Esther Lowenthal Papers
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Esther Lowenthal Papers cover a period from 1911 to 1997. The majority of the materials are from 1909 to 1950, when Lowenthal was enrolled at Columbia University and served on the faculty of Smith College. Most of the material is composed of correspondence, speeches, publications, and student notebooks. Other types of materials represented in this collection include news articles and photographs.
The biographical materials contain mostly newspaper articles and news releases on Lowenthal. As she was an active member of the Smith community, several newspapers from nearby towns, such as Holyoke and Springfield, have articles on her speeches and activities. There is also a personal contribution to the Smith College Archives by Esther Lowenthal herself, on her first impression of Smith when she arrived from Rochester, New York in 1911. There is also a certificate from Bryn Mawr College honoring Lowenthal for her distinguished service.
The correspondence ranges in date from 1937 to 1952, and includes handwritten letters and typewritten memorandums. Most of the memorandums are reports on academic changes. There is one handwritten letter to Lowenthal regarding a book the writer was critiquing. This series does not contain very much material.
Lowenthal's speeches and publications, dating from 1911 to 1949, comprise the largest part of the collection. The speeches are directed at a variety of audiences, ranging from faculty and students to the Commencement speech of 1948 Lowenthal delivered in place of President Herbert Davis. Almost all the speeches are typewritten. Publications include, most notably, Esther Lowenthal's dissertation while at Columbia The Ricardian Socialists and her pamphlet Labor Policy of Oneida Community Ltd."
All of the photographs of Lowenthal depict her in her more mature years. She is alone in the pictures, all of which are posed, and often has a pensive expression on her face.