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Edna Rees Williams Papers, 1937-1992
4 boxes (1.6 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

Abstract:
English Professor, Smith College. The majority of the Williams papers concerns her work with foreign students at Smith College. In her capacity as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Students, Williams acted as a mentor and guide to many foreign students who studied at Smith. Additional material relates to her personal life, published work, and the Smith community in general. Types of material includes correspondence, photographs, books, articles, awards, slides, and an audio recording.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The are open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes.

Restrictions on use:

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. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Edna Rees Williams was born on June 25, 1899 to Arthur and Rose (Longmire) Williams. Edna grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and attended Florida State College for Women (now Florida State University), where she received her B.A. in 1920. She later received both her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from Yale University in 1929 and 1936 respectively.

In 1930 Williams joined the Smith College English Department as Instructor. In addition to teaching general courses, she gave courses in the field of medieval literature, such as Old English (Beowulf), Chaucer, and the History of the English Language. At various points she taught classes at Mount Holyoke College, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of London. She rose through the ranks of the department steadily and was appointed Professor of English in 1959. In the academic year 1960-61 she was awarded a grant as a Fulbright Lecturer in English to teach at Japan Women's University in Tokyo. In many ways this was the culmination of Williams' longtime interest in foreign education. In addition to acting as a guide and mentor to the many foreign students who studied at Smith each year, she had also served for several years as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Students at Smith. She often formed close relationships with these students and it was common for her to keep in touch with them for years after their graduation. In 1964, Williams officially retired and was named Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature by the Trustees, but continued to teach a reduced class load. In 1982-83 Williams was named a Sophia Smith Fellow.

Williams' major published work is The Conflict of Homonyms in English, a development of her Ph.D. thesis, published in 1944. She also authored several articles for scholarly journals and a few short reviews.

Williams died on May 28, 1992, at the age of 92 in Tallahassee. She had lived in Northampton until 1991.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The great majority of the materials in the Edna Rees Williams Papers, 1937 -1992, concern her work with foreign students at Smith College. There are also some items relating to her personal life, published work, and the Smith community in general. Types of materials include correspondence, photographs, books, articles, awards, clippings, typescripts, slides, and an audio recording.


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

The are open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes.

Restrictions on use:

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. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives.

Preferred Citation

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

Edna Rees Williams Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Edna Rees Williams Papers were donated by Edna Williams and others between 1986 and 1991.

Processing Information

Processed by Christina Lehman, '03.


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.