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Alice Gorton Hart Papers, 1948-1988
6 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: 227

Abstract:
Poet and teacher. Primarily personal journals and notebooks, with inserts, dated from 1948 to 1988. Her undergraduate life at Smith is well documented. Materials from student life at Smith in the 1950s are included. Later journals document her marriage, friendships, and close relationship with her mother. Among the subjects she explored were poetry, women's spirituality, dreams, and the feminist movement. There are also poems and writings and a letter from Aldous Huxley.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any added restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

All literary rights for unpublished works by Alice Gorton Hart belong to her heirs, Andrew and David Hart, until March 2013, when they revert to the Sophia Smith Collection. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Alice Gorton Hart was born September 2, 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio, daughter of Douglas and Eunice Gorton. She earned an A.B. from Smith College in 1954, majoring in English. At Smith in the early 1950s Alice fulfilled her intellectual promise and was also involved in the typical contemporary social whirl.

She put aside her dreams of graduate school when she met George Hart, whom she married in September 1954. They had two sons, David and Andrew. George Hart's career in forestry took them to Michigan, West Virginia, New Hampshire and finally Logan, Utah. There Alice received an M.A in English from Utah State University in 1970. She taught part time in the English department for many years. She was also a technical writer for various academic publications. During this period she grew as a sensitive poet, artist, and writer. In January 1987 she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and died six months later on June 2, 1987.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alice Gorton Hart papers consist of 2.5 linear feet (6 boxes) of correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, clippings, printed material and miscellaneous writings, which are contained within her extensive personal journals dating from 1948 to the day before her death in 1987. In addition, there are two poetry collections: Prints and Poems (1982), and To Fly Once More (1988). The latter was published posthumously to commemorate her life. Her obituary and the eulogies given at her funeral were appended to the last journal.

In a letter to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1983 Hart described her journal: "It spans a great deal of philosophical change in women's lives ... [the] impact of the women's movement on a well educated normal wife/mother in a conservative environment who read, wrote, raged and changed." Her undergraduate life at Smith is well documented, reflecting an active social life with many male friends and much dating. There are several class notebooks, some papers she wrote, college event programs, memorabilia, and photographs included in the collection. These provide an excellent insight into life at Smith in the 1950s. Although Alice Gorton was at Smith at the same time as Sylvia Plath, with the exception of some clippings and articles about Plath, there is no indication that the two knew each other.

Hart's later journals document her life as wife and mother and her struggle to come to terms with the constraints of her life. They provide an intimate view of her sometimes troubled marriage; a close relationship with her parents, especially her mother; and strong friendships with both men and women. She also recorded some of her dreams. The journals are intimate and personal. Among the subjects she explored were women's spirituality, the feminist movement and the raising of feminist consciousness, poetry, and daily life. The 1957 journal (page 11) contains a letter from Aldous Huxley. Entries made during the last six months of her life document her struggle with terminal illness.

This collection is organized into two series:


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

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any added restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

All literary rights for unpublished works by Alice Gorton Hart belong to her heirs, Andrew and David Hart, until March 2013, when they revert to the Sophia Smith Collection. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

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

Alice Gorton Hart Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA

History of the Collection

The Alice Gorton Hart papers were a bequest of Hart, and were presented to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1987 and 1988 following her death.

Accruals:

Periodic additions to collection are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone, 1997.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. JOURNALS

[containing correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, clippings, printed material, and writings]




December 1948-May 1951
1948-1951

Box 1: folder 1-8
June 1951-August 1952
1951-1952

Box 2: folder 9-16
September 1952-September 1954
1952-1954

Box 3: folder 17-24
1957-June 1970
1957-1970

Box 4: folder 25-35
May 1970-October 1983
1970-1983

Box 5: folder 36-43
October 1983-June 1987

[obituaries and eulogies appended to last journal]

1983-1987

Box 6: folder 44-50
SERIES II. PUBLICATIONS



Poetry collections



Prints and Poems,
1982

Box 6: folder 50
To Fly Once More,
1988

Box 6

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
  • Cancer--Patients--History--20th century--Diaries
  • Family--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Female friendship--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Feminism--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Hart, Alice Gorton, 1932-1987
  • Housewives--United States--History--20th century--Diaries
  • Marriage--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • Poets, American--20th century--Diaries
  • Smith College--Students--History--Sources
  • Women--United States-Diaries


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