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Caroline Dwight Bain papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00762

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of Caroline Bain's personal papers including travel journals, correspondence, photographs and other biographical materials. Of special note are the letters Bain wrote to her parents while she was working for the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, DC, 1944-1945.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1926 - 2015


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owned copyright, Caroline Dwight Bain's heirs 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 Caroline Dwight Bain, 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

Archival consultant and loyal Smith College alumna, Caroline (Carol) Bush Dwight was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1922, the only child of Henry Williams Dwight and Margaret Cooper Dwight. Until the age of twelve, she lived in Cambridge, attending the Buckingham School (now the Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School) where she would later serve as a trustee and director of development. In 1934, Dwight and her parents moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts when her father became president of the Housatonic National Bank. She graduated from the Baldwin School in 1940 and Smith College in 1944. Given the demands of World War II on the home front, Smith students were then encouraged to take summer classes so as to accelerate their graduation date. This Carol Dwight did, finishing her course work a semester early. By February of 1944 she and Smith classmate, Harriet (Hatty) Hulbert Ball, were living in a fourth-floor walkup in Arlington, Virginia; Dwight worked at the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and also volunteered at the local USO. In the fall of 1945, she left the CAB and took a position with the Red Cross in Boston for a few months before starting as box office manager for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, what she would later refer to as"her dream job." In 1949, Carol Dwight married Sherwood E. (Joe) Bain and a year later they bought the house in Cambridge, Massachusetts where they lived until 2009, raising two sons and a daughter there. Carol Bain was an active volunteer and club member. When her youngest child started college, Bain returned to college, too, earning her Master's degree in history from Tufts University in 1978. She then did archival consulting for a variety of Boston area institutions including the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Bain was a loyal Smith alumna, serving as president of the Friends of Smith College Libraries and for many years supported an annual travel-to-collections grant, named in her honor, at the Sophia Smith Collection and Smith College Archives. An avid world traveler and a breeder of purebred dogs, Carol Dwight Bain lived a full life until her death in Exeter, New Hampshire in 2015 at the age of ninety-two.


2.604 linear feet (3 containers)

0.0202 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



This collection consists of the personal papers of archival consultant and loyal Smith College alumna Caroline Dwight Bain (1928-2015). Of special note are the letters Bain wrote to her parents while she was working for the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, DC, 1944-1945.


This collection is arranged in two series. The first contains the materials sent to the archives soon after Caroline Bain's death in 2015; the second contains materials sent to the archives in 2017 and 2018.


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.

Other Finding Aids

Detailed container lists and introductions to the papers written by the donor, Caroline Bain's son, are availabe in the first box of each series. These can also be sent to remote researchers upon request.

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

These papers were donated by Caroline Bain's son, George Bain, in 2015, with additional items sent in 2017, 2018, and 2023.

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. The following changes were made in this collection: Accession 2015-S-0102, Box 1 renumbered as Box 3



Finding aid to the Caroline Dwight Bain papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
July 2018
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.
  • 2020-06-11: 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