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Virginia Corwin Papers, 1930-1996
4 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

The papers of Virginia Corwin contain some papers related to her career at Smith College as Professor of Religion, class notes from her graduate work at Yale University and research notes and preliminary drafts for a book on modern Hinduism.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers 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 or quote from the documents must be obtained from the Smith College Archives.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Virginia Corwin was born in Orange, New Jersey, on August 17, 1901, the daughter of Joseph R. and Caroline (Stallkencht) Corwin. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1923 and received the B.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1929; at Union she was a Kent Fellow. In 1930 she came to Smith College as an Instructor of Religion and Biblical Literature. Prof. Corwin entered Yale University in 1932 and received her Ph.D. from it in 1937. Her dissertation was on St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch; Yale University Press published a revision of the text in 1960. Prof. Corwin taught at Smith until 1939 when she went to Western Reserve University as Harkness Professor of Biblical Literature and acting head of the Department of Religion. In 1942 Miss Corwin returned to Smith College as an Associate Professor of Religion and was made Professor of Religion in 1953. She retired from Smith College in 1966. After Prof. Corwin retirement she was visiting professor at Claremont College in California and at Wells College in New York.

While at Smith College Prof. Corwin became interested in the study of non-Christian religions and invested time and energy studying Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions. She created courses in these topics and taught them, sometimes in conjunctions her colleague D. Dennis Hudson.

Prof. Corwin was active in the American Academy of Religion and served as its president in 1950. A constant traveler she visited the Asian countries associated with the non-Christian religions.

In 1975 she married Herman A. Brautigam, a former classmate of hers at Yale University, and they lived in Pennsylvania. She died August 19, 1996 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of Virginia Corwin contain extensive notes from her student days at Yale University including her seminars with H. Richard Niebuhr in Christian ethics and Robert L. Calhoun in the History of Christian doctrines. Also included are transcripts from a conference in the 1930s on the work of Henry Burton Sharman on the life of Christ.

The bulk of the papers consist of her research notes and preliminary drafts for a book on the history of modern Hinduism that was never published. In addition there are some notes on other non-Christian religions.

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

The papers 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 or quote from the documents must be obtained from the Smith College Archives.

Preferred Citation

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

Virginia Corwin Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Virginia Corwin papers were created by Virginia Corwin, Professor of Religion at Smith College from 1930-1966.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

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


  • Corwin, Virginia. St. Ignatius and Christianity in Antioch. (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1960)
  • Corwin, Virginia. "The Personal Touch: Advice Unlimited," Smith Alumnae Quarterly 29 (May 1938): 246-247.
  • Bixler, J. S. "Religion in the New Curriculum," Smith Alumnae Quarterly 22 (November 1930): 59-60.
  • Lincoln, Eleanor T. "Virginia Corwin," Smith Alumnae Quarterly 57 (Summer 1966): 215.
  • Theological Discussion Group Papers, Yale University Library, Divinity Library Special Collections, Record Group no. 43.

Contents List
Series I. General

Biographical materials

Box 1: folder 1

Box 1: folder 2
Correspondence, addresses, travel notes

Box 1: folder 3
Miscellaneous items

Box 1: folder 4
Series II. Research Notes and Writings

Sermon - Mark 8:31-37 -- typescript
April 12, 1938

Box 1: folder 1
The Teaching of Religion (chapter in Liberal Learning and Religion)

Box 1: folder 2
Modern Hinduism - notes and outline

Box 1: folder 3
A Study on Reform in Modern Hinduism - preface - handwritten draft

Box 1: folder 4
Gandhi - handwritten draft

Box 1: folder 5
Gandhi - typescript draft

Box 1: folder 6
Gandhi - notes on

Box 1: folder 7
Understanding Gandhi's Ways, by Stephen Hay

Box 1: folder 8
Richard V. De Smet pamphlets

Box 1: folder 9
Rammohun Roy - typescript draft - 1st draft

Box 2: folder 10
Rammohun Roy - typescript and handwritten draft - 3rd draft?

Box 2: folder 11
Rammohun Roy - handwritten and typescript draft - additional

Box 2: folder 12
Rammohun Roy - notes on

Box 2: folder 13
Rammohun Roy - articles on

Box 2: folder 14
Ramakrishna - handwritten and typescript draft and notes

Box 2: folder 15
The Transformation of Sri Ramakrishna, by Walter G. Neevel, Jr.

