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Yonata Feldman papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00201

Scope and Contents

Yonata Feldman's papers consist of 3.5 linear feet of material, dating from 1938 to 1981. They are divided into three series. Series I. Biographical Material (1980-81), .25", includes autobiographical statements about Feldman's experiences in German-occupied Russia during World War I, when she was separated from her family for an extended period. Also of interest are her reflections on and anecdotes about her years at the Smith College School for Social Work. Series II. Professional Activities (1940-81), 1.75', is comprised primarily of teaching records, which include supervisory and case notes. Case files are arranged alphabetically by surname of student (not by name of client). The series also contains teaching notes, syllabi, class rosters, critiques of case studies, summaries and minutes of seminars and institutes, typescripts of writings, bibliographies, and printed matter, as well as material pertaining to professional organizations with which Feldman was affiliated. Series III. Writings (1945-80), .5', includes typescripts and draft manuscripts of Feldman's writings. In Series IV. Photographs (1957-76, n.d.), .25', several images of Feldman and her S.C.S.S.W. students can be found.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1937-1981


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection, with the following exceptions:

Researchers wishing to review teaching records must sign a contract agreeing to abide by the specified restrictions (details are attached to the Certificate of Gift).

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works of Yonata Feldman. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Biographical / Historical

Yonata Feldman served on the faculty of the Smith College School for Social Work for many years. She was born in 1892 in Estonia and studied at the Imperial University of Jurjew; her education was interrupted when the Germans invaded Russia in 1912. Before emigrating to the United States, she taught at, and was principal of, an elementary school in Estonia. She earned her M.A. from the Chicago University School of Social Service Administration in 1923, specializing in the treatment of emotionally disturbed children. From 1923 to 1928 Feldman was a social worker at the Chicago Jewish Children's Bureau, and from 1925 to 1928 also worked with disturbed children at the Chicago Institute for Juvenile Research. From 1928 to 1961, she was employed at the Madeleine Borg Child Guidance Institute of the Jewish Board of Guardians in New York City, working her way up from caseworker to casework supervisor to "boro" supervisor. In 1950, she joined the faculty of the Smith College School for Social Work where she served until 1974. Throughout her career, she conducted seminars and institutes for various institutions and professional groups, among them Western Reserve University, The College of William and Mary, Mt. Sinai Hospital, the Presbyterian Hospital of the New York Medical Center, Lebanon Hospital and the Board of Education of the City of New York. She also served as case consultant for numerous institutions, social work agencies, and case workers in private practice. She died on August 28, 1981 in New York, NY.


3.063 linear feet (7 containers)


Social worker and professor. Specializing in treatment of emotionally disturbed children, Feldman conducted seminars and institutes around the country; and served as consultant for numerous institutions, social work agencies, and case workers. Material includes writings (including autobiographical material), teaching material, correspondence, case notes, and photographs.


This collection is organized into four series:

  1. I. Biographical Material
  2. II. Professional Activities
  3. III. Writings
  4. IV. Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Prior to her death in 1981, Yonata Feldman arranged with Katherine Gabel, former Dean of the Smith College School for Social Work, to donate her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection; the papers were transferred in 1984. Joan Moore West donated additional material in 1984, as did the School for Social Work in 1988. Pauline Doynow donated photographs in 2001.

Additions to the Collection

Periodic additions to collection are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2001.



Yonata Feldman papers
Finding Aid
Burd Schlessinger
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss18 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:12-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063