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Office of the President Herbert John Davis Files, 1939-1951
10 boxes (4 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 32

Abstract:
Fourth president of Smith College, Professor of English, and world renowned expert on Jonathan Swift. Contains correspondence, newspaper articles, and memorabilia related to his official duties as President of Smith College.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The files are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Herbert John Davis was born on May 24, 1893 in Northamptonshire, England, where he received his elementary and secondary education. He later attended Oxford University (St. John's College) from which he graduated in 1914. He then served in France and Belgium during WWI and in 1919 he returned to Oxford to earn his A.M. In 1922, Davis married Gertrude Lucas of Opladen, Rheinland, Germany but she died tragically just six years later. In 1930, Davis married Gladys Wookey of Toronto and the couple had two daughters, Charlotte Elisabeth Ann and Jane.

In 1920, Davis acquired a position at the University of Leeds where he taught for two years. He then moved to the University of Toronto where he remained for sixteen years. He was hired as an Associate Professor of English, and was later promoted to a full Professor. He also served as chair the English Department at Toronto. In 1938 Davis accepted a position as Chair of the English department at Cornell University.

In 1939, Davis succeeded William Allan Neilson as president of Smith College and he assumed this role for the 1940-1941 school year. Davis served as the fourth president of Smith College until 1949 when he returned to Oxford as a reader in textual criticism. Davis retired from Oxford in 1960.

During his academic career Davis made several notable contributions to academia. Following his passion for poetry and prose, Davis became a world renowned expert on Jonathan Swift and wrote several books on his work including Swift's View of Poetry (1931) and Stella, a Gentlewoman of the Eighteenth Century (1942). The latter is an account of the friendship that existed between Swift and Esther Johnson. Davis also edited the fourteen volume work, The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift (1939-68). Davis' distinguished literary contributions were well recognized and he received several honorary degrees including a Doctorate of Laws from Amherst College in 1940.

In addition to his enthusiasm for the English language, Davis was also extremely socially conscious and particularly concerned with WWII raging overseas. Perhaps his most memorable act of charity was providing a home to five British refugee children for several years during the war. Many of his colleagues and friends followed his lead and opened their doors to children in need. Davis died on March 28, 1967.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Office of the President Herbert John Davis Files document his official duties as President of Smith College. The collection includes correspondence, newspaper articles, and memorabilia. Materials document the running of the College and the relationship of the Office of the President with the various academic departments and committees. Of interest is correspondence about the 75th anniversary celebration of the college; committee work including Trustee, faculty and administrative committees; the Junior Year Abroad program at Smith; and correspondence with U.S. government officials concerning the WAVES program on campus.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The files are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Office of the President Herbert John Davis Files, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

These papers were transferred to the College Archives from the Office of the President after President Davis left the College in 1949.

Processing Information

Processed by Tamara Weiner.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: nyoung@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/archives
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
A, General Correspondence
1940-45, 1947-48, 1950, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1
Abramowicz, Dina
1946

Box 1: folder 2
Academic Departments-Art
1940-48, n.d.

Box 1: folder 3
Academic Departments-Astronomy
1941-47

Box 1: folder 4
Academic Departments-Botany
1941-44

Box 1: folder 5
Academic Departments-Chemistry
1941-48

Box 1: folder 6
Academic Departments-Classics
1942-44, n.d.

Box 1: folder 7
Academic Departments-Economics
1940-44

Box 1: folder 8
Academic Departments-Education
1941-47, n.d.

Box 1: folder 9
Academic Departments-English
1941-47

Box 1: folder 10
Academic Departments-French
1940-47

Box 1: folder 11
Academic Departments-Geology
1941-48

Box 1: folder 12
Academic Departments-German
1941-47, n.d.

