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Beatrice Farnsworth Powers papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00125

Scope and Contents

The Beatrice Farnsworth Powers Papers include correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, and writings documenting her nursing work in the Grenfell Mission in Labrador (1912); life in Changsha, China (1913-1915) where she was nursing superintendent at the Yale-in-China Hospital; and travels in Europe (1907). Of special interest are Powers' views on the status of Chinese women, the impact of missionaries on China, and reflections on Chinese society. Photographs capture daily scenes in Saint Anthony (Newfoundland), Battle Harbor (Labrador), and Changsha (China). There are also biographical articles and writings about Beatrice and Grover Powers, and their niece Olive Floyd.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1887-1969


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

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

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

Beatrice Farnsworth Powers was born May 22,1880 in Lincoln, Mass., daughter of Charles Perkins and Mary Jane (Murray) Farnsworth. She was graduated from the Lincoln School and attended Abbott Academy and Chauncy Hall. She taught for several years in the South School in Lincoln and served as superintendent of the Sunday school at St. Anne's Church (1904-09). After graduating from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 1912, she volunteered at the Dr. Wilfred Grenfell's Mission in Labrador. In 1913 Powers traveled to Changsha, China, where she spent two and a half years on the staff of the Yale-in-China Hospital as principal of the nursing school and superintendent of nurses. She returned to the U.S. in 1915 and in 1916 married Dr. Grover Francis Powers (1887-1968). The Powers lived in Baltimore and then New Haven where Grover F. Powers was Professor of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine. They had one son, Ross Farnsworth Powers. In 1957 Beatrice Powers and her niece, Olive Floyd, published Early American Decorated Tinware which became "a classic on the subject." Beatrice Powers died September 4, 1967.


0.875 linear feet (2 containers)


Nurse; Medical missionary; Teacher. Correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, and writings documenting nursing work in the Grenfell Mission, Labrador (1912), and in Changsha, China (1913-1915) as nursing superintendent at Yale-in-China Hospital.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Beatrice Farnsworth Powers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection from 1971 to 1992 by her niece Olive Floyd.

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Smar, SSC intern, 2006.

Beatrice Farnsworth Powers papers
Finding Aid
Jennifer Smar, SSC intern
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:17-04:00: 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