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Marjorie Hope Nicolson Papers, 1880-1981
5.5 linear feet (11 containers)
Collection number: CA.MS.00049

Abstract:
Professor, English, writer. Contains biographical material, correspondence, published and unpublished writings.

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

The scholar and author Marjorie Hope Nicolson was born on February 18, 1894 in Yonkers, New York. She went on to study and teach at some of the United States' most prestigious institutions before returning to New York City, where she died at the age of 87, on March 9, 1981.

She first began to teach high school students in 1914, while working in Saginaw, Michigan and later Detroit. Her love of teaching lead her to receive her both her B.A. with Phi Beta honors in 1914 and her M.A. in 1918, from the University of Michigan. She continued her pursuit of higher education with her Ph.D. from Yale in 1920. At Yale, she was the first woman to receive the John Addison Porter prize. Marjorie Nicolson taught first at the University of Michigan and was granted an assistant professorship before continuing her graduate study at Johns Hopkins College from 1923-1926. While at Johns Hopkins, Nicolson continued to teach at Goucher College. In 1926, she left for England to study as one of the early Guggenheim fellows.

After her studies in Europe, Marjorie Nicolson returned to the United States to continue her research and to teach at Smith College. She was first an associate professor from 1926-1929, before becoming a professor of English literature and Dean from 1929 until 1941. During her time at Smith College, Nicolson was a strong ally of President Neilson and defender of women's right to have a real academic education. She left Smith College for Columbia, in order to become the first woman to hold a full professorship at a prestigious graduate school. She became the chair of the English and Comparative literature department. Nicolson, or Miss Nicky ,as she was intimately know by a few special students, became a much admired professor and scholar, who inspired many doctoral candidates while at Columbia. She was awarded the Columbia Bicentennial Silver Medallion in 1954. She left Columbia in 1962 as the Peter Field Trent Professor Emeritus, but still did not retire from the academic arena.

In 1963, she spent one year as the Francis Bacon chair at Claremont Graduate school. Following this year, she traveled to Princeton where she became the visiting scholar at the National Institute for Advanced Study. Throughout her busy career in academia, Marjorie Nicolson found time to publish many short essays and books. She wrote throughout her life, and was awarded the British Academy Crawshay prize in 1947, for one of her early works, Newton Demands the Muse. She also wrote noted works like A World in the Moon, The Microscope and the English Imagination, and Voyages to the Moon.

Beyond even Nicolson's active life as a writer, she was also honored in her many other fields of interest. She became president of the Modern Language Society of America, an active member of the American Philosophical Society, consulting editor of the publication the "American Scholar", and the first person to serve multiple terms as the president of the National Phi Beta Kappa association. Before the end of Miss Nicky's career spanning over fifty years, she garnered accolades and honorary degrees from over 17 colleges.

Scope and Contents

The Marjorie Hope Nicolson Papers document the career of Nicolson as educator, dean of Smith College, and writer. The materials range from biographical information and correspondence, to published and unpublished writings, and cover her work at Smith College as well as Columbia University.

This collection is organized into four series:

  1. I. Biographical Material
  2. II. Professional Life
  3. III. Speeches
  4. IV. Writings

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

Marjorie Hope Nicolson Papers, Smith College Archives, CA-MS-00049, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

History of the Collection

The majority of the Marjorie Hope Nicolson papers were donated by Nicolson during the 1960s and 1970s. She supplemented the original donations over the years, until her death in 1981. Additional materials were donated by Eberhart LeShin in 1991.


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
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Contents List
Series I, Biographical Material
1892-1981


Contains correspondence, honorary degree citations, newspaper clippings, photographs, press releases and programs of ceremonies. It also contains genealogical material of the Morris and Nicolson families.

General
1934-1981

Box 952: folder 1
General

(see also scrapbooks)

Autograph Book
1908-1909

Box 952: folder 2
Awards



Miscellaneous
1947-1967

Box 952: folder 3
Chi Omega
1934

Box 952: folder 4
Honorary Degrees



General

(diplomas in Oversize Map case)

Miscellaneous
1937-1953

Box 952: folder 5
Colby College
1953

Box 952: folder 6
Columbia University
1963

Box 952: folder 7
George Washington University
1962

Box 952: folder 8
Michigan, University of
1937

Box 952: folder 9
Mt. Holyoke College
1933

Box 952: folder 10
Princeton University
1946

Box 952: folder 11
Rutgers University
1964

Box 952: folder 12
Smith College
1941

Box 952: folder 13
Wesleyan University
1943

Box 952: folder 14
Yale University
1963

Box 952: folder 15
Correspondence
1938-1950

Box 952: folder 16
Correspondence re: Voyages to the Moon
1948

Box 952: folder 16a
Education


Box 952: folder 17
General

(see also Memorabilia Book)