Box 1: folder 13
Academic Departments-Government
1941-47

Box 1: folder 14
Academic Departments-History
1941-47

Box 1: folder 15
Academic Departments-Hygiene and Bacteriology
1940-47

Box 1: folder 16
Academic Departments-Italian
1942-44

Box 1: folder 17
Academic Departments-Mathematics
1941-47

Box 1: folder 18
Academic Departments-Music
1940-47

Box 1: folder 19
Academic Departments-Philosophy
1941-44

Box 1: folder 20
Academic Departments-Physical Education
1941-46, n.d.

Box 1: folder 21
Academic Departments-Physics
1940-47

Box 1: folder 22
Academic Departments-Psychology
1941-47

Box 1: folder 23
Academic Departments-Religion
1941-44

Box 1: folder 24
Academic Departments-Slavic Languages
1944

Box 1: folder 25
Academic Departments-Sociology
1941-47

Box 1: folder 26
Academic Departments-Spanish
1941-47

Box 1: folder 27
Academic Departments-Speech
1941-44

Box 1: folder 28
Academic Departments-Theater and Dance
1941-49, n.d.

Box 1: folder 29
Academic Departments-Zoology
1941-49, n.d.

Box 1: folder 30
Administration-Nyman Report
1942

Box 1: folder 31
Adopt-A-Town Committee
1941

Box 1: folder 32
Alumnae Association
1940-48

Box 1: folder 33
Alumnae Clubs
1940-47

Box 1: folder 34
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Conference on the Role of Women in Contemporary Society
1946-47

Box 1: folder 35
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-General
1945-49, n.d.

Box 1: folder 36
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-Campaign Director (Byron Shimp)
1946-49

Box 2: folder 1
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-Grant Foundation
1946-47

Box 2: folder 2
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-Nat'l Broadcasting Company
1948-49

Box 2: folder 3
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-Planning Committee
1945

Box 2: folder 4
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-Publicity Committee
1946

Box 2: folder 5
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-Publicity Director (Charles Miller)
Feb-Oct 1946

Box 2: folder 6
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-Public Relations Program (Theodore Swanson)
1 Nov 1946-47

Box 2: folder 7
Anniversary 1950 (75th) Fund-Trustee Committee
1946-49, n.d.

Box 2: folder 8
Architecture-Competition Dormitory (proposed)
1945-47

Box 2: folder 9
Archives/Sophia Smith Collection
1940-48, n.d.

Box 2: folder 10
Assembly
1942-50, n.d.

Box 2: folder 11
Association of American Colleges
1941-43

Box 2: folder 12
B, General Correspondence
1943-44, 1946-49, 1951

Box 2: folder 13
Beard, Mary Ritter
1941

Box 2: folder 14
Botanic Garden
1943, 1947

Box 2: folder 15
British War Relief Society
1940-41

Box 2: folder 16
Bryn Mawr
1941-48

Box 2: folder 17
Buildings and Grounds
1940-49, n.d.

Box 2: folder 18
Buildings and Grounds-Chapel (proposed)
1942-49, n.d.

Box 2: folder 19
Buildings and Grounds-Deanery (proposed)
1941-42, n.d.

Box 2: folder 20
Buildings and Grounds-Infirmary-Additions
1942-50

Box 3: folder 1
Buildings and Grounds-John M. Greene Hall Alterations
30 Oct 1943-30 Jun 1949

Box 3: folder 2
Buildings and Grounds-Report on Adequacy of Dormitories and Classrooms
1949

Box 3: folder 3
C, General Correspondence
1940-1944, 1947-49

Box 3: folder 4
Cambridge School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
1939-43

Box 3: folder 5
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
1941-44

Box 3: folder 6
College Cevenol
1946-48

Box 3: folder 7
College Entrance Examination Board
1941-44

Box 3: folder 8
Commencement
1941-49

Box 3: folder 9
Committees-General
1942-46

Box 3: folder 10
Committees-Acceleration
1942-43, n.d.

Box 3: folder 11
Committees-Administrative Board
1941-43

Box 3: folder 12
Committees-Board of Admission
1941-45

Box 3: folder 13
Committees-Board of Advisors
1943, n.d.

