Five College Archives and Manuscript
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> Biography Collection, 1771-1995 (bulk 1920s-70s)
Smith College seal
Biography collection, 1771-1995 (Bulk: 1920-1970)
17 boxes; 10 volumes (6.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 393

This collection consists of biographical material on both famous and lesser-known women and men. For the most part, there is only a small amount of material on each individual. Materials typically include published and unpublished biographical sketches, books, correspondence, diaries, genealogies, photographs, and published and unpublished writings.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Material in this collection may be protected by copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy all copyright holders. 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

Scope and contents of the collection
Portrait of Kitty Merion, 1911

Portrait of Kitty Merion, 1911

This collection consists of biographical material related to both well-known and unknown women and men whose lives spanned the years from 1771-1970s. Notable individuals represented include Mary McLeod Bethune, Bernard Baruch, Lizzie Borden, Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby (The Ladies of Llangollen), Tennessee Claflin Cook, Grace Coolidge, Angela Davis, Mary Daly, Hannah Dustin, Dorothy Gish, Julia Ward Howe, Anne Hutchinson, Mother Jones, Helen Keller, Florynce Kennedy, Joan Little, Eleanor Roosevelt, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Florence Luscomb, Rosa Luxemburg, Marie Antoinette, Margaret Mead, Pauli Murray, Anna Lord Strauss, Rose Pastor Stokes, Annie Sullivan Macy, and Victoria Woodhull.

For the most part, there is only a small amount of material on each individual. Files are organized alphabetically by name. Materials typically include published and unpublished biographical sketches, books, correspondence, diaries, genealogies, newspaper clippings, photographs, and published and unpublished writings. The files of individuals such as Lizzie Borden and Angela Davis also include legal documents. Davis' file (the largest in the collection) also contains memoranda, postcards, political buttons, leaflets, petitions, newsletters, trial bulletins, press releases, and political cartoons which document the movement organized to agitate for a fair trial and freedom for Davis and other political prisoners.

Some lesser-known individuals include interesting and significant material as well, such as Ferdinanda Wesselhoeft's personal letters in German detailing daily life in the United States during the period 1842-1886; the letters and journals of Anna Green Winslow and Mary Hutchinson Parmele dating from the 1770s and 1780s; and correspondence to Ethel Clyde from such famous individuals as Pearl Buck, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Pauli Murray, Norman Thomas, Mary van Kleeck, Margaret Sanger, and A.J. Muste. Finally the collection contains a small number of collected biographies including those that document the lives of women associated with Princeton University, White House brides, "women who wanted to be men," and living daughters of presidents.

Organization of the collection

This collection is organizedas follows:

Organization of the collection

Files arranged alphabetically by name.

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.

Restrictions on use:

Material in this collection may be protected by copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy all copyright holders. 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:

Biography Collection, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA

History of the Collection

Materials in this subject collection were either purchased or given to the Sophia Smith Collection by various donors.


Periodic additions to collection are expected.

Processing Information

Finding aid revised in 2002 by Jessica Lawson, intern. Introductory text by Kate Weigand. Recent additions may not be reflected in the finding aid.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List

Adams, Hannah

[see Books on Shelf]

Adams, Mary (Newbury): letter to Theo Tilton,

Box 1: folder 1
Andrews, Nellie

Box 1: folder 2
Anthony, Susan B.

Box 1: folder 2a
Ayers, Agnes

Box 1: folder 3
Baczek, Genevieve

Box 1: folder 4
Bailey, Anne

Box 1: folder 5
Barakat, Layyah

Box 1: folder 6
Baruch, Bernard M.: letter to F. B. Sampson

Box 1: folder 7
Bary, H. Valeska

Box 1: folder 8
Bedinger, Caroline L.

Box 1: folder 9
Bellaway, Madge

Box 1: folder 10
Belmont, Margaret Andrews

Box 1: folder 11
Berenson, Mary (Smith) Costelloe

Box 1: folder 12
Bethune, Mary McLeod

Box 1: folder 13
Bettons, Louise

[see also Books on Shelf]

Box 1: folder 14
Bingham, Millicent Todd

Box 1A: folder 1
Bissell, Emily

Box 1A: folder 2
Bordon, Lizzie

Box 1A: folder 3
Borgese, Elizabeth Mann

Box 1A: folder 4
Breamer, Sylvia

Box 1A: folder 5
Brent, Evelyn

Box 1A: folder 6
Brent, Margaret

Box 1A: folder 7
Brian, Mary

Box 1A: folder 8
Bronson, Betty

Box 1A: folder 9
Butler, Lady Eleanor (and Sarah Ponsonby) "Ladies of Llangollen"

