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Nancy Maas papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00708

Scope and Contents

The papers include seventy letters written by Maas to her parents during her time in the Peace Corps in Bolivia, circa 1960s. They are particularly descriptive of the country, early Peace Corps life and shifting social mores among American youth during the 1960s. There are also digital images (scanned from original slides and photographs) of Peace Corps activities and travels in South America.

Dates of Materials

  • 1964 - 2013
  • Majority of material found within 1964 - 1966

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open with caveat: collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be somewhat difficult to use. Original AV and born-digital materials may not be used; research use copies must be made.

  1. This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may bedifficult to use.

Conditions Governing Use

Nancy Maas retains copyright to her papers for her lifetime.

Biographical / Historical

Nancy Christine Neaher Maas was born in New York City, the daughter of the Honorable Edward R Neaher, US District Judge, Eastern District, and Catherine King Neaher, an attorney for the US Social Security Appeals Division. Along with her two sisters and one brother, Maas grew up in Garden City on Long Island. She attended Smith College, graduating in 1963 after which she earned a MAT at Harvard University in 1964. It was then she joined the Peace Corps, faithfully writing home about the country she was stationed in, Bolivia, as well as its people, and her fellow Peace Corp volunteers, idealistic young Americans such as herself at the height of the Cold War yet amidst the hopefulness of the Great Society. By 1976, Maas would go on to earn an MA and a PhD in Art History, specializing in African Art, from Stanford University and begin a long teaching career including appointments at Hunter College, Cornell University, and most extensively, Ithaca College. She has now entered what she refers to as her "third career," that of an artist, specializing watercolors. According to her Web site, www.nmaas.com, Maas "paints in upstate New York, northern Michigan and in the Southwest." In a reflection written almost fifty years later, Maas referred to her years in the Peace Corps as "a signal time in my life." In re-reading her letters home so many years later, she was struck by the fact that "at times I sound like the feminist I later became." Finally, Maas credits her two years in Bolivia with introducing her to non-Western art, an appreciation of which she would base her life's work upon.

Extent

1 boxes (.25 linear feet)

2.19 Gigabytes

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Peace Corps volunteer; Art historian; Artist; Professor, African Art History. The papers include seventy letters written by Maas to her parents during her time in the Peace Corps in Bolivia, circa 1960s, which are particularly descriptive of the country, early Peace Corps life and shifting social mores among American youth during the 1960s. There are also images of Peace Corps activities and travels in South America. [NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]

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

A more detailed listing of what is included in this group of materials is available in this downloadable document: inventory to the Nancy Maas papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Nancy Maas donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2012

Processing Information

Accessioned by Kathleen Banks Nutter, 2013

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.

Title
Nancy Maas papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Date
2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

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)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:22-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-06-17: Description added for born-digital content.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063