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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.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHY



This series contains general information about Williams' personal and professional life, including an overview of her teaching career and items from the year she taught in Japan. Also, this series contains material related to her father's death and the dedication of a building in his name at Florida State University.

General
1992, n.d.

Box 1047: folder 1
Smith Appointments and Salary
1937-1957

Box 1047: folder 2
Fulbright Lecturer in Japan
1960-61

Box 1047
Medal from Japanese National Student Association
1960

Box 1047: folder 3
Gift Book from Former Students
1972

Box 1047: folder 4
Williams, Arthur (father)
1960, 1963

Box 1047: folder 5
Miscellaneous Clippings


Box 1047: folder 6
SERIES II. WRITINGS



This series holds a sample of Williams' publications. There are three articles and her major work, Conflict of Homonyms in English, which developed out of her Ph.D. dissertation at Yale.

"AElfric's Grammatical Terminology"
1958

Box 1047: folder 7
Conflict of Homonyms in English
1944

Box 1047: folder 8
"Impressions of Birbeck"
1938

Box 1047: folder 9
"Pair of Beads in America"
1955

Box 1047: folder 10
SERIES III. FOREIGN STUDENTS



This series includes general material on foreign students at Smith, presumably gathered by Williams in her work on the Committee on Foreign Students, which she was deeply involved with for many years. The material here gives various summaries of the numbers, backgrounds, and accomplishments of the foreign students. Additionally, there is more detailed information on certain individuals that Williams became good friends with.

Committee on Foreign Students - General
1956-76, n.d.

Box 1047.1: folder 1
Individuals, A-J


Box 1047.1: folder 2
Individuals, K-W


Box 1047.1: folder 3
Lists - by Country
n.d.

Box 1047.1: folder 4
Lists - by Date
1958-64, 1977-78

Box 1047.1: folder 5
Lists - by Name
1978

Box 1047.1: folder 6
Lists - Japanese Students
n.d.

Box 1047.1: folder 7
Lists - Student Speakers
1957-58

Box 1047.1: folder 8
"Notes on Work with Foreign Students in Smith College" - Notes


Box 1047.1: folder 9
"Notes on Work with Foreign Students in Smith College" - Drafts


Box 1047.1: folder 10
"Report on Foreign Students at Smith College"
1966

Box 1047.1: folder 11
Smith College Club of Japan
1973, 1978

Box 1047.1: folder 12
SERIES IV. CORRESPONDENCE



This series contains quite a large collection of letters Williams received from her former foreign students. The women regarded her as a mentor and friend, and often wrote to keep her updated on their lives and progress. These letters are a testament to the great impact a Smith education and Williams' guidance had on the students' lives both personally and professionally.

A-C


Box 1047.1: folder 13
Akaike, Sachiko Ochiai


Box 1047.1: folder 14
Brockhaus, Eva


Box 1047.1: folder 15
Chase, Mary Ellen


Box 1047.1: folder 16
Cheng, Hua Liang


Box 1047.1: folder 17
D-F


Box 1047.1: folder 18
Enbutsu, Sumiko


Box 1047.1: folder 19
G


Box 1047.1: folder 20
H-J


Box 1047.2: folder 1
Haruta, Setsuko (outgoing)


Box 1047.2: folder 2
Ide, Sachiko


Box 1047.2: folder 3
Jodai, Tano


Box 1047.2: folder 4
K-L


Box 1047.2: folder 5
Kawasaki, Akiko


Box 1047.2: folder 6
Kitashima, Mary


Box 1047.2: folder 7
Kodama, Kayoko


Box 1047.2: folder 8
M


Box 1047.2: folder 9
Matsuki, Toshiko


Box 1047.2: folder 10
Miyake, Etsa


Box 1047.2: folder 11
Miyamoto, Misako


Box 1047.2: folder 12
Mizuta, Yone


Box 1047.2: folder 13
Moro-oka, Aiko


Box 1047.2: folder 14
N-R


Box 1047.2: folder 15
Nakamura, Kyoko


Box 1047.2: folder 16
Ohara, Kyoko


Box 1047.3: folder 1
Poswiatowska, Halina and family


Box 1047.3: folder 2
S


Box 1047.3: folder 3
Sasaki, Miyoko


Box 1047.3: folder 4
Suzuki, Yasuko


Box 1047.3: folder 5
T-V


Box 1047.3: folder 6
W-Z


Box 1047.3: folder 7
Unidentified


Box 1047.3: folder 8
SERIES V. PHOTOGRAPHS



This series contains a variety of images of students, faculty and friends. Williams herself was an amateur photographer and especially enjoyed taking pictures of the Smith campus. Other pictures that may or may not have been taken by Williams include quite a few of foreign students and Smith faculty and friends. Additionally, Williams had collected baby pictures of her female faculty friends for a project on "Friends in Childhood." Thus the series also contains photographs of the following women as babies or young girls: Dorothy Bacon, Gladys Bryson, Mary Ellen Chase, Virginia Corwin, Katherine Hornbeak, Dorothy Huey, Laura Lord Scales, Priscilla Van der Poel, and Edna Williams.

Edna Williams


Box 1047.3: folder 9
Foreign Students


Box 1047.3: folder 10
Photographs by Williams


Box 1047.3: folder 11
Smith Faculty and Friends


Box 1047.3: folder 12
Smith Faculty Friends - Baby Pictures


Box 1047.3: folder 13
Miscellaneous


Box 1047.3: folder 14
SERIES VI. AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIAL



This series contains slides of the Smith campus and foreign students, as well as a tape recording of Williams' farewell party in Japan. These items are not housed with this collection; please see below for their locations.

Slide Collection


Box 1047.3
Tape Recording of Farewell Party in Honor of Miss Williams
June 22, 1961

Box 1047.3

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
  • English literature--Study and teaching (Higher)--Massachusetts--Northampton.
  • Smith College--Faculty.
  • Smith College--Students.
  • Smith College. Committee on Foreign Students.
  • Students, Foreign--Massachusetts--Northampton.
  • Williams, Edna Rees, 1899-


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