Michigan
1914

Box 952
Yale
1920

Box 952
Family



General
1931-1951

Box 952: folder 18
Lissie Morris Nicolson (mother)



Autograph Book
1880-1881

Box 952: folder 19
Journal/Account Book
1927Jan-1933Aug

Box 952: folder 19a-d
Genealogy
1903 undated

Box 953: folder 20
Memorial Services
1981

Box 953: folder 21
Photographs



General
1894-1968

Box 953: folder 22
Sarah Powell Haardt Menken


Box OV Mapcase
Sarah P.H. Menken and H.L. Menken


Box 958.1
Stahlberg Portraits
1930-1933

Box 953: folder 23
Family



General
undated

Box 953: folder 24
Lissie Morris Nicolson
undated

Box 953: folder 25
Charles B. and Lissie Morris
undated

Box 953: folder 25a
Marjorie with family
undated

Box 953: folder 25b
Marjorie with Clyde Wallace


Box 953: folder 26
Morris (brother)
1892-1900

Box 953
Charles, John, Kathryn and Wallace Nicolson
1942-1950

Box 953: folder 26b
Snapshots
undated

Box 953: folder 26c
Retirements Tributes
1962

Box 953: folder 27
Series II, Professional Life
1926-1956


Contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, press releases and syllabi from courses she taught at Smith College and Columbia University.

Columbia University
1940-1941 1975 undated

Box 953: folder 28
Guggenheim Foundation Committee
1926-1935

Box 953: folder 29
Phi Beta Kappa
1937-1956

Box 953: folder 30
Smith College
1929-1941

Box 953: folder 31
Smith College--Lecture Notes English 33b "Milton"
undated

Box 953: folder 31a
Series III, Speeches
1929-1964


Contains newspaper clippings, press releases, programs, and copies of speeches Nicolson gave during her careers.

Alumnae Council, Smith College
1934Feb

Box 954: folder 32
"The Battle of the Books" Graduate Convocation, Brown University
1964Jun 1

Box 954: folder 33
Chapel Talks
1929-1940

Box 954: folder 34-37
"The Grammarian's Funeral", Northampton Book Festival
1939Apr 19

Box 954: folder 38
"Liberals of the Future", Vassar College 75th Anniversary
1940Jun

Box 954: folder 39
"Pepys"
undated

Box 954: folder 39a
"Science and Imagination," Alumnae Weekend
1935Oct 19

Box 954: folder 40
News clippings, press releases and programs
1930-1937

Box 954: folder 41
News clippings, press releases and programs
1938-1964

Box 954: folder 42
Series IV, Writings
1925-1978


Contains manuscripts, newspaper clippings, press releases, reprints, reviews and typescripts of her writings. Books produced by Marjorie Hope Nicolson are located in off-site storage and access may not be immediate to these materials.

Bibliography


Box 954: folder 43
Miscellaneous, unidentified
undated

Box 954: folder 44
News clippings, press releases, reviews
1929-1959

Box 954: folder 45
"A.O. Lovejoy as a Teacher," Journal of the History of Ideas
1948Oct

Box 954: folder 46
"The Cave or the Market Place?" Journal of the AAUW
1930Jan

Box 954: folder 47
"A Child Without A Country"
undated

Box 954: folder 48
"Christian Gauss: True Wayfaring Christian" The American Scholar, vol 17
1948

Box 954: folder 49
"Cosmic Voyages" Journal of English Literary History, vol 17
1940Jun

Box 954: folder 50
"The Discovery of Space" typescript
undated

Box 954: folder 51
"The Early Stage of Cartesianism in England" in Studies in Philology, vol 25
1929Jul

Box 954: folder 52
"English Almanacs and the 'New Astronomy'" Annuals of Science
1939Jan

Box 954: folder 53
"The first electrical flying machine" with Nora May Mohler Smith College Studies in the Modern Languages
1939Oct-1940Jul

Box 954: folder 54
"George Keith and the Cambridge Platonists" Philosophical Review, vol 39
1930Jan

Box 954: folder 55
"Ici on parle" American Speech, vol 1, No. 5
1926Feb

Box 954: folder 56
"Kepler, the Somnium and John Donne" Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol 1, No. 3
1940Jun

Box 954: folder 57
"The Last [Lost] Generation," typescript
undated

Box 954: folder 58
"Learning, Light and Liberty," Association of American Colleges Bulletin Vol 27, No.4
1942Dec

