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Mary B. McElwain Papers, 1910-1964 (Bulk: 1920-1942)
1 box (5 linear inches)
Collection number: RG 42

Abstract:
Professor of Latin and Greek, Class Dean (1918-20, 1920-24, and 1926-30), and Dean at Smith College. Contains biographical material, correspondence, photographs, etc.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to researchers according to the regulations of the College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or quote from the documents, beyond "Fair Use," must be obtained from the Smith College Archives. The archives has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Mary Belle McElwain was born in Chambersburg Pennsylvania on May 14, 1874, to Robert Shannon and Alta (Lindsey) McElwain. She earned an A.B. at Wilson College in 1895 and remained there as an instructor in Greek, English and mathematics until 1903. She continued teaching at Miss Wright's School at Bryn Mawr from 1903 to 1908 when she entered Cornell University completing graduate work with a Master's Degree in 1909 and Ph.D. in 1910. She did post-graduate work at Bryn Mawr College, University of Pennsylvania, and the School of Classical Studies in Rome. She also received an honorary Litt.D. from Wilson College in 1936.

In 1910, Miss McElwain accepted a position as an instructor of Latin and Greek at Smith College, part of the first group of assistant professors. In a long and distinguished career at Smith she was a popular professor and served as class dean for three terms in 1918-20, 1920-24, and 1926-30. She was acting dean of the college in 1941-42 and also made Professor Emeritus of Classical Languages and Literature. Upon her retirement she returned to her alma mater to serve as acting dean until 1946, as Wilson College Historian from 1946 onward, and acting President of Wilson between February and August in 1950. She was also a member of the Wilson College Board of Trustees from 1929-1932 and 1938-1956.

In addition to her teaching and administrative duties at Smith and Wilson Colleges, Professor McElwain was a published editor and translator of the classics. She was an accomplished speaker, lecturer, and public advocate of classical education. Her professional memberships included, Phi Beta Kappa, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Classical Association of the American Academy in Rome, American Philological Association, American Friends of Greece, Inc., and the American Association of University Women. Testimonies to her status as a well loved and admired educator exist in the form of her students' published works which were dedicated to her.

Mary Belle McElwain died on February 23, 1964, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a few months short of her ninetieth birthday. At Wilson College a scholarship and residence hall bear her name as one of the college's most distinguished alumnae.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers include biographical material including press releases, a handwritten note from McElwain to the alumnae of Smith and Wilson Colleges in 1962, obituary notices, and tributes. Correspondence material includes an appointment letter from Smith College to serve as class dean for the 1941-41 academic year. From her library, there is a sizeable collection of poetry and illustrations from Mary Coggeshall Baker, class of 1916, and Elspeth MacDuffie Bragdon, class of 1920, who was widely published under the name of "Elspeth." There are also official photographs from Miss McElwain's tenure at Smith College and several of her published lectures. The material dates from 1910 to 1964 with the bulk range from 1916 to 1942.

The collection consists of thirteen folders in one box, 5 linear inches.


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

The collection is open to researchers according to the regulations of the College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or quote from the documents, beyond "Fair Use," must be obtained from the Smith College Archives. The archives has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Preferred Citation

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

Mary B. McElwain Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection


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

Contents List
Biographical Material
1901-1964

Box 938: folder 1
Correspondence: Appointment Letter
1941

Box 938: folder 2
Correspondence: Grierson, Margaret Storrs
1942

Box 938: folder 3
Correspondence: McVicker, Laurel A.
1942

Box 938: folder 4
Correspondence: Miscellaneous
1921

Box 938: folder 5
Correspondence: Poetry and Illustrations MacDuffie-Bragdon
1920s, 1930s

Box 938: folder 6
Library: Engraved Booklet Cover for "Education of the Young" Coggeshall Baker
1916

Box 938: folder 7
Library: Booklet of Illustrations for: "Education of the Young" Coggeshall Baker
1916

Box 938: folder 8
Library: Illustrations (3) Coggeshall Baker
1917

Box 938: folder 9
Library: Poetry and Illustrations: (6 Booklets/Calendars) MacDuffie-Bragdon
1917-1923

Box 938: folder 10
Library: Poetry: (2 Hardcover Books) MacDuffie-Bragdon
1929, 1937

Box 938: folder 11
Photographs
1910-1942

Box 938: folder 12
Publications
1924-1948

Box 938: folder 13

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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