Box 3: folder 14
Committees-on the Calendar
1947

Box 3: folder 15
Committees-to Choose a Dean
1946-47

Box 3: folder 16
Committees-on Committees
1942-47

Box 3: folder 17
Committees-(Faculty-Trustee) Conference
1948-49

Box 3: folder 18
Committees-on Defense and Reconstruction
1942

Box 3: folder 19
Committees-Emergency Committee on Faculty Salaries
1947-48

Box 3: folder 20
Committees-Emergency Council
1941-42, n.d.

Box 3: folder 21
Committees-Fine Arts
1946-47

Box 3: folder 22
Committees-on Foreign Students
1943-49

Box 3: folder 23
Committees-Funds to Attend Learned Societies
1942-43

Box 3: folder 24
Committees-on Graduate Study
1941-49, n.d.

Box 3: folder 25
Committees-on Honors
1941-44

Box 3: folder 26
Committees-on Hygiene
n.d.

Box 3: folder 27
Committees-on the Hymn Book
1941

Box 3: folder 28
Committees-on the Library
1943-44

Box 3: folder 29
Committees-on Planning
1944-46

Box 3: folder 30
Committees-on Post-War Planning
1944-46, n.d.

Box 4: folder 1
Committees-on Refugee Fellowships
1940-43

Box 4: folder 2
Committees-on Resources
1940-45, n.d.

Box 4: folder 3
Committees-on Scholarships
1942

Box 4: folder 4
Committees-on Special Assistance in Written English
1943-44, n.d.

Box 4: folder 5
Committees-on Summer Work
1942-43, n.d.

Box 4: folder 6
Committees-on Teaching and Promotion
1942-44

Box 4: folder 7
Committees-on Tenure and Promotion
1942-44

Box 4: folder 8
Committees-on War Minors
1942-43

Box 4: folder 9
Conference-Eighteenth Century Conference
1946-47

Box 4: folder 10
Conference-New England Conference on Renaissance Studies
1946

Box 4: folder 11
Conference-The Pompeiiana
1942

Box 4: folder 12
Conference-The Pompeiiana
1948

Box 4: folder 13
Conference-on Southern New England
1942

Box 4: folder 14
Connecticut College
1944

Box 4: folder 15
Council of Industrial Studies
1942-48

Box 4: folder 16
D, General Correspondence
1940-44, 1947, n.d.

Box 4: folder 17
Day School
1942-49, n.d.

Box 4: folder 18
Dean, Class
1942-43, n.d.

Box 4: folder 19
Dean, Office of
1941-45

Box 4: folder 20
E, General Correspondence
1941-44, 1948

Box 4: folder 21
Employment, Office of
1943-49, n.d.

Box 4: folder 22
Experiment in International Living, Inc.
1942-48

Box 4: folder 23
F, General Correspondence
1939-44, 1946, 1950

Box 4: folder 24
Faculty-General
1941-47

Box 4: folder 25
Faculty-Sabbaticals
1944-49, n.d.

Box 4: folder 26
Faculty-Salaries
1946-47, n.d

Box 5: folder 1
Faculty-Secretary of
1940-46

Box 5: folder 2
Ferrand, Beatrix
1942

Box 5: folder 3
Faulkner, Harold Underwood
1940-47, n.d.

Box 5: folder 4
Food Service (Report on Study of the Feeding Operation)
1948

Box 5: folder 5
Francis, Ann
1939-40, 1942

Box 5: folder 6
G, General Correspondence
1946-47

Box 5: folder 7
Genetics Experiment Station
1942-49

Box 5: folder 8
Greene, Helen French (1891)
1941, 1943, 1947

Box 5: folder 9
H, General Correspondence
1940-42

Box 5: folder 10
Harlow, S. Ralph
1942-46

Box 5: folder 11
Hirschorn, Hannah (Scharps)
1942-43

Box 5: folder 12
Hofer, Philip
1947

Box 5: folder 13
Honorary Degrees
1941-47

Box 5: folder 14
Honors Program
1940-47, n.d.

