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Elizabeth A. Nichols Papers , 1989-1990
1 box (.5 linear feet)
Collection number: RG 80. Class of 1990.

Abstract:
Elizabeth A. Nichols is a 1990 Smith alumna. This collection contains notes, articles, and correspondence she collected in the course of researching her senior thesis in history: "Paradise Lost and Regained: Experiences of Refugee Professors at Smith College."

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 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

Elizabeth A. Nichols was a member of the Class of 1990 and graduated cum laude. She resided in Oak House.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

For her senior thesis "Paradise Lost and Regained: Experiences of Refugee Professors at Smith College" Elizabeth A. Nichols attempted to investigate the academic and personal experiences of seventeen European academics who taught at Smith College in the 1930s and 1940s. Her thesis was awarded high honors. Most of these individuals had fled Germany and other parts of Europe in order to escape oppression by the German National Socialist regime. The research materials in this collection include information culled from the Smith College Archives and other sources on several of the professors. It also includes Nichols's detailed notes on the papers of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars located in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library. The heart of the collection consists of responses to a query letter sent by Nichols to more than fifty Smith alumnae whom she hoped would have recollections of the professors in question. She appears to have chosen her correspondents based (at least in part) on their membership in the German Club or residence in the German House while at Smith College. Those alumnae who were able to reply substantively provided thoughtful reflections about the personalities and teaching styles of (some of the) teachers in question. Certain letters also describe in some detail the tensions between Nazi sympathizers and opponents that developed at the German House, and on campus, in the 1930s.

A list of the professors in Nichols's query is below. The weight of alumnae recollections centers on three of these: the historian Hans Kohn (1891-1971), who taught at Smith from 1933 to 1949 and was immensely popular with students; German literature professor Martin Sommerfeld (1894-1939), who taught at Smith from 1936 to 1939; and Matthias Schmitz (1899-?), who was not a refugee at all but (apparently) a member of the Nazi Party. The flamboyant Schmitz taught at Smith from 1934-1939 and students had wildly differing opinions of him. This collection contains both published and unpublished material regarding Schmitz.

Lecturer/Professor Department
Anita Ascher German
Herbert Busemann Math
Alfred Einstein Music
Susanne Engelmann German
Mannfred Kridl Slavic Studies
Hans Kohn History
Lilly Lorentz Physics
George Michaelides Religion
Renato Poggioli Italian
George Poyla Math
Annelies Rose Psychology
Maja Schade Physical Education
Matthias Schmitz German
Oskar Seidlin German
Martin Sommerfeld German
Jean Wahl French
Edgard Wind Art History

The collection also contains published articles on the refugee scholar experience in the U.S. and one set of notes from an oral interview. There was presumably more evidence from oral interviews that did not survive.

The collection contains a copy of Nichols's query letter and two faculty evaluations of the thesis by Dan Horowitz and Hans Vaget, but does not contain the thesis itself. At this writing, the Smith College Library also did not possess a copy of the thesis.


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 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:

Elizabeth A. Nichols Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Elizabeth A. Nichols Papers were donated to the Smith College Archives by Ms. Nichols in February 2007.


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
General


Box 1: folder 1
Index card file


Box 1: folder 2
Smith Faculty-Asher, Anita


Box 1: folder 3
Smith Faculty-Engelmann, Susanne


Box 1: folder 4
Smith Faculty-Kohn, Hans


Box 1: folder 5
Smith Faculty-Kridl, Manfried


Box 1: folder 6
Smith Faculty-Schmitz, Matthias


Box 1: folder 7
Smith Faculty-Seidlin, Oskar


Box 1: folder 8
Smith Faculty-Sommerfeld, Martin


Box 1: folder 9
Smith Faculty-Wahl, Jean


Box 1: folder 10
Smith Faculty-Wind, Edgard


Box 1: folder 11
Refugee Scholars


Box 1: folder 12
Recollection, Nelly Schargo Hoyt '43


Box 1: folder 13
Interview-Ruth Mahoney Peck
1989

Box 1: folder 14
Research Notes-Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars (NYPL)


Box 1: folder 15
FBI FOIA Inquiry
1989-90

Box 1: folder 16
Correspondence
October 1-31, 1989

Box 1: folder 17
Correspondence
November 1-29, 1989

Box 1: folder 18
Correspondence
December 1, 1989-August 27, 1990

Box 1: folder 19
Evaluations of thesis
1990

Box 1: folder 20

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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