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Elizabeth A. Nichols papers, 1989-1990
0.417 linear feet (1 container)
Collection number: CA.MS.00312

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:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Smith College, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Smith College Archives

Biographical / Historical

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

Scope and Contents

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/ProfessorDepartment
Anita AscherGerman
Herbert BusemannMath
Alfred EinsteinMusic
Susanne EngelmannGerman
Mannfred KridlSlavic Studies
Hans KohnHistory
Lilly LorentzPhysics
George MichaelidesReligion
Renato PoggioliItalian
George PoylaMath
Annelies RosePsychology
Maja SchadePhysical Education
Matthias SchmitzGerman
Oskar SeidlinGerman
Martin SommerfeldGerman
Jean WahlFrench
Edgard WindArt 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:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Smith College, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Preferred Citation

Elizabeth A. Nichols Papers, Smith College Archives, CA-MS-00312, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

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 Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English

Contents List
General


Box 2300.2: folder 1
Index card file


Box 2300.2: folder 2
Smith Faculty-Asher, Anita


Box 2300.2: folder 3
Smith Faculty-Engelmann, Susanne


Box 2300.2: folder 4
Smith Faculty-Kohn, Hans


Box 2300.2: folder 5
Smith Faculty-Kridl, Manfried


Box 2300.2: folder 6
Smith Faculty-Schmitz, Matthias


Box 2300.2: folder 7
Smith Faculty-Seidlin, Oskar


Box 2300.2: folder 8
Smith Faculty-Sommerfeld, Martin


Box 2300.2: folder 9
Smith Faculty-Wahl, Jean


Box 2300.2: folder 10
Smith Faculty-Wind, Edgard


Box 2300.2: folder 11
Refugee Scholars


Box 2300.2: folder 12
Recollection, Nelly Schargo Hoyt '43


Box 2300.2: folder 13
Interview-Ruth Mahoney Peck
1989

Box 2300.2: folder 14
Research Notes-Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars (NYPL)


Box 2300.2: folder 15
FBI FOIA Inquiry
1989-90

Box 2300.2: folder 16
Correspondence
October 1-31, 1989

Box 2300.2: folder 17
Correspondence
November 1-29, 1989

Box 2300.2: folder 18
Correspondence
December 1, 1989-August 27, 1990

Box 2300.2: folder 19
Evaluations of thesis
1990

Box 2300.2: folder 20

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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