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Laura Woolsey Lord Scales Papers, 1870-1990
11 boxes (5 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

Abstract:
Graduate, class of 1901, Smith College; Dean of Students, Smith College; and Dean of Women, Carnegie Institute of Technology. Papers include clippings, diaries, commonplace books, geneology, photographs, passports, speeches, recipes and writings, including her autobiography, poetry, and articles. Correspondents include her family and friends, plus the Morrow Family and William Allan Neilson.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

All files 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 any material from the Laura Woolsey Lord Scales Papers collection must be secured from the Smith College Archives.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Laura Woolsey Lord was born on November 13, 1879 in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she spent all of her childhood and most of her adolescence. She completed high school at Miss Frances Emerson's boarding school in Boston before entering Smith College as an undergraduate. Scales, a member of the class of 1901, attended Smith while it was still relatively new and the reputation of the College depended on the students' public decorum. By this time, women were accepted as students even if they were not yet encouraged to pursue higher education and Scales did not consider herself a pioneer in women's education.

After college Scales married Robert Latham Scales, who had been courting her while she was at Smith. The two were married just four years when he died of tuberculosis. After his death, Scales, now twenty-eight years old, was forced to enter the workforce. Although it was not easy during these times for women to find public employment, Scales was soon offered a position as an instructor at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She spent seven years there before accepting the duty as dean of women at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was only employed there for two years before she was offered a similar position in 1922 and returned to her alma mater, Smith College.

As Smith College "warden," Scales served as the dean of students, in charge of housing students, chaperoning on-campus activities, and arranging guest visits to the College. In addition, Scales chaired the committee of social activities and was a member of the conference committee. Scales was extremely dedicated to improving the campus atmosphere for students. As an undergraduate, Scales had lived off-campus and as a result, felt that she had not experienced much of the campus life, activity, and camaraderie that went on in the dormitories. One of the first changes she instilled as warden was to require that all students live on-campus. This decision added to the family atmosphere that Smith had always prided itself on and thus helped to unify the students and increase school spirit. Scales also valued the opinions of the students and met regularly with members of the Student Government Association in order to ensure that Smith kept up with the ever-changing educational customs and social trends. In addition, it was also Scales' responsibility to make sure that the rules and regulations of Smith College paralleled those in students' homes. Scales served as warden for twenty-two years before retiring in 1944.

During her time at Smith, Scales remained an active member of her community and her influence reached far beyond the Smith gates. She spent twenty-six years on the board of trustees at the People's Institute, a Northampton community center, and also served on the advisory committee of the Girls City Club of Northampton. In 1931, Scales was awarded an honorary degree from Smith and in 1939 she became the third woman ever to receive an honorary doctor of literature degree from Dartmouth College. In 1936, Smith College showed their appreciation for all that she had done for the school by naming one of the new dormitories the Laura Scales House.

After her retirement, Scales spent thirty years in Dunedin, Florida before returning to Northampton, Massachusetts. To Scales, education was "the backbone of living. It makes the world interesting." This mentality stayed with her for her whole life; she lived to be one hundred ten years old and remained an avid reader almost until her dying day. She died on June 12, 1990 in her Northampton nursing home.

This collection is organized into three series:


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

All files 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 any material from the Laura Woolsey Lord Scales Papers collection must be secured from the Smith College Archives.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Laura Woolsey Lord Scales Papers, Box #. Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Laura Woolsey Lord Scales Papers were donated to the College Archives by Laura Lord Smail, Class of 1944.

Processing Information

Processed by Jill Boncek.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Email: nyoung@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/archives
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHY



Clippings
1936-1990, n.d.

Box 1
Commonplace Book
1894-1903

Box 1
Diaries
1904-1907, 1935

Box 1
Financial Records
1909-1912, 1923-1980

Box 1
Genealogy
1931, n.d.

Box 1
Honorary degree (Smith)
1931

Box 1
Honorary degree (Dartmouth)
1939

Box 1
List of possessions
1968-1980

Box 1
Miscellaneous
1920-1985, n.d.

Box 1
Obituaries
1990

Box 1
Passports
1922-1932

Box 1
Photographs
1870s-1990

Box 2
Photograph album
1909-1912

Box 2
Recipe Notebook
n.d.

Box 2
Robert Leighton Scales
1908, n.d.

Box 2
Smith College appointment
1922

Box 2
Smith College retirement
1944

Box 2
Tributes
1920, 1951, n.d.

Box 2
Tributes 100th birthday
1979

Box 2
Wedding
1904-1908

Box 2
SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE



A - D
1908-1965, n.d.

Box 3
E - K
1908-1977, n.d.

Box 3
L - R
1917-1986, n.d.

Box 3
S - Z
1912-1987, n.d.

Box 3
Huger Elliot
1923-1940

Box 3
Alice S. Emerson
1902-1924, n.d.

Box 3
Henry Gow
1913-1934

Box 3
Elizabeth Deerling Hanscom
1908-1959

Box 3
Morrow Family
1933-1978, n.d.

Box 3
William Allan Neilson
1933-1946

Box 3
Patricia Nichols Page
1968-1973

Box 3
Jean Mitchell Pennington
1941-1959

Box 3
Robert Leighton Scales
1907-1908

Box 3
Mira Bigelow Wilson
1952-1953

Box 3
Lester Wing
1917-1923

Box 3
re death of mother
1931

Box 3
unidentified and fragments
1908-1915, n.d.

Box 3
SERIES III. WRITINGS AND SPEECHES



Autobiography correspondence and records
1976-1977

Box 4
Autobiography m.s.
c. 1975

Box 4
Poetry
1912, n.d.

Box 4
"The Museum as an Introduction to History"
1916

Box 4
"The Museum's Part in the Making of Americans"
1917

Box 4
"The Holidays of Art"
1918

Box 4
War Industries, Yesterday and Today
1918

Box 4
"The Schools and the Museum of Fine Arts"
1919

Box 4
"Art and the Present Hour"
1920

Box 4
"Boys of the Ages" correspondence
1922

Box 4
"Boys of the Ages": ms.
c. 1922

Box 4
"Boys of the Ages" (two published copies)
1922

Box 4
"Shall We Fear the Large College?"
1922

Box 4
"Locking the Barn Door"
1924

Box 4
"A College Warden Speaks"
1931

Box 4
"Smith College Cooperative Houses"
1934

Box 4
SAQ article re trip
1935

Box 4
Chapel talks
1938

Box 4
Speeches, Misc.
1928-1971

Box 4
"Adjusting Yourself to the Modern World
n.d.

Box 5
"Art as an Americanizing Force"
n.d.

Box 5
"Changing Tendencies in Bringing up Children"
n.d.

Box 5
"Even Unto these Last"
n.d.

Box 5
"Ex Patria"
n.d.

Box 5
"In Transit"
n.d.

Box 5
"Life's Day"
n.d.

Box 5
"Madonna and the Boy"
n.d.

Box 5
"Matsuyama Mirror"
n.d.

Box 5
"The Measure of Heaven"
n.d.

Box 5
"Not Only Wise"
n.d.

Box 5
"Old Age"
n.d.

Box 5
"Old Tales from China and Japan"
n.d.

Box 5
"On Principle"
n.d.

Box 5
"The Singing of the Pine Tree: A New World Legend
n.d.

Box 5
"Stories for Children"
n.d.

Box 5
"Where Your Treasure Is"
n.d.

Box 5
"Women's Colleges and Women's Conduct"
n.d.

Box 5
Speeches and Writings: Fragments
n.d.

Box 5

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
  • Scales, Laura Woolsey Lord.
  • Smith College--Faculty.
  • Smith College--Students.


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