Box 5: folder 15
I, General Correspondence
1942-43, 1945

Box 5: folder 16
Infirmary
1941-49

Box 5: folder 17
Institute of International Education
1941-48

Box 5: folder 18
International Student Service
1941-47

Box 5: folder 19
J, General Correspondence
1942-44, 1948, n.d.

Box 5: folder 20
Jacob, Cary
1942-44

Box 5: folder 21
Junior Year Abroad-General
1946-49, n.d.

Box 5: folder 22
Junior Year Abroad-France
1946-48

Box 6: folder 1
Junior Year Abroad-Geneva
1946-49

Box 6: folder 2
Junior Year Abroad-Italy
1946-49

Box 6: folder 3
Junior Year Abroad-Mexico
1940-49

Box 6: folder 4
Junior Year Abroad-Toronto
1945-46

Box 6: folder 5
Juniper Lodge
1941-44, n.d.

Box 6: folder 6
K, General Correspondence
1941-44, 1947-48

Box 6: folder 7
Kane, Mrs. R. Keith
1941-43, 1947, n.d.

Box 6: folder 8
Kusaka, Shuichi
1943-44

Box 6: folder 9
L, General Correspondence
1940-42

Box 6: folder 10
Lamont, Florence (Corliss)
1942-48

Box 6: folder 11
Landscape Architect,Office of
1941-43

Box 6: folder 12
Lee, Gerald and Jeannette
1941-45

Box 6: folder 13
Lee, Rensselaer Wright
1941-44

Box 6: folder 14
Library
1940-49, n.d.

Box 6: folder 15
Library, Friends of
1941-42

Box 6: folder 16
M, General Correspondence
1940-42

Box 6: folder 17
Massachusetts Audubon Society
1944-47

Box 6: folder 18
McCauley, William Steele
1942-43

Box 6: folder 19
Mount Holyoke College
1941-49

Box 6: folder 20
Museum of Art
1940-49, n.d.

Box 6: folder 21
N, General Correspondence
1942-44, 1947

Box 7: folder 1
National Council of American-Soviet Friendship
1943-49

Box 7: folder 2
National Japanese-American Student Relocation Committee
1942-43

Box 7: folder 3
Navy League of the United States
1942

Box 7: folder 4
Neilson, Elisabeth Muser
1940-49, n.d.

Box 7: folder 5
Neilson, William Allan
1942-46

Box 7: folder 6
Northampton-General
1940-46

Box 7: folder 7
Northampton-Academy of Music
1942-44

Box 7: folder 8
Nursery School
1947

Box 7: folder 9
O, General Correspondence
1941-44, 1947

Box 7: folder 10
Overseas School Committee
1945-47

Box 7: folder 11
P-Q, General Correspondence
1940-44, 1946-47, 1949

Box 7: folder 12
Parshley, Howard Madison
1941-43

Box 7: folder 13
Pierce College
1943-46

Box 7: folder 14
President, Secretary to
1939-43

Box 7: folder 15
President's Reports
1940-41

Box 7: folder 16
President's Reports
1945-46

Box 7: folder 17
President's Reports
1947-48

Box 7: folder 18
Public Relations
1942-48, n.d.

Box 7: folder 19
Purchasing Agent, Office of
1942-49

Box 7: folder 20
R, General Correspondence
1941-42

Box 7: folder 21
Rally Day
1943-44

Box 7: folder 22
Registrar, Office of
1942-49

Box 7: folder 23
Robert, Osmond T.
1942-44

Box 7: folder 24
Rockefeller Foundation
1942-44

Box 7: folder 25
Royon, Elizabeth
1944

Box 7: folder 26
S, General Correspondence
1940-42, n.d.

Box 7: folder 27
Scholarships and Student Aid
1946-48, n.d.

Box 7: folder 28
Scholarships and Student Aid, Russian Scholarship
1945-46

Box 7: folder 29
School for Social Work
1940-48, n.d.

