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Nancy Maas Papers, 1964-2013 (Bulk: 1964-1966)
1 box (.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 708

Abstract:
Peace Corps volunteer; Art historian; Artist; Professor, African Art History. The papers include seventy letters written by Maas to her parents during her time in the Peace Corps in Bolivia, circa 1960s, which are particularly descriptive of the country, early Peace Corps life and shifting social mores among American youth during the 1960s. There are also images of Peace Corps activities and travels in South America. [NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

Nancy Maas retains copyright to her papers for her lifetime.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Nancy Christine Neaher Maas was born in New York City, the daughter of the Honorable Edward R Neaher, US District Judge, Eastern District, and Catherine King Neaher, an attorney for the US Social Security Appeals Division. Along with her two sisters and one brother, Maas grew up in Garden City on Long Island. She attended Smith College, graduating in 1963 after which she earned a MAT at Harvard University in 1964. It was then she joined the Peace Corps, faithfully writing home about the country she was stationed in, Bolivia, as well as its people, and her fellow Peace Corp volunteers, idealistic young Americans such as herself at the height of the Cold War yet amidst the hopefulness of the Great Society. By 1976, Maas would go on to earn an MA and a PhD in Art History, specializing in African Art, from Stanford University and begin a long teaching career including appointments at Hunter College, Cornell University, and most extensively, Ithaca College. She has now entered what she refers to as her "third career," that of an artist, specializing watercolors. According to her Web site, www.nmaas.com, Maas "paints in upstate New York, northern Michigan and in the Southwest." In a reflection written almost fifty years later, Maas referred to her years in the Peace Corps as "a signal time in my life." In re-reading her letters home so many years later, she was struck by the fact that "at times I sound like the feminist I later became." Finally, Maas credits her two years in Bolivia with introducing her to non-Western art, an appreciation of which she would base her life's work upon.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers include seventy letters written by Maas to her parents during her time in the Peace Corps in Bolivia, circa 1960s. They are particularly descriptive of the country, early Peace Corps life and shifting social mores among American youth during the 1960s. There are also digital images (scanned from original slides and photographs) of Peace Corps activities and travels in South America.

[NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]


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 with the following caveats:

  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

Nancy Maas retains copyright to her papers for her lifetime.

Preferred Citation

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

Nancy Maas Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Nancy Maas donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2012

Processing Information

Accessioned by Kathleen Banks Nutter, 2013


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


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
  • Bolivia -- Description and travel
  • Cold War -- Social aspects -- United States -- Sources
  • Maas, Nancy
  • Peace Corps (U.S.) -- Bolivia -- Biography
  • South America -- Description and travel


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