primary sources both online and housed in archival collections at Smith and the Five Colleges.
|Smith History Links
|Smith College History and Traditions from the Office of College Relations.
Types of Records
Administrative records provide information about how the College operates. Records from major offices include the Office of the President, Dean of Faculty/Provost, Dean of Student Affairs, Office of the Registrar and others; also, academic department records; and official publications produced by the College. View image gallery.
Biographical records provide information about alumnae, faculty and staff. These files often contain photographs as well as newspaper clippings and other biographical materials. View image gallery.
Academic life is documented through course notes, examinations, papers, and selected theses that provide information about the changing nature of teaching and the curriculum at Smith. Official catalogs and reports of the President document the content of the curriculum offered by Smith. Faculty papers provide information about their research interests and course development. Records of departmental clubs document extracurricular academic activities of students. View image gallery.
Letters, journals, diaries, scrapbooks and photograph albums provide a personal glimpse into the world of Smith undergraduates beginning with the first class of 1879 continuing to the present. Programs, tickets, photographs, and records of athletic, musical, dramatic, and arts events, as well as records of political and social groups on campus, are resources for learning about many of the extracurricular activities of Smith students. Student Government Association records document student governance on campus. Student publications highlight the literary creativity as well as the journalistic passion for documenting life at Smith. View image gallery.
Buildings and grounds files contain photographs, architectural and landscape drawings, manuscripts, and other records to assist researchers interested in documenting the growth of the campus, the construction and demolition of buildings, and the activities that took place in these buildings. Files are maintained for all buildings on campus, as well as for tracts of land owned by the College. View image gallery.
The College Archives oversees the disposition of the official records of Smith College. It acts as a central entity for the storage of records that have long-term value as well as those records deemed of permanent and therefore archival value to the College.
For more information, please see Records Management Policy (Smith College, Revised January 2023) (PDF)
If you have questions about the policy or wish to discuss your participation in the records management program, email email@example.com
For information about collection development for the College Archives, please see the Collection Development Strategy.