Box 954: folder 59
"Marius Bewley and 'Debbie' at Columbia" typescript
undated

Box 954: folder 60
"Merchants of Light:Scholarship in Arts and Letters" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol 87, No.4
1944

Box 954: folder 61
"The Microscope and English Imagination" Smith College Studies in the Modern Languages Vol 16, No. 4
1935Jul

Box 955: folder 62
"Milton and Hobbes," Studies in Philology, Vol 23, No 4
1926Oct

Box 955: folder 63
"Milton and the Telescope," A Journal of English Literary History, Vol 2, No 1
1935Apr

Box 955: folder 64
"Milton's Hell and the Phlegraen Fields," A Journal of English Literary History, Vol 2, No 1
1935Apr

Box 955: folder 65
"Milton's 'Old Damoetas'," MLN, Vol 41, No 5.
1926May

Box 955: folder 66
"The 'New Astronomy' and English Literary Imagination," Studies in Philology, Vol 32, No. 3
1935Jul

Box 955: folder 67
"New Philosophy Calls All in Doubt," Scripps College Papers, No. 9
1947

Box 955: folder 68
"Neilson of Smith" American Scholar, Vol 15, No. 4
1946 Autumn

Box 955: folder 69
"One Room Schoolhouse," mss. Draft
undated

Box 955: folder 70
"One Room Schoolhouse," typescript
undated

Box 955: folder 71
"One War Generation to Another," Goucher Alumnae Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 4
1940Jul

Box 955: folder 72
"Phattie Morris," Dalhousie Review, Vol. 57, No. 4
1977-1978 Winter

Box 955: folder 73
"The Professor and the Detective," Atlantic Monthly
1929Apr

Box 955: folder 74
"Resource Letter SL-1 on Science and Literature," American Journal of Physics, Vol. 33, No. 3
1965Mar

Box 955: folder 75
"Richard Foster Jones," The Seventeenth Century (Stanford Univ. Press)
1951

Box 955: folder 76
"The Rights and privileges pertaining thereto...," Hampshire Bookshop
1939

Box 956: folder 77
"The Rights and privileges...;" draft
undated

Box 956: folder 78
"Scholars and Ladies" Yale Review pp. 775-795
Summer 1930

Box 956: folder 78a
"The Scientific Background of Swift's 'Voyage to Laputa," Annals of Science, Vol. 2, No 4
1937Oct

Box 956: folder 79
"The Spirit World of Milton and More," Studies in Philology, Vol 22, No. 4
1939Oct

Box 956: folder 80
"Swift's 'Flying Island' in the Voyage to Laputa" with Nora May Mohler, Annals of Science, Vol. 2, No. 4
1937Oct

Box 956: folder 81
"The Telescope and Imagination," Modern Philology, Vol 32, No 3
1935Feb

Box 956: folder 82
Thank you, God
1946

Box 956: folder 83
"Thomas Paine, Edward Nares, and Mrs. Piozzi Marginalia," Huntington Library Bulletin
1936Oct

Box 956: folder 84
"A Two Cent Stamp," typescript
undated

Box 956: folder 85
"Two Voices: Science and Literature," Rockefeller Institute Review, Vol 1, No 3
1963Jun

Box 956: folder 86
"A World in the Moon," Smith College Studies in the Modern Languages Vol 27, No 2
1936Jan

Box 956: folder 87
Publications



The Art of Description (FS Crofts & Co., NY)
1928

Box 956
Conway Letters:The Correspondence of Anne, Viscount Conway, Henry More, and their Friends, 1642-1684. (Yale University Press, New Haven)
1930

Box 956
Newton Demands the Muse: Newton's 'Opticks' and the Eighteenth Century Poets
1946

Box 956
(Princeton University Press: NJ) reprint
1979

Box 956
Selections from Shelley and Keats (Harper & Bros., NY)
1924

Box 956
Voyages to the Moon (Macmillan & Co.:NY)
1948

Box 956
The Breaking of the Circle (Northwest University)
1950

Box 956
Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: the Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite (Norton:NY)
1959

Box 956
Science and Imagination (Great Seal Books:NY)
1956

Box 956
John Milton: A Reader's Guide to his Poetry (Farrar & Strauss: NY)
1963

Box 956
Columbia University Oral History interviews #2-8


Box 957
Columbia University Oral History interviews #9-16


Box 958
2 Scrapbooks
c1913-1949

Box 958.1
University of Michigan Scrapbook
1914

Box 958.2
Michigan Songs


Box 958.3
2 Scrapbooks re: theatre
c1880-1939

Box 958.4

Search Terms
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Subjects
  • Columbia University--Faculty.
  • Nicolson, Marjorie Hope, 1894-
  • Smith College--Faculty.


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