Box 1A: folder 10
Cannon, Annie Wells

Box 2: folder 1
Carroll, Anna Ella

[see Books on Shelf]

Box 2: folder 2
Carter, Mary

Box 2: folder 3
Chace, Elizabeth Buffum

Box 2: folder 4
Chaplin, Charlie

Box 2: folder 5
Clarke, Bertha M. [See next box]

Clark, Olive Cleaveland

Box 2: folder 6
Clyde, Ethel [See separate box]

Coburn, Helen Galvin Smith: diary from Europe,

Box 2: folder 7
Commander, Lydia Kingsmill

Box 2: folder 8
Cook, Tennessee Claflin, Lady,

Box 2: folder 9
Coolidge, Grace G. to M. G. Smith

Box 2: folder 10
Corey, Esther

Box 2: folder 11
Cotton, Sallie Southall

Box 2: folder 12
Crane, Caroline Bartlett

Box 2: folder 13
Clarke, Bertha M.

Box 2A: folder 1
Clyde, Ethel

[see also Books on Shelf]

Biographical Information

Box 2B: folder 1

Box 2B: folder 2
Birth Control

Box 2B: folder 3

Box 2B: folder 4
Davis, Angela


Box 2C: folder 1
Miscellaneous printed material
1970-71, undated

Box 2C: folder 2
National Committee to Free Angela Davis; Frameup,

Box 2C: folder 3
National United Committee to Free Angela Davis: Statements, newsletters, printed material,

Box 2C: folder 4
New York Committee to Free Angela Davis,

Box 2C: folder 5

Box 2C: folder 6
Political cartoons

Box 2C: folder 7
1969-76, undated

Box 2D: folder 1-8
Daly, Mary

Box 3: folder 1
Daniel, Bebe

Box 3: folder 2
D'Arusmont, Francess Wright

Box 3: folder 3
Daw, Majorie

Box 3: folder 4
Deland, Margaret

Box 3: folder 5
Deloria, Ella C.

Box 3: folder 6
Dickey, Sarah A.

Box 3: folder 7
Dietrich, Irene E.

Box 3: folder 8
Denton, Elizabeth H. Foote

Box 3: folder 9
Drysdale, Robert and Bessie

Box 3: folder 10
Dustan, Hannah

Box 3: folder 11
Ferguson, Miriam ("Ma")

Box 3: folder 12
Fitzgerald, Zelda and Scottie

Box 3: folder 12aa
Flexner, Eleanor

Box 3: folder 12a
Fox, Ruth May

Box 3: folder 13
Fransisco, Ethel B.

Box 3: folder 14
Garfield, Eleanor Borton

Box 4: folder 1
Garfield, Lucretia Rudolph

Box 4: folder 2
Gaylord, Katherine

Box 4: folder 3
George, Zelma Watson

Box 4: folder 4
Gish, Dorothy

Box 4: folder 5
Grant, Fidelia

Box 4: folder 6
Green, Ann Jeanette

Box 4: folder 7
Greenbie, Marjoire Barstow

Box 4: folder 8
Griffin, Coriane

Box 4: folder 9
Gundrada de Warenne

Box 4: folder 10
Harding, Florence Kling,

Box 4: folder 11
Harris, Erna P.: Journalist, political activist,

Box 4: folder 12
Holmes, Julia Archibald

Box 4: folder 13
Hooker, Isabella Beecher

Box 4: folder 14
Howe, Julia Ward

Box 4: folder 15
Hutchinson, Anne

Box 4: folder 16
Hyman, Libbie Henrietta

Box 4: folder 17
Ingersoll, Marion Crary

Box 4: folder 18
Inglis, Agnes Anne

Box 4: folder 19
Jarvis, Anna Bailey

Box 4: folder 20
Jekyll, Gertrude

Box 4: folder 21
Jones, Mary Harris

Box 4: folder 22
Karsten, Eleannor Daggett

Box 4: folder 23
Kasson, Maria

Box 4: folder 24
Kato, Shidzue

Box 4: folder 25
Kaufman, Shirley

Box 4: folder 26
Kayden, Sandra

Box 4: folder 27
Keller, Helen

Box 4: folder 28
Kennedy, Florynce

Box 4A: folder 1
Knowlton, Charles

Box 4A: folder 2
La Marr, Barbara

Box 4A: folder 3
Laughlin, Gail

Box 4A: folder 4
Lee, Lela

Box 4A: folder 5
Leiser, Clara

Box 4A: folder 6
Little, Joan

Box 4A: folder 7
Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice

Box 4A: folder 8
Longworth, Alice (Roosevelt)

Box 4A: folder 9
Lord-Heinstein, Lucile

Box 4A: folder 10
Lowell, Josephine Shaw

[see Books on Shelf]

Lumbard, Elizabeth T.

