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Lydia Rapoport papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00149

Scope and Contents

Series I. Professional Activities consists of a letter to the Curator of the Sophia Smith Collection from Robert T. Apte, Rapoport's colleague at Berkeley and donor of her papers. It details certain aspects of the time Rapoport served at that university, as well as the circumstances surrounding her death. The series also includes professional correspondence, syllabi and course outlines, course evaluations, bibliographies, and transcripts of lectures. Series II. Writings features both published and unpublished articles written at the height of her career. Published journal articles highlight the extensive research Rapoport conducted on the topics of family intervention, mental health consultation, and short-term casework. Most of the unpublished articles were written in 1963 and 1964 while Rapoport taught at the Hebrew University.

Dates of Materials

  • 1952 - 1988


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

Lydia Rapoport was born in 1923 in Vienna, Austria, to an intellectual Jewish family. Her family emigrated to New York City when she was a child. She graduated from Hunter College in 1942 and went on to the Smith College School for Social Work. She received her Master's in Social Work in 1944 at the age of twenty-one, making her the youngest degree recipient in the School's history.

In the course of her career, Rapoport conducted consultations, workshops, and seminars at various institutions, among them Hebrew University in Israel from 1963 to 1964, the Smith College School for Social Work in 1965, 1966 and 1967, and the University of Chicago in 1968. She served on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley from 1956 until her death on September 6, 1971. In 1974, the Lydia Rapoport Distinguished Visiting Professorship and Lecture Series was established in her memory at the Smith College School for Social Work.


1.333 linear feet (4 containers)


Professor and social worker. Articles highlight the extensive research she conducted on the topics of family intervention, mental health consultation, and short-term casework. In the course of her career, Rapoport conducted consultations, workshops, and seminars at various institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Material includes correspondence, lectures, and published and unpublished articles.


This collection is organized into two series:

  1. I. Professional Activities
  2. II. Writings


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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Robert Apte donated the papers of Lydia Rapoport to the Sophia Smith Collection in May 1988. Additional materials were donated by Sanford N. Katz in 2008 and 2014.

Related Material

Related material is located in the Smith College Archives.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 1998.

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. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Lydia Rapoport papers
Finding Aid
Burd Schlessinger
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Processing funded by Carel Bailey Germain Fund. 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: mnsss56 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:22-04:00: 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