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Marjorie Hope Nicolson Papers, 1892-1981
7 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

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 Contains biographical material, correspondence, published and unpublished writings.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the College Archives.

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

The brilliant 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.

From an early age, Nicolson was committed to a life of hard work and learning, due to her Calvinist principles and work ethic. 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 and honored member of the American Philosophical Society, consulting editor of the publication the "American Scholar", and most importantly the first woman 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 prestigious career spanning over fifty years, she garnered accolades and honorary degrees from over 17 colleges.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Marjorie Hope Nicolson Papers (1892-1981) form part of the 42. Faculty Biographical Files in the Smith College Archives. The 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 Colombia University.


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

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the College Archives.

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:

Marjorie Hope Nicolson Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

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 1: folder 1
Note:
Autograph Book
1908-1909

Box 1: folder 2
Awards



Miscellaneous
1947-1967

Box 1: folder 3
Chi Omega
1934

Box 1: folder 4
Honorary Degrees



Note:

(diplomas in Oversize Map case)

Miscellaneous
1937-1953

Box 1: folder 5
Colby College
1953

Box 1: folder 6
Columbia University
1963

Box 1: folder 7
George Washington University
1962

Box 1: folder 8
Michigan, University of
1937

Box 1: folder 9
Mt. Holyoke College
1933

Box 1: folder 10
Princeton University
1946

Box 1: folder 11
Rutgers University
1964

Box 1: folder 12
Smith College
1941

Box 1: folder 13
Wesleyan University
1943

Box 1: folder 14
Yale University
1963

Box 1: folder 15
Correspondence
1938-1950

Box 1: folder 16
Correspondence re: Voyages to the Moon
1948

Box 1: folder 16a
Education


Box 1: folder 17
Note:
Michigan
1914

Box 1
Yale
1920

Box 1
Family



General
1931-1951

Box 1: folder 18
Lissie Morris Nicolson (mother)



Autograph Book
1880-1881

Box 1: folder 19
Journal/Account Book
1927Jan-1933Aug

Box 1: folder 19a-d
Genealogy
1903, n.d.

Box 2: folder 20
Memorial Services
1981

Box 2: folder 21
Photographs



General
1894-1968

Box 2: folder 22
Sarah Powell Haardt Menken


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


Box OV
Stahlberg Portraits
1930-1933

Box 2: folder 23
Family



General
n.d.

Box 2: folder 24
Lissie Morris Nicolson
n.d.

Box 2: folder 25
Charles B. and Lissie Morris
n.d.

Box 2: folder 25a
Marjorie with family
n.d.

Box 2: folder 25b
Marjorie with Clyde Wallace


Box 2: folder 26
Morris (brother)
1892-1900

Box 2
Charles, John, Kathryn and Wallace Nicolson
1942-1950

Box 2: folder 26b
Snapshots
n.d.

Box 2: folder 26c
Retirements Tributes
1962

Box 2: 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, n.d.

Box 2: folder 28
Guggenheim Foundation Committee
1926-1935

Box 2: folder 29
Phi Beta Kappa
1937-1956

Box 2: folder 30
Smith College
1929-1941

Box 2: folder 31
Smith College--Lecture Notes English 33b "Milton"
n.d.

Box 2: 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 3: folder 32
"The Battle of the Books" Graduate Convocation, Brown University
1964Jun 1

Box 3: folder 33
Chapel Talks
1929-1940

Box 3: folder 34-37
"The Grammarian's Funeral", Northampton Book Festival
1939Apr 19

Box 3: folder 38
"Liberals of the Future", Vassar College 75th Anniversary
1940Jun

Box 3: folder 39
"Pepys"
n.d.

Box 3: folder 39a
"Science and Imagination," Alumnae Weekend
1935Oct 19

Box 3: folder 40
News clippings, press releases and programs
1930-1937

Box 3: folder 41
News clippings, press releases and programs
1938-1964

Box 3: 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 3: folder 43
Miscellaneous, unidentified
n.d.

Box 3: folder 44
News clippings, press releases, reviews
1929-1959

Box 3: folder 45
"A.O. Lovejoy as a Teacher," Journal of the History of Ideas
1948Oct

Box 3: folder 46
"The Cave or the Market Place?" Journal of the AAUW
1930Jan

Box 3: folder 47
"A Child Without A Country"
n.d.

Box 3: folder 48
"Christian Gauss: True Wayfaring Christian" The American Scholar, vol 17
1948

Box 3: folder 49
"Cosmic Voyages" Journal of English Literary History, vol 17
1940Jun

Box 3: folder 50
"The Discovery of Space" typescript
n.d.

