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Patricia Lee Lewis papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00502

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of diaries, correspondence, articles, clippings and memorabilia documenting Patricia Lee Lewis' personal life, education, and several different careers; her political activism; her work in rural, community-based agriculture; and her evolution as a creative writer and teacher of that craft.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1937 - 2013


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use with following restrictions on access:

Box 9 is CLOSED due to visible mold.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Lewis has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. 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. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Lewis, 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

Patricia Lee Lewis (formerly Pat Lewis Sackrey) was born and raised in Texas. After working as a business manager for ten years and having two children (a son, John Henry Sackrey, and a daughter, Ponteir Sackrey), she earned her A.B. in Anthropology from Smith College in 1970. Lewis' early political activism (circa 1969 to 1974) focused on women's issues, during which time she co-founded the Valley Women's Center in Northampton, Mass. and Everywoman's Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. From 1972 to 1974, she served as Director of Continuing Education for Women at the University of Mass. From 1974 to 1976, Lewis worked in the Mass. Office for Children, as Supervisor of Community Development for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties. In 1977, she held the position of Consultant to the Superintendent of the Belchertown (Mass.) State School for Retarded Citizens, and from 1977 to 1981 she worked as Rural Development Specialist for the Mass. Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Mass. Amherst. From 1975 to 1979, she served on Mass. Governor Michael Dukakis'Commission on the Status of Women. Lewis was a self-employed tree farmer from 1981 to 1983, and in 1983 was appointed Executive Director of the Hilltown Community Development Corporation in Chesterfield, Mass. In 1984, she was elected County Commissioner for Hampshire County, MA, which position she held until 1988. From 1991 to 1996, she served as District Director and Director of Marketing for Congressman John W. Olver. Galvanized and inspired after joining Pat Schneider's Amherst Writers and Artists Workshop in 1986, Lewis eventually went on to earn her MFA in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Union University (1998). She is a Senior Partner in Amherst Writers&Artists, and a member of the Austin Writers League and the American Poetry Society. Her poetry, fiction and feature articles have appeared in journals, anthologies, and newspapers. She lives and works at Patchwork Farm Retreat in western Massachusetts, which she founded in 1992, where she leads writing retreats and workshops. She has also led retreats for writers in Indiana and in her home state of Texas, as well as in Scotland, Costa Rica and Mexico.


21.146 linear feet (20 containers)

Language of Materials



This collection documents Patricia Lee Lewis' personal life, education, and several different careers; her political activism; her work in rural, community-based agriculture; and her evolution as a creative writer and teacher of that craft.


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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was received as a gift from Patricia Lee Lewis in 2004, 2008, and 2015.

Related Materials

Valley Women's Center Records, Pat Schneider Papers, Valley Women's History collaborative Records, UMass Special Collections

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 Patricia Lee Lewis papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White
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.
  • 2018-10-12: Updated to conform to DACS
  • 2021-07-02: Inventories added to finding aid from 2004-S-0025 and 2015-S-0007 accession records.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063