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Smith Centennial Study Oral History Project, 1970-75
24 boxes (12 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 12

Abstract:
The Smith Centennial Study was a an oral history project for Smith College's centennial celebration. The project culminated with the publication of the book, College: A Smith Mosaic. The purpose of the study was to provide a source of information about the importance of education in women's lives. Smith alumnae were interviewed, their observations were recorded on tape and the tapes were transcribed. The collection includes clippings, reports to the National Endowment for the Humanities, transcripts and correspondence with participants in the study, general correspondence, annotated and published copies of the book, College: A Smith Mosaic.

Terms of Access and Use: Restrictions on use:

The Archives has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the papers must be requested from the College Archives.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

The Smith Centennial Study, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, was a project that President Mendenhall asked Jacqueline Van Voris to undertake in 1970 as an oral history project for Smith College's centennial celebration. Ms. Van Voris dedicated over four years to the project, which culminated with the publication of the book, College: A Smith Mosaic, which she submitted as partial fulfillment of requirements for her MA in Education in 1975. The purpose of the study was to provide a source of information about the importance of education in women's lives. Smith alumnae were interviewed, their observations were recorded on tape and the tapes were transcribed. The interviews were informal conversations conducted in a manner designed to extract pertinent information. The questions were designed to stimulate conversation and to keep the focus on the respondent. Phrasing of the questions encouraged the respondent's frank appraisal of her education. Questions typically asked included: "Why did you decide to go to Smith? Was it your idea? What was your academic preparation? What courses did you study? What are your remembrances of Smith? What is your general assessment of the education you received? How could college have helped you more? Have your views on education changed over the years since your graduation? Have you ever felt discriminated against because you are a woman?"

The interviews were conducted and recorded from 1971-74. The book, College: A Smith Mosaic, was published in February, 1975 and lists of respondents were sent to the Directory of Oral History Collections for inclusion in that directory.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Smith Centennial Study Oral History Project collection is comprised of news clippings, reports to the National Endowment for the Humanities, transcripts and correspondence with participants in the study, general correspondence, annotated and published copies of the book, College: A Smith Mosaic, interview statistics and transcript excerpts by subject.


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

The Archives has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the papers must be requested from the College Archives.

Preferred Citation

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

Smith Centennial Study Oral History Project, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Gayla Spaulding


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.