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Helen Begley Nixon Papers, 1945-1951
4 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 113

Abstract:
Red Cross official; Relief worker, World War II; Refugee relief organizer, Vietnam; and President, International Women's Association, Vietnam. The papers document the lives of women in Korea; in Germany after World War II; and in Vietnam, as well as orphanages, and refugees. Material includes correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia; approximately one quarter of the collection is in German, and some is in Vietnamese, Korean, and French.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

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

Restrictions on use:

Most of the material is published and owner of copyright for unpublished material is unknown. 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
Helen Begley Nixon distributing care packages to Vietnamese refugees, circa 1960s

Helen Begley Nixon distributing care
packages to Vietnamese refugees, circa 1960s

Helen Begley Nixon was born on March 13, 1900, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, daughter of Mr. and Mrs Thomas E. Begley. She graduated from Holyoke High School in 1917. Following graduation from Smith College in 1921, she taught English and history at the Allegheny County Academy in Cumberland, Maryland for five years. Between 1926 and 1948 she was director of the Red Cross in Holyoke, and Red Cross civilian relief representative in the American military governments of France, Belgium, Austria, and Germany. From 1946 to 1948 she was Chief Advisor of the Women's Bureau of the American military government in Korea where she helped reestablish the Korean Red Cross. From 1948 to 1953 Nixon was Cultural Officer for the Public Affairs Division of Women's Affairs for the U.S. High Commissioner in Germany, Cecil Lyon. She administered adult education and community organizing. Beginning circa 1955 to 1957, Nixon was the Refugee Settlement Advisor of the International Cooperation Administration Mission. the U.S. Great Britain, and France, plus seven voluntary agencies (CARE, Church World Service, Catholic Relief Services, International Research Council) who gave money, food, clothing, farm tools, and drugs to Vietnam. Her job was to resettle 650,000 refugees. She also established the first International Women's Association in Vietnam and served as it's first president. She also served on the Board of the Family Welfare School for Young Women. In 1957 she returned to the United States, and circa 1961 became an agency social worker with the Jicarilla Tribe in Dulce, New Mexico.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Helen Begley Nixon papers consist of 1.5 linear feet (4 document boxes) of correspondence, photographs, printed material, and memorabilia reflecting her professional life. In addition there is material she collected on subjects that were of interest to her, mostly about women. The Papers are arranged in three series (I. Korea, II. Germany, and III. Vietnam) by country in general chronological order. Approximately one quarter to one third of the material is in German, and an additional quarter in Vietnamese, Korean, and French. There is virtually no personal material.

The smallest amount of material is from Nixon's time in Korea and consists of four folders. These contain printed material and reports about women in Korea, reports, and one photograph of the General Federation of Korean Women, plus correspondence and printed material from the Women's Bureau of the Office of the Military Governor, 1946-55. In this series there is also a folder of printed material about women in China and Japan that Nixon obviously collected while in Korea.

The largest portion of the Nixon papers is from Germany, most of which is contained in 10 linear inches of reports and related material (1945-53) collected while Nixon was associated with the Women's Affairs Branch of the U.S. High Commission for Occupied Germany. These cover a wide range of topics, including, education and culture, exchanges with women in the United States, women's organizations, employment and the position of women in Germany after World War II. Included also in this series is general printed material (clippings, articles, periodicals) about women in Germany, plus one photograph (1952) of Dr. Dorothy Fosdick and Dr. Else Ulich-Beil President of Deutscher.

The final series is from Vietnam and reflects Nixon's role as Refugee Settlement Advisor of the International Cooperation Administration in Vietnam. This consists of five inches of material, including articles, clippings and printed material about women in Vietnam, 1954-1957; reports, memos and correspondence about orphanages, International Women's Association, refugees and voluntary agencies. This series also contains 27 photographs.

This collection is organized into three series:


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

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

Restrictions on use:

Most of the material is published and owner of copyright for unpublished material is unknown. 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:

Helen Begley Nixon Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Helen Begley Nixon Papers were a gift of Mrs. Nixon, 1966-1972.

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.