Box 7: folder 30
Scripps College
1942

Box 7: folder 31
Seven College Conference
1940-42

Box 8: folder 1
Seven College Conference
1943

Box 8: folder 2
Seven College Conference
1944-45

Box 8: folder 3
Seven College Conference
1946-49, n.d.

Box 8: folder 4
Students
1942-49

Box 8: folder 5
Students-Male
1944-48, n.d.

Box 8: folder 6
Student Service of America, Inc.
1945-47

Box 8: folder 7
Studies
1943-44

Box 8: folder 8
Sweet Briar College
1942, 1947-48

Box 8: folder 9
T, General Correspondence
1942

Box 8: folder 10
Treasurer, Office of
1940-48

Box 8: folder 11
Trustees-General
1940-47

Box 8: folder 12
Trustees-Committee on the School for Social Work
1940-43

Box 8: folder 13
Trustees-Comstock, Ada
1943-49

Box 8: folder 14
Trustees-Emerson, Kendall
1941-44

Box 8: folder 15
Trustees-Gleason, Emily (Clapp)
1940-46

Box 8: folder 16
Trustees-Hanes, John
1942-47

Box 9: folder 1
Trustees-Hofer, Philip
1941-46

Box 9: folder 2
Trustees-Hoskins, Harold
1941-47

Box 9: folder 3
Trustees-Huntington, Mrs. W. Chapin
1941-44

Box 9: folder 4
Trustees-Lord, Mary Pillsbury
1947

Box 9: folder 5
Trustees-Lamont, Thomas S., Jr.
1942-48

Box 9: folder 6
Trustees-Morrow, Elizabeth (Cutter)
1940-47

Box 9: folder 7
Trustees-Oldham, John E.
1942-44

Box 9: folder 8
Trustees-Parker, Franklin E., Jr.
1944

Box 9: folder 9
Trustees-Raymond, Eleanor
1942

Box 9: folder 10
Trustees-Stevenson, George S.
1941-44

Box 9: folder 11
Trustees-Valentine, Alan
194-43

Box 9: folder 12
Trustees-Valentine, Lucia (Norton)
1943-44

Box 9: folder 13
Trustees-Wilson, Mira
1942-44

Box 9: folder 14
Trustees-Zinsser, Dorothy (Douglas 1913)
1940-42, 1947

Box 9: folder 15
Tuition and Fees
1946-49

Box 9: folder 16
U-V, General Correspondence
1940-44

Box 9: folder 17
Union
1947-48

Box 9: folder 18
United States-General
1942-45, n.d.

Box 9: folder 19
United States-Education Office
1941-42

Box 9: folder 20
United States-Justice Department
1942-44

Box 9: folder 21
United States-Navy Department
1941-44, n.d.

Box 9: folder 22
United States-State Department
1942-49

Box 9: folder 23
United States-Treasury Department
1941-44

Box 9: folder 24
United States-War Department
1942-43

Box 9: folder 25
Universities Center for United Nations Research
1947-48

Box 9: folder 26
Vassar College
1941-48

Box 9: folder 27
Vocational Office
1942-49

Box 9: folder 28
W-General Correspondence
1941-42

Box 9: folder 29
Warden, Office of
1942-47

Box 9: folder 30
Wellesley College
1942-47

Box 9: folder 31
Williams, Cora M. (1883)
1942-45

Box 9: folder 32
Wilson College
1944-46

Box 10: folder 1
Womens' College Information Board
1941-43

Box 10: folder 2
World Student Service Fund
1943-44

Box 10: folder 3
World War
1942-46

Box 10: folder 4
Wrinch, Dorothy
1941-44

Box 10: folder 5
Y-Z, General Correspondence
1942

Box 10: folder 6
Yale University
1941-43

Box 10: folder 7

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Davis, Herbert John, 1893-1967.
  • Smith College--Faculty.
  • Smith College--Presidents.

Contributors
  • Comstock, Ada Louise.
  • Morrow, Elizabeth, 1873-1955.
  • Neilson, William Allan, 1869-1946.
  • Smith College. Office of President.


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