Box 2: folder 16
K. C. Sen - handwritten and typescript draft and notes

Box 2: folder 17
K. C. Sen - articles on

Box 2: folder 18
Aurobindo - handwritten draft and notes

Box 2: folder 19
Debendranath Tagore - handwritten and typescript drafts

Box 2: folder 20
Debendranath Tagore - articles on

Box 2: folder 21
Tagore - notes on

Box 2: folder 22
Vivekanada - typescript draft

Box 2: folder 23
Vivekanada - handwritten draft and notes

Box 2: folder 24
Modern Hinduism bibliography

Box 2: folder 25
Tukfatul Muwahhiddin - notes on

Box 2: folder 26
Satyagraha - notes on

Box 2: folder 27
Bengali Renaissance notes

Box 2: folder 28
Hinduism in American - notes one

Box 2: folder 29
Man the Mystic: Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis, by Virginia Corwin - typescript and handwritten drafts and notes - presentation for Smith College's Alumni College

Box 2: folder 30
Village Celebration in Malabar, by Virginia Corwin - handwritten draft

Box 2: folder 31
Ramakrishna Mission pamphlets

Box 2: folder 32
Arya Samaj - articles on

Box 2: folder 33
Brahma Samaj - article on

Box 2: folder 34
India - Newspaper clippings, etc.

Box 2: folder 35
Robert Bellah - selections from

Box 2: folder 35
The Basis for the Hindu Act of Truth, by W. Norman Brown

Box 2: folder 36
The Myth of the Four Yugas in the Sanskrit Puranas: a Dimensional Study, by Cornelia D. Church

Box 2: folder 37
Letters on Hinduism, by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

Box 2: folder 38
J. Krishnamurti: the Pathless Way, by Diana Eck

Box 2: folder 39
Ritual and Cult of Indian Buddhists, by Adelle M. Fiske

Box 2: folder 40
Indian temple architecture - articles by F. H. Gravely and others

Box 2: folder 41
The Characteristics of Oriental Nothingness, by Shin-ichi Hisamatsu

Box 2: folder 42
Siva, Minaksi and Vishnu: Reflections on a Popular Myth in Madurai, by D. Dennis Hudson (?)

Box 2: folder 43
Sunyata as a Master-Symbol, by Winston L. King

Box 2: folder 44
One Fire, Three Fires, Five Fires: Vedic Symbols in Transition, by David M. Knipe

Box 2: folder 45
Possession, Dance and Religion in North Malabar, Kerala, India

Box 2: folder 46
Hindu Monastic Orders and the Continuing Process of Syncretism: selected bibliography; by David McGregor Miller

Box 2: folder 47
Ken Morgan on Vivekananda -- notes

Box 2: folder 48
Reaching for the Moon: Exploring Asian Religious Paths, by Kenneth W. Morgan

Box 2: folder 49
Buddhism and the Changing Society in Modern Ceylon, by W. Pachow

Box 2: folder 50
Religion and Political Authority in Modern Burma, by John Pemberton

Box 2: folder 51
Saiva Siddhanta, by S. Pillai

Box 2: folder 52
Hindu Symbolisms in Syro-Malabar Liturgy and Devotions, by Cyriac K. Pullapilly

Box 2: folder 53
A. K. Saran - articles and syllabi

Box 2: folder 54-55
The Ideal Social Order as Portrayed in the Sinhalese Chronicles, by Bardwell L. Smith

Box 2: folder 56
An Apology for the Present System of Hindoo Worship, by Mkityanjaya Vidyalankar

Box 2: folder 57
O. H. de A. Wijesekera - articles

Box 2: folder 58
Smith College Religion 11 - syllabi

Box 2: folder 59
Centemporary Hindu Thought - Smith College Religion 36b and 311b - Leela Gole

Box 2: folder 60
Buddhism - Smith College Religion 24b and 36b - Syllabi and notes (Wijesekera?)

Box 2: folder 61
Religion in Modern India - Smith College Religion 370b - Syllabi, lecture notes, etc. - Virginia Corwin and D. Dennis Hudson

Box 2: folder 62
Modern Hinduism - Wells College Religion 326 - Virginia Corwin

Box 2: folder 63
Seminar notes - Christian Ethics - Richard Niebuhr - Yale University

Box 3: folder 64
Seminar notes - World Religions - Yale University

Box 3: folder 65
Seminar notes - History of Christian Doctrines - Robert L. Calhoun

Box 3: folder 66
Collected poetry and liturgies - scrapbook

Box 3: folder 67
Notes from the Minnesinger Seminar 1932 on Henry Burton Sharman - notes from Esther Duke
1931?, 1932

Box 3: folder 68-69
Note cards - notes on general subjects, but primarily note cards on topics to be covered in Corwin's study on modern Hinduism

Box 4

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