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Home >> Smith College Archives >> Gwendolen Margaret Carter, 1906-1991, Papers, 1943-1987
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Gwendolen Margaret Carter Papers, 1943-1987
1 box (0.4 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

Abstract:
Carter was a professor of government and scholar of African studies. Her papers consist of African Study Tours materials, biographical material, correspondence, course materials, photographs, press releases, publications, speeches, and articles.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The records 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

Gwendolen Carter, who once expressed her sole interest in life as "the world and all it contains," was born in Ontario in 1906. After obtaining her B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1929, she went on to obtain a master's degree at Oxford in 1935 and her Ph. D. at Radcliffe College in 1938. Before coming to Smith College in 1943, she was a lecturer and instructor at McMaster University in Ontario, Wellesley, Harvard, and Tufts, and worked for the Bureau of International Research at Radcliffe College.

Entering Smith as an assistant professor, Carter obtained full professorship in 1951 and held that position until her retirement in 1964, three years after she was made a Sophia Smith Professor. While at Smith she taught within the government department classes such as "Africa, South of the Sahara" and "The Political Structure of Africa." During her first sabbatical year in 1948-1949, Carter toured the British Commonwealth of Nations on visits to representatives of their departments of state, and later that year co-authored Major Foreign Powers, a book about the Commonwealth since the second world war. Several years later, on a leave of absence from Smith, Carter and a student assistant traveled 18,000 miles by car in South Africa doing research for her subsequent book, The Politics of Inequality: South Africa Since 1948, which is her best known work. She published four more books while still at Smith, in addition to a number of journal articles and pamphlets, and gave frequent lectures throughout the United States about the political states of Africa.

Carter was honored by the government of Kenya at its independence celebrations in 1963. The following year she left Smith to head Northwestern University's African Studies Center. By 1968, she had made 16 trips to Africa in 20 years, driven a total of 3,000 miles in the Congo, and authored, co-authored or edited 17 books. Because of the nature of her work, she was banned as an enemy of the state from entering South Africa for eleven years. Carter continued to visit Africa and publish work regarding its political systems throughout most of her life; an interview given in the New York Times in 1987 showed her optimism regarding racial equality in Africa to be undaunted. She died in 1991 at her home in Orange City, Florida at eighty-four years of age.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Gwendolen Margaret Carter papers contain brochures, press releases, newspaper clippings, and student lists from Carter's African Study tours, press releases and articles about Carter, biographical material, assorted correspondence, lecture notes, syllabi and exam questions from the courses that Carter taught at Smith, photographs and Christmas cards, publications, clippings and press releases about her sabbatical in South Africa, and transcripts of Carter's speeches. The bulk of the collection has to do with Carter's professional life, though there is some personal correspondence, and two Christmas cards.


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

The records 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:

Gwendolen Margaret Carter, 1906-1991, Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Gwendolen Margaret Carter papers were donated to the Smith College Archives from a number of sources.


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
African Study Tour
1957

Box 695.1
African Study Tour
1959

Box 695.1
African Study Tour
1961

Box 695.1
Articles and Press Releases
1944-1987

Box 695.1
Biographical Material


Box 695.1
Correspondence
1947-1982

Box 695.1
Courses: "Africa, South of the Sahara"
1955-1963

Box 695.1
Courses: "Lecture on Kenya"
n.d.

Box 695.1
Courses: Notes for Lectures
n.d.

Box 695.1
Courses: "Seminar on Comparative African Government"
1962-1963

Box 695.1
Courses: Study Questions and Examinations
n.d.

Box 695.1
Course: "The Commonwealth of Nations"
1960

Box 695.1
Courses: "The Political Structure of Africa"
1955

Box 695.1
Photographs
1957-1982, n.d.

Box 695.1
Publications
1943-1962

Box 695.1
Sabbatical in South Africa
1952-1953

Box 695.1
Speeches
1962

Box 695.1

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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