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Margery Wells Steer Papers, 1950-1992
3 boxes (1.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 180

Abstract:
Journalist and pacifist. Material includes correspondence with women's historian Mary Beard, with editors of Soviet Woman journal, and with Soviet women professors. Writings include her column, Peace and the People, published books, articles for Soviet Women, and a typescript of The Weight of a Snowflake. Other correspondents include her publisher, readers, and editor, as well as William Beard and Irma Drodina, Valentina Fedetova, Nelya Ramazanova, Margarita Smolyaninova, Olga Suslova, Olga Ushakova, and Galina Zlomanova.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the papers of Margery Wells Steer. Copyright to materials created 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 must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Margery Wells Steer was born in New Canaan, Connecticut, in 1899 and grew up on an eastern Long Island farm near Riverhead. She and her husband, James Steer, were graduated from Oberlin College in 1923. They farmed near Youngstown, Ohio, from the early 1930s to 1963 while Mr. Steer taught school in Youngstown, and retired first to Atwood Lake, Ohio, and then to Friends House in Sandy Spring, Maryland.

The Steers have long been active in behalf of world peace. Mrs. Steer has published articles on historical and political subjects, edited community newsletters, and written columns. Her column, "Treating of This and That," appeared in the Journal of Education (Boston) between 1949 and 1951, and "Peace and the People" first in the Grove City (PA) Reporter Herald and continuing in Farm and Dairy (Salem, Ohio) from 1966 to the present. "Peace and the People" was written "to bring readers of a farm newspaper in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania information on ways in which an individual can create peace." A compilation of her articles was published in 1956 under the title New Frontiers for Rural America. She also prepared a compilation of selected columns of "Peace and the People" entitled "The Weight of a Snowflake" (l966) which was never published. A volume of letters from foreign students who shared their home for varying periods of time was published under the title Dear Grandparents in 1981.

The Steers helped organize the Carroll County (Ohio) chapter of People to People International and opened their home to visitors under that program and the Experiment in International Living.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Margery Wells Steer donated these papers beginning in 1966. Dating from 1950 to 1986, they consist of her writings, correspondence, and some printed material.

The correspondence documents her relationship with Mary Beard and several Soviet women and also relates to her newspaper column. Of particular interest are the thirty-six letters from Mary Beard, 1950 to 1955. Steer wrote to her in 1950 requesting historical information, and the resulting friendship and exchange of letters continued until Mary Beard's death. These personal letters deal with a wide range of topics and are a reflection of Beard's many interests. Steer also corresponded with the English Edition editors of Soviet Woman between 1957 and 1985 and with two other Soviet women (1968; 1971-76), both of whom are professors at the University of Moscow. The correspondence about "Peace and the People" consists primarily of letters exchanged with her readers and with the editor of Farm and Dairy, also with other newspapers and publishers about the publication of her column.

The writings consist of the newspaper column "Peace and the People" (1966- 1986) and nine letters and articles published in Soviet Woman between 1971 and 1984. In addition there is a published copy of her book Dear Grandparents and a typescript of "The Weight of a Snowflake."

A few miscellaneous printed items are by and about Mary Beard.


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

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the papers of Margery Wells Steer. Copyright to materials created 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 must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Preferred Citation

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

Margery Wells Steer Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone and Susan Grigg, 1986.


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.