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Robert Withington papers

Identifier: CA-MS-01126

Scope and Contents

The Robert Withington papers contain biographical material, correspondence, photographs, poetry, speeches, publications, and books.


  • 1912 - 1954


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

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 ( 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

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. 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. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Smith College, 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

Robert Withington was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Charles Francis Withington and Georgiana Bowen on June 7, 1884. He graduated from Roxbury Latin School in 1902 and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Harvard University in 1906. He also received his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees there in 1909 and 1913, respectively. Before he became a faculty member at Smith College, he was an English instructor at the University de Lyon, France (1909 – 1910), an assistant in English at Harvard (1910 – 1912), a Rogers travelling fellow of Harvard in Europe (1913 – 1914), and an English instructor at Indiana University (1914 - 1917). During World War I, in 1916, Withington was a member of the Hoover Relief Commission in Belgium, stationed at Antwerp and Hasselt. In 1918 - 1919, he was a captain in the A.R.C. and 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S.A. Infantry in France and served with the American Red Cross. Withington was honored in 1919 with the Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Couronne in Belgium. In 1920, he was named officier d’Academie in France and, in 1930, he was named officier de l’Instruction Publique. Withington joined the faculty at Smith College in 1917. During his time at Smith College, he spent nearly twenty years as an advisor to the Smith College Press Board. He was an assistant professor of English from 1917 to 1920. He was associate professor of English from 1920 to 1925 and professor of English from 1925 until his retirement in 1952. Withington was a frequent contributor to periodicals, specializing in the essay and early drama. H is the author of English Pageantry: a Historical Outline (vol. i, 1918; vol. ii, 1920); In Occupied Beligium, 1921; and Excursions in English Drama, 1937. He was also editor of Essays and Characters, Montaigne to Goldsmith, 1933 and Essays and Characters, Lamb to Thompson, 1933. With the late Cortlandt van Winkle, Withington co-edited Eminent British Writers of the Nineteenth Century, 1934. He was a member of the Modern Language Association, the American Association of University Professors, the Belgium American Education Foundation, and the Garrick Club, London. Withington was granted a leave of absence from Smith College for the first semester of the 1945-1946 school year to serve as a professor in the U.S. Army Education Center in Biarritz, France. Withington retired from the Smith faculty in 1952. He died at his home in 1957 following a long illness and was survived by his wife and two daughters.


1.75 linear feet (4 containers)


Robert Withington was a professor of English at Smith College. These papers contain biographical material, correspondence, photographs, poetry, speeches, publications, and books.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Robert Withington papers were donated to the Smith College Archives by Helen Small Withington, Robert Withington’s wife, upon his death in 1957.
Finding aid to Robert Withington papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Ellice Amanna
Description rules

Revision Statements

  • 2019-07-11: Legacy finding aid created, published

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063