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Social Work Archives

The Social Work Archives is a collaborative venture of the Sophia Smith Collection, the Smith College Archives, and the Smith College School for Social Work. It’s purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to archival, oral history, and related print materials documenting the history of clinical social work with emphasis on developments of national significance and on the growth of social work studies at Smith College.

Selected Holdings

Carel Bailey Germain Papers (15 linear feet, 1922-1998)
Germain practiced in San Francisco until the birth of twin daughters, and later earned her MSW and DSW from Columbia University and taught at the University of Maryland, Columbia University, and the University of Connecticut. She brought an ecological perspective to social work theory and practice. Her most influential book, The Life Model of Social Work Practice (1980), co-authored with Alex Gitterman, urged clinicians to address not only a client's individual psychological adjustment, but also to give more consideration to the ways that environmental structures and systemic factors may contribute to a client's difficulties. Smith College awarded Carel Germain an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 1993. View finding aid

Mary Cromwell Jarrett Papers (3 linear feet, 1900-1961)
Jarrett was a pioneer in the field of clinical social work, having begun her career in Boston working with delinquent children and unwed mothers. She joined E.E. Southard at Boston Psychopathic Hospital as one of the first psychiatric social workers. In 1918, Smith college President William Allan Neilson invited her to lead the first session of the Smith College Training School for Psychiatric Social Work, which became the Smith College School for Social Work and which Jarrett directed until 1923. Later in her career, she was a national leader in the public health field, especially in developing services in chronic care facilities. View finding aid

Bertha Capen Reynolds Papers (7 linear feet, 1907-1979)
Reynolds was a pioneer educator and practitioner in the field of social work and an innovative writer on broader social subjects. Among her most enduring written works are her autobiography, An Unchartered Journey (1963, 1991). She attended the Boston School for Social Workers (later the Simmons College School of Social Work) and in 1918 completed the first session of the Smith College Training School for Psychiatric Social Work, directed by Mary Cromwell Jarrett. Reynolds served as Associate Director of the Smith College School for Social Work from 1925 to 1937, where she developed and taught "Plan D," an advanced course for the training of supervisors and teachers of social work. An ideological Marxist, her beliefs helped shape her teaching and practice of social work. View finding aid

Florence Hollis and Rosemary Reynold Papers (25 linear feet, 1863-1987)
Hollis, who earned her MSW at the Smith College School for Social Work and her PhD from Bryn Mawr, taught for more than twenty years at the Columbia University School of Social Work, while maintaining a small clinical practice and teaching at the Smith College School for Social Work in the summers. In addition to being the editor of Social Casework, one of her most important contributions was the conception and initial development of a classification system or "typology" for describing casework techniques. Hollis's partner of more than forty years was also a social worker. Reynolds held teaching and administrative positions in various social service agencies prior to taking a permanent post at the Community Service Society of New York, which she held from 1942 until her retirement in 1971. View finding aid

Mary van Kleeck Papers (56 linear feet, 1883-1984)
Social researcher, social reformer, writer, and lecturer Mary van Kleeck was born in Glenham, NY in 1883 and graduated from Smith College in 1904. She was a leading expert on women's employment, serving as director of the Russell Sage Foundation's Department of Industrial Studies for thirty-eight years. Van Kleeck was also active in the field of social work, lecturing frequently at the Smith College School for Social Work. She served on many governmental commissions and on the boards of numerous private humanitarian institutions, as well. Her papers highlight the transition from social reform in the Progressive era to government reform in the New Deal. View finding aid

Other Holdings

Processed and open for research:

Yonata Feldman (3.5 linear feet, 1937-1980), juvenile case worker, SCSSW faculty
View finding aid

Martha Lavell (.25 linear feet, 1926-1981), psychiatric social worker
View finding aid

Elmina R. Lucke (4.5 linear feet, 1897-1987), YWCA, social work educator
View finding aid

Ruth Mellor (1 linear foot, 1927-1970), juvenile psychiatric social worker and educator
View finding aid

Lydia Rapoport (1 linear foot, 1963-1968), social work educator
View finding aid

Gladys Swackhamer (2 linear feet, 1844-1988), research and writing
View finding aid

Ruth Dietrich Tuttle (.75 linear feet, 1907-1927), missionary and hospital social worker
View finding aid

Helen Leland Witmer (1 linear foot, 1928-1958), Director of Research, SCSSW, 1929-49; Director of Research, U.S. Children's Bureau, 1951-67
View finding aid

Unprocessed (may be closed or partially restricted):

Louise S. Bandler (20 linear ft., 1929-1991) - Closed

Dorothy Brier (.25 linear ft., 1965-1991)

Katherine Gabel (16.25 linear ft., 1950-1985) - Closed

Precious Jewel Graham (.25 linear ft., 2005- )

Ann Hartman (14 linear ft., 1928-1994) - Closed

Pessa Kandinoff (.25 linear ft., 1970-1998) View finding aid

Joan Laird (2 linear ft., 1970-1998) View finding aid

Jean Leach (.25 linear ft., 1963-1983) View finding aid

Therese W. Lansburgh (2.25 linear feet, 1964-1977) View finding aid

Monica McGoldrick (3.75 linear ft., 1980s-1990s)

Beatrice S. Reiner (1 linear ft., 1947-1984)

Francesca Rheannon (.75 linear ft., 2001-2006)

Elizabeth Healy Ross (12.5 linear ft., 1930s-2000) - Closed

Jean Sanville (10 linear ft., 1951-1996) - Closed

Nancy Staver (1 linear ft., 1941-1989)

Charlotte Whitton (.5 linear ft., 1942-1961) View finding aid

The Social Work Archives Oral History Collection consists of interviews with influential practitioners and teachers in the field of clinical social work. For a complete list of narrators, View finding Aid

Related Holdings

Jane Addams Papers View finding aid

Eleanor Coit Papers View finding aid

Florence Kitchelt Papers View finding aid

Vida Dutton Scudder Papers View finding aid

Ellen Gates Starr Papers View finding aid

Associated Charities of Brattleboro Records View finding aid

Kentucky Consumers' League Records View finding aid

Settlement Subject Collection View finding aid

(includes records of the College Settlement Association)

Thomas Thompson Trust Records View finding aid

YWCA of the U.S.A. Records View finding aid

For secondary sources, see the Browsing and Reference collections in the Special Collections Reading Room.

The Smith College Archives holds the records of the Smith College School for Social Work (SSW), founded in 1918 when College president William Allan Neilson invited Dr. E. E. Southard, then Director of Boston Psychopathic Hospital, and Mary Jarrett, then Chief of Social Services at the Hospital, to lead the first session of the Smith College Training School of Psychiatric Social Work.


Because of the sensitive nature of some of the papers and records within the Social Work Archives, portions of some collections may be closed.