Skip to main content

Howard Rollin Patch papers

Identifier: CA-MS-01141

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the professional papers and biographical material of Howard Rollin Patch. These papers include professional correspondence to other scholars and to publishers, photographs, and news clippings about Patch’s life and publications. The collection also contains 0.50 linear feet of publications by Patch, both academic and fictional.


  • 1914 - 2009


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

Howard Rollin Patch was born in Lake Linden, Michigan, in 1889 to Emily I White and Maurice B. Patch. Patch attended Hobart College in Geneva, New York, until he graduated in 1910. Patch completed his graduate work first at Harvard University, where he received his A.M. in 1912 and his Ph.D. in 1915. In 1924, he received an honorary doctorate of Letters from Hobart College. Patch worked for a number of years as an instructor and lecturer for Harvard (1912-1916), Radcliffe (1915-1916), and Bryn Mawr (1916-1919), before coming to Smith College to teach English in 1919, where he taught medieval literature. At Smith, Patch wrote a large number of articles and books, becoming one of the leading Chaucer scholars in the world. He was a member of the Medieval Academy of America, the Modern Languages Association, Phi Beta Kappa, the Modern Humanities Research Association, the Dante Society, and the Society for the Study of Medieval languages and Literature. Patch married Helen K. Patch, with whom he had four children: Howard R. Patch Jr, Robert K. Patch, Priscilla E. Patch, and Mary (Patch) Coit. He was very active in the Catholic Church, and became a Tertiary of the Order of St. Dominic. He retired in 1957 and died six years later in 1963 in Wellesley, Massachusetts.


0.667 linear feet (2 containers)


Contains correspondence, photographs, news articles, and publications by Howard Rollin Patch, professor of English, 1919-1957.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source unknown.
Finding aid to the Howard Rollin Patch 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