Box 4A: folder 11
Luscomb, Florence H.

Box 4A: folder 12
Luxemburg, Rosa

Box 4A: folder 13
Lyon, Ben

Box 4A: folder 14
McAvoy, May

Box 4A: folder 15
Marie Antoinette, Queen Consort of Louis XVI

Box 4A: folder 16
Marion, Kitty

Box 4A: folder 17
Mead, Lucia Ames

Box 4A: folder 18
Mead, Margaret

Box 4A: folder 19
Mills, Harriet May

Box 4A: folder 20
Milton, Mary Powell

Box 4A: folder 21
Morgan, Agnes

Box 4A: folder 22
Montagu, Elizabeth

Box 4A: folder 23
Moore, Sarah: poem and lock of hair,

Box 4A: folder 24
Murray, Mae

Box 4A: folder 25
Murray, Pauli

Box 4A: folder 26
Myers, Carmel

Box 4A: folder 27
Nation, Carry Amelia (Moore)

Box 5: folder 1
Nickerson, Edith Child

[See Books on Shelf]

Norrie, Margaret

Box 5: folder 2
Parmele, Mary Hutchinson: Journal (unpublished), [see also note in finding aid file]

Box 5: folder 3
Patten, Ruth

[see Books on Shelf]

Pickford, Mary

Box 5: folder 4
Pinkham, Lydia Estes

Box 5: folder 5
Pollard, Marie Antoinette

Box 5: folder 6
Posner, Henriette

Correspondence from her,

Box 5: folder 7
Correspondence to her from John Haynes Holmes

Box 5: folder 8
Correspondence to her from Orlo Price, ; David Phys Williams, ; and Barbara Young,
1933 1953-54 1933

Box 5: folder 9
Prevost, Marie

Box 5: folder 10
Pringle, Aileen

Box 5: folder 11
Pringle, Julia

Box 5: folder 12
Ralston, Esther

Box 5: folder 13
Rama Rau, Dhanvanthi [see separate box]

Rhoudda, Viscountess

Box 5: folder 14
Ripley, Mrs. (Samuel)

[See Books on Shelf]

Robinson, Helen Josephy

Box 5: folder 15
Roland, Ruth

Box 5: folder 16
Roosevelt, Edith Kermit

Box 5: folder 17
Roosevelt, Eleanor [see separate box]

Rama Rau, Dhanvanthi: An Inheritance (manuscript)

Box 5A
Roosevelt, Eleanor: correspondence, reports, articles, books, pamphlets, [unprocessed --see separate list]

Box 5b
Russell, E.S.

[See Books on Shelf]

Salmon, Lucy Maynard

Box 6: folder 1
Sanville, Florence

Box 6: folder 2
Sayre, Ruth Buxton

Box 6: folder 3
Scattergood, Margaret

Box 6: folder 4
Scranton, Katherine M. Smith

Box 6: folder 5
Skeffington, Hanna Sheehy

Box 6: folder 6
Silkwood, Karen

Box 6: folder 7
Slocum, Frances

[See Books on Shelf]

Smith, Amy Grinnell

Box 6: folder 8
Smith, Lydia A.

Box 6: folder 9
Smith, Mary Byers

Box 6: folder 10
Strauss, Anna Lord

Box 6: folder 11
Stokes, Rose Pastor

Box 6: folder 12
Sullivan, (Macy) Anne

Box 6: folder 13
Sumter, Natalie

[See Books on Shelf]

Swanson, Gloria

Box 6: folder 14
Sweet, Blanche

Box 6: folder 15
Talmadye, Constance

Box 7: folder 1
Tappan, Sarah

[See Books on Shelf]

Thoburn, Isabella

Box 7: folder 2
Thompson, Betty

Box 7: folder 3
Vickery, Alice

Box 7: folder 4
Votey, Constance

Box 7: folder 5
Warren, Cornelia

Box 7: folder 6
Webster, Elizabeth H.

