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Elizabeth Warren Olmstead papers

Identifier: CA-MS-01140

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the student and professional papers of Elizabeth Warren Olmstead. These include notes from her class on Civil Defense in 1942 and her master’s thesis, correspondence with other scholars and with publishers, a collection of her scientific articles, photos, and news clippings about her career. The collection also contains her research notebooks/travel journals from her time travelling on the Alaska Highway, about which she wrote a short paper.


  • 1928 - 1982


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 ( 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

Elizabeth Warren Olmstead was born in 1907 in Buffalo, New York. She completed her education at Smith College, earning an A.B in 1931 and an A.M in 1933. She worked at Smith for the majority of her career in the Department of Geology and Geography as an assistant (1934-35), a teaching fellow (1935-37), an Instructor (1937-1944), and as an Assistant professor (1944-50). Olmstead was instrumental in setting up the first field station in geology for a women’s college, the Black Hills and Bighorn Mountains Field Station, of which she was director 1936-1937. During her time at Smith, she won the Walker prize in Natural History, the Naval Ordinance Development Award, and the Office of Scientific Research and Development Certificate. She published several articles and books, including The Origins of the Appalachian Drainage. Olmstead left Smith in 1951 to work in Washington D.C. She died in Buffalo, New York, in 1982.


0.50 linear feet (1 box)


Contains research note books, correspondence, academic publications, a master’s thesis, and class notes by Elizabeth Warren Olmstead, class of 1931 and instructor in geology.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source unknown.
Finding aid to the Elizabeth Warren Olmstead papers.
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White
Description rules

Revision Statements

  • 2019-07-10: Added legacy finding aid from word document, updated to conform to current standards

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063