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Mari Patkelly papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00460

Scope and Contents

The collection includes patient records from Patkelly's employment at Isinglass Midwifery Service, Portsmouth, NH; correspondence; newsletters and other IMS material; computer diskettes; subject files on medical and birth-related topics; and information about lay midwifery certification in general and Patkelly's in particular (in New Hampshire). Personal materials include diaries, which are extensive (1977-2014); photographs of family, friends, and births that Patkelly attended; photograph albums, correspondence, and memorabilia. Scrapbooks about midwifery and a small amount of financial information is also included.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1957 - 2016


Conditions Governing Access

Closed pending a deed of gift.

Digital content is closed until it can be processed. Patient charts are closed.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

Mari Patkelly graduated from Union High School in Union, New Jersey (1961), and earned a BA (1965) and a BSN Nursing (1979) at the University of New Hampshire. From 1966 until 1974, she was employed as a social worker in California and New Hampshire. Patkelly was an independent childbirth educator from 1977 to 1989 and a birth attendant/apprentice from 1977-84. In 1983-84 she apprenticed with the Concord (NH) Midwifery Service and went on to practice as an independent home birth midwife from 1984-94. She co-founded the Isinglass River Health Connection (1982-85); the Isinglass Midwifery Service (1984-94); the College Women's Learning Center (1988-89); and deBy Birth Supports (1990-93). Patkelly lived in Mexico for a number of years and in January 2002 moved to back California.


17.563 linear feet (22 containers)

0.766 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Mari Patkelly has been a social worker, an independent childbirth educator, a birth attendant/apprentice, and an independent home birth midwife. Her papers include patient records, correspondence, newsletters and other IMS material, computer disks, subject files on medical and birth-related topics, information about lay midwifery certification, diaries, photographs, and memorabilia.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Mari Patkelly, 2002-2016

Processing Information

The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Finding aid to the Mari Patkelly papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-05-16: Updated legacy finding aid and published.
  • 2020-05-28: Description added for born-digital content.
  • 2021-07-15: Content description added from accession inventories

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063