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Florence Bascom papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00012

Scope and Contents

The papers include biographical information, photographs, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, writings, memorabilia, financial records, and extensive personal and professional correspondence. Correspondents include Elaine Goodale Eastman, Annie Peck, Gifford Pinchot, Isabel Fothergill Smith, M. Carey Thomas, and Charles R. Van Hise. Correspondence from the Goldschmidt family is in German with English translation. Her writings include published and unpublished geology articles re: Pennsylvania, Maine, and Massachusetts. The papers also contain speeches, U.S. Geological Survey reports, verse, and photographs, which include pictures taken on geological expeditions to western and southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

Dates

  • 1868 - 1982
  • Majority of material found within 1875-1940

Creator

Language of Materials

English, German

Conditions Governing Access

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

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 (specialcollections@smith.edu) 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

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 / Historical

Florence Bascom was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1862. She received both her B.S. (1882) and A.M. (1887) from the University of Wisconsin, where her father, John Bascom, was president. In 1893 she became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in geology. She taught at Rockford College and Ohio State University before teaching her first geology course at Bryn Mawr in 1895 as a reader in geology, and was a Professor of Geology from 1906 to 1928. Bascom introduced the undergraduate major in geology at Bryn Mawr, and eventually made it a graduate program of national reputation. Bascom was the first woman elected to the U.S. Geological Survey, for the mid-Atlantic Piedmont area. She was associate editor of American Geologist from 1896 to 1905 and was also the first woman elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 1894, and in 1930, she was named vice-president. Florence Bascom died in 1945.

For a more detailed biography, see Notable American Women, 1607-1950; a biographical dictionary. Edited by Edward T. James and Janet Wilson James (Cambridge, Mass., Belknap Press, 1971).

Extent

7 linear feet (17 containers)

Overview

Florence Bascom was a geologist and professor. The papers include biographical information, photographs, scrapbooks, sketchbooks, writings, memorabilia, financial records, and extensive personal and professional correspondence. Correspondents include Elaine Goodale Eastman, Annie Peck, Gifford Pinchot, Isabel Fothergill Smith, M. Carey Thomas, and Charles R. Van Hise. Correspondence from the Goldschmidt family is in German with English translation. Her writings include published and unpublished geology articles re: Pennsylvania, Maine, and Massachusetts. The papers also contain speeches, U.S. Geological Survey reports, verse, and photographs, which include pictures taken on geological expeditions to western and southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into seven series:
  1. I: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS AND GENEALOGY
  2. II: PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORABILIA
  3. III: BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL MATERIALS
  4. IV: CORRESPONDENCE
  5. V: WRITINGS
  6. VI: ORGANIZATIONS, HONORS, AND AWARDS
  7. VII: INDIVIDUALS AND SUBJECTS
  8. OVERSIZED MATERIALS

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Florence Bascom Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1976 by Isabel Fothergill Smith, who was a student of Florence Bascom and inherited her house along with its contents. She donated additional biographical materials in 1981, after publishing The Stone Lady: A Memoir of Florence Bascom.

Separated Materials

On February 23, 1977, the following materials on John Bascom (1827-1911) were sent to the University of Wisconsin Archives: condolences and clippings on his death, 4 issues of Williams Alumni Quarterly, photographs, publications, notes of Isabel F. Smith, 1911 memorial service booklet, clippings by and about John Bascom, and material regarding his estate and royalties.
Title
Finding aid to the Florence Bascom papers
Status
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Date
2005
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:13-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-03-20: Added paper file edits and updated finding aid.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063