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Laura Woolsey Lord Scales Papers, 1870-1990
2.083 linear feet (5 containers)
Collection number: CA.MS.00088

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:

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

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.

Scope and Contents

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.

This collection is organized into three series:

  1. I. Biography
  2. II. Correspondence
  3. III. Writings and Speeches

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

Laura Woolsey Lord Scales Papers, Smith College Archives, CA-MS-00088, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

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 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. BIOGRAPHY



Clippings
1936-1990 undated

Box 1007
Commonplace Book
1894-1903

Box 1007
Diaries
1904-1907 1935

Box 1007
Financial Records
1909-1912 1923-1980

Box 1007
Genealogy
1931 undated

Box 1007
Honorary degree (Smith)
1931

Box 1007
Honorary degree (Dartmouth)
1939

Box 1007
List of possessions
1968-1980

Box 1007
Miscellaneous
1920-1985 undated

Box 1007
Obituaries
1990

Box 1007
Passports
1922-1932

Box 1007
Photographs
1870s-1990

Box 1008
Photograph album
1909-1912

Box 1008
Recipe Notebook
undated

Box 1008
Robert Leighton Scales
1908 undated

Box 1008
Smith College appointment
1922

Box 1008
Smith College retirement
1944

Box 1008
Tributes
1920 1951 undated

Box 1008
Tributes 100th birthday
1979

Box 1008
Wedding
1904-1908

Box 1008
SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE



A - D
1908-1965 undated

Box 1009
E - K
1908-1977 undated

Box 1009
L - R
1917-1986 undated

Box 1009
S - Z
1912-1987 undated

Box 1009
Huger Elliot
1923-1940

Box 1009
Alice S. Emerson
1902-1924 undated

Box 1009
Henry Gow
1913-1934

Box 1009
Elizabeth Deerling Hanscom
1908-1959

Box 1009
Morrow Family
1933-1978 undated

Box 1009
William Allan Neilson
1933-1946

Box 1009
Patricia Nichols Page
1968-1973

Box 1009
Jean Mitchell Pennington
1941-1959

Box 1009
Robert Leighton Scales
1907-1908

Box 1009
Mira Bigelow Wilson
1952-1953

Box 1009
Lester Wing
1917-1923

Box 1009
re death of mother
1931

Box 1009
unidentified and fragments
1908-1915 undated

Box 1009
SERIES III. WRITINGS AND SPEECHES



Autobiography correspondence and records
1976-1977

Box 1010
Autobiography m.s.
ca.1975

Box 1010
Poetry
1912 undated

Box 1010
"The Museum as an Introduction to History"
1916

Box 1010
"The Museum's Part in the Making of Americans"
1917

Box 1010
"The Holidays of Art"
1918

Box 1010
War Industries, Yesterday and Today
1918

Box 1010
"The Schools and the Museum of Fine Arts"
1919

Box 1010
"Art and the Present Hour"
1920

Box 1010
"Boys of the Ages" correspondence
1922

Box 1010
"Boys of the Ages": ms.
ca.1922

Box 1010
"Boys of the Ages" (two published copies)
1922

Box 1010
"Shall We Fear the Large College?"
1922

Box 1010
"Locking the Barn Door"
1924

Box 1010
"A College Warden Speaks"
1931

Box 1010
"Smith College Cooperative Houses"
1934

Box 1010
SAQ article re trip
1935

Box 1010
Chapel talks
1938

Box 1010
Speeches, Misc.
1928-1971

Box 1010
"Adjusting Yourself to the Modern World
undated

Box 1011
"Art as an Americanizing Force"
undated

Box 1011
"Changing Tendencies in Bringing up Children"
undated

Box 1011
"Even Unto these Last"
undated

Box 1011
"Ex Patria"
undated

Box 1011
"In Transit"
undated

Box 1011
"Life's Day"
undated

Box 1011
"Madonna and the Boy"
undated

Box 1011
"Matsuyama Mirror"
undated

Box 1011
"The Measure of Heaven"
undated

Box 1011
"Not Only Wise"
undated

Box 1011
"Old Age"
undated

Box 1011
"Old Tales from China and Japan"
undated

Box 1011
"On Principle"
undated

Box 1011
"The Singing of the Pine Tree: A New World Legend
undated

Box 1011
"Stories for Children"
undated

Box 1011
"Where Your Treasure Is"
undated

Box 1011
"Women's Colleges and Women's Conduct"
undated

Box 1011
Speeches and Writings: Fragments
undated

Box 1011

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.
  • Smail, Laura Lord
  • Smail, Laura Lord
  • Smith College--Faculty.
  • Smith College--Students.


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