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Jewel Graham papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00525

Scope and Contents

Personal and professional correspondence; biographical information including high school, Fisk University (and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority), Antioch College employment, and involvement in the National and World YWCA (notably as President of both). Drafts of Graham's writings that address issues of race, in general and relating to the YWCA specifically, are of particular interest. A typescript of Jewel Graham's unpublished memoir,"The Life of My Times: Notes For an Autobiography"(2005) includes reflections on growing up as an African American girl in Springfield, Ohio, her education, her employment as professor at Antioch College, and her life-long service in the YWCA, from age 13, to becoming President of the National Board and of the World YWCA.


  • 1940-2008


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections. Collection is stored offsite; researchers must give 48 hours advance notice.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections ( at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Graham has retained copyright until her death in her works donated to Smith College. After her death, copyright in these works will transfer to Smith College. 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 those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Graham, 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

Precious Jewel Freeman was born in Springfield, Ohio, to Lulu Belle Malone and Robert Lee Freeman, the sixth of seven children. She graduated form Springfield High School in 1942. She earned her B.A. from Fisk University in 1946, her M.S.S.A. (Master of Science in Social Science Administration) from Case Western University in 1952, and her J.D. from the University of Dayton in 1979. She served as Asssociate director of the Teen Age Program Department of the YWCA in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1947 to 1950; from 1952 to 1965 she held administrative positions at various social service organizations; and from 1965 to 1972 she was employed by the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. She began working at Antioch College in 1964, initially in the Program for Interracial Education (1964-1968). She was hired as Professor of Social Welfare and Legal Studies in 1969, and worked her way up from Assistant Professor to full Professor; she retired from that position in 1992. She also served as Interim Associate Dean of the College from 1972 to 1973, and as Peer Counselor for Campus Climate from 1992 to 1994. Jewel Graham served on the National Board of the YWCA of the USA from 1970 to 1988, and was president of that organization from 1979 to 1985. She was also president of the World YWCA from 1979 to 1985, and served on its Executive Committee from 1970 to 1995. Throughout her adult life she has been active in local community organizations and in local, state and national politics, held membership in numerous professional organizations, and has published widely in professional journals. She and her husband, Paul Graham, had two sons, Robert Grahamjones and Nathan Graham. Jewel Graham died November 30, 2015.


8.75 linear feet (9 boxes.)

Language of Materials



The collection contains the personal and professional papers of Jewel Graham, including a typescript of her unpublished memoir, which includes reflections on growing up as an African American girl in Springfield, Ohio, her education, her employment as professor at Antioch College, and her life-long service in the YWCA, from age 13, to becoming President of the National Board and of the World YWCA.

Other Finding Aids

The accessions have container lists that are available upon request by contacting

Other Finding Aids

One or more content listings to individual accessions in this collection are available for download. Links can be found in the description of the individual accessions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was donated by Jewel Graham in 2005 and 2009.

Related Materials

YWCA of the USA Records



Finding aid to the Jewel Graham 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

Repository Details

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

Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063