Box 3: folder 51
"The Early Stage of Cartesianism in England" in Studies in Philology, vol 25
1929Jul

Box 3: folder 52
"English Almanacs and the 'New Astronomy'" Annuals of Science
1939Jan

Box 3: folder 53
"The first electrical flying machine" with Nora May Mohler Smith College Studies in the Modern Languages
1939Oct-1940Jul

Box 3: folder 54
"George Keith and the Cambridge Platonists" Philosophical Review, vol 39
1930Jan

Box 3: folder 55
"Ici on parle" American Speech, vol 1, No. 5
1926Feb

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

Box 3: folder 57
"The Last [Lost] Generation," typescript
n.d.

Box 3: folder 58
"Learning, Light and Liberty," Association of American Colleges Bulletin Vol 27, No.4
1942Dec

Box 3: folder 59
"Marius Bewley and 'Debbie' at Columbia" typescript
n.d.

Box 3: folder 60
"Merchants of Light:Scholarship in Arts and Letters" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol 87, No.4
1944

Box 3: folder 61
"The Microscope and English Imagination" Smith College Studies in the Modern Languages Vol 16, No. 4
1935Jul

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

Box 4: folder 63
"Milton and the Telescope," A Journal of English Literary History, Vol 2, No 1
1935Apr

Box 3: folder 64
"Milton's Hell and the Phlegraen Fields," A Journal of English Literary History, Vol 2, No 1
1935Apr

Box 4: folder 65
"Milton's 'Old Damoetas'," MLN, Vol 41, No 5.
1926May

Box 4: folder 66
"The 'New Astronomy' and English Literary Imagination," Studies in Philology, Vol 32, No. 3
1935Jul

Box 4: folder 67
"New Philosophy Calls All in Doubt," Scripps College Papers, No. 9
1947

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

Box 4: folder 69
"One Room Schoolhouse," mss. Draft
n.d.

Box 4: folder 70
"One Room Schoolhouse," typescript
n.d.

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

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

Box 4: folder 73
"The Professor and the Detective," Atlantic Monthly,
1929Apr

Box 4: folder 74
"Resource Letter SL-1 on Science and Literature," American Journal of Physics, Vol. 33, No. 3
1965Mar

Box 4: folder 75
"Richard Foster Jones," The Seventeenth Century (Stanford Univ. Press)
1951

Box 4: folder 76
"The Rights and privileges pertaining thereto...," Hampshire Bookshop
1939

Box 5: folder 77
"The Rights and privileges...;" draft
n.d.

Box 5: folder 78
"Scholars and Ladies" Yale Review pp. 775-795
Summer 1930

Box 5: folder 78a
"The Scientific Background of Swift's 'Voyage to Laputa," Annals of Science, Vol. 2, No 4
1937Oct

Box 5: folder 79
"The Spirit World of Milton and More," Studies in Philology, Vol 22, No. 4
1939Oct

Box 5: folder 80
"Swift's 'Flying Island' in the Voyage to Laputa" with Nora May Mohler, Annals of Science, Vol. 2, No. 4
1937Oct

Box 5: folder 81
"The Telescope and Imagination," Modern Philology, Vol 32, No 3
1935Feb

Box 5: folder 82
Thank you, God,
1946

Box 5: folder 83
"Thomas Paine, Edward Nares, and Mrs. Piozzi Marginalia," Huntington Library Bulletin
1936Oct

Box 5: folder 84
"A Two Cent Stamp," typescript
n.d.

Box 5: folder 85
"Two Voices: Science and Literature," Rockefeller Institute Review, Vol 1, No 3
1963Jun

Box 5: folder 86
"A World in the Moon," Smith College Studies in the Modern Languages Vol 27, No 2
1936Jan

Box 5: folder 87
Publications



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

Box 5
Conway Letters:The Correspondence of Anne, Viscount Conway, Henry More, and their Friends, 1642-1684. (Yale University Press, New Haven)
1930

Box 5
Newton Demands the Muse: Newton's 'Opticks' and the Eighteenth Century Poets
1946

Box 5
(Princeton University Press: NJ) reprint
1979

Box 5
Selections from Shelley and Keats (Harper & Bros., NY)
1924

Box 5
Voyages to the Moon (Macmillan & Co.:NY)
1948

Box 5
The Breaking of the Circle (Northwest University)
1950

Box 5
Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: the Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite (Norton:NY)
1959

Box 5
Science and Imagination (Great Seal Books:NY)
1956

Box 5
John Milton: A Reader's Guide to his Poetry (Farrar & Strauss: NY)
1963

Box 5
Columbia University Oral History interviews #2-8


Box 6
Columbia University Oral History interviews #9-16


Box 7
1 Memorabilia Book re: Univ. of Michigan
1914

Box OV
2 Scrapbooks
c1913-1949

Box OV
2 Scrapbooks re: theatre
c1880-1939

Box OV
Michigan Songs


Box OV

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

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


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