Box 7: folder 7
Wesselhoeft, Ferdinanda Emilie

Box 7: folder 8
Whitton Collection

Box 7: folder 9
Willard, Harriet Jane

Box 7: folder 10
Williams, Fannie Barrier

Box 7: folder 11
Willmarth, Mary Howes

Box 7: folder 12
Wills, Frances

Box 7: folder 13
Wilson, Elizabeth Millar

Box 7: folder 14
Wilson, Lois

Box 7: folder 15
Winslow, Anna Green

Box 7: folder 16
Windsor, Wallis Warfield

Box 7: folder 17
Woodhull, Victoria Clafin

[See also Books on Shelf]


Box 7: folder 18
"Humanitarian Money: The Unsolved Riddle," by Victoria Woodhull, 1892

Box 7: folder 18b
Yaggy, Laura Reed

[See Oversize material]


Collected biographies

Box 8: folder 1
Collected biographies: clippings

Box 8: folder 2
Living daughters of U.S. Presidents,

Box 8: folder 3

Box 8: folder 4

Yaggy, Laura Reed: photocopies of biographical sketch, photographs, correspondence and clippings (spiral bound),
circa 1901-84

Box 9
Victoria Woodhull: Champion of Humanity,
May 2 and 16, 1874

Flat File

[Note: additional published biographies are in the Browsing collection in SSC/CA Reading Room and the Staff Library-listed in card catalog]

A Memoir of Miss Hannah Adams, Hannah Adams,

Mrs. Louise E. Bettons,

A Military Genius: Life of Anna Ella Carrol, Sarah Ellen Blackwell,

A Review of Pierce's Administration, Anna Ella Carroll,

The Union of the States, Anna Ella Carroll,

Horse Sense, Ethel Clyde (2 copies),

What About You?, Theodore Schroeder, edited with introduction by Ethel Clyde,

Rachel Dumont; A Brave Little Maid Revolution, Mary Westbrook,

The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell, William R. Stewart,

Once Upon a Time and To-day, Mand Nathan,

Grace and Remembrance: My Grandmother Edith Child Nickerson, Nancy Child Perry,

Memoirs of Mrs. Ruth Patten, William Patten,

Mrs. Samuel Ripley, R.W. Emerson,

Seasons of a Woman's Life, Alice S. Rossi,

The Ever-Widening Circle, E.S. Russell,

Frances Slocum of Miami Lodge, Joseph Allen Minturn,

The Transatlantic Smiths, Robert Allerton Parker

Fifteen Letters of Nathalie Sumter, introduction and notations by Mary Virginia Saunders White,

Memoirs of Mrs. Sarah Tappan,

Love and Money: Grandmothers' Strategies with Spouses and Bosses, edited by Terisa E. Turner (Umass Amherst Women's Studies Dept.),

The Queens of American Society, Mrs. Ellet,

American Lady of the Manor, Bredon's Norton: The Later Life of Victoria Woodhull Martin, 1901-1927, Owen Stinchcombe,

The Human Body the Temple of God: or, The Philosophy of Sociology, by Victoria Claflin Woodhull (Mrs. John Biddulph Martin) and Tennessee C. Claflin (Lady Cook),

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.

  • Baruch, Bernard M. (Bernard Mannes), 1870-1965
  • Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955
  • Borden, Lizzie, 1860-1927
  • Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973
  • Butler, Eleanor, Lady, 1738 or 9-1829
  • Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957
  • Daly, Mary, 1928-
  • Davis, Angela Yvonne, 1944-
  • Duston, Hannah Emerson, b. 1657
  • Flexner, Eleanor, 1908-
  • Gish, Dorothy
  • Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910
  • Hutchinson, Anne Marbury, 1591-1643
  • Jones, Mother, 1843?-1930
  • Keller, Helen, 1880-1968
  • Kennedy, Florynce, 1916-
  • Little, Joan
  • Longworth, Alice Roosevelt, 1884-1980
  • Luscomb, Florence, 1887-
  • Luxemburg, Rosa, 1871-1919
  • Marie Antoinette, Queen, consort of Louis XVI, King of France, 1755-1793
  • Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978
  • Murray, Pauli, 1910-
  • Ponsonby, Sarah, 1754 or 5-1831
  • Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
  • Stokes, Rose Pastor, 1879-1933
  • Strauss, Anna Lord, 1899-1979
  • Sullivan, Annie, 1866-1936
  • Woodhull, Victoria C. (Victoria Claflin), 1838-1927

  • Sophia Smith Collection

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search