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Margaret Hill Peoples papers

Identifier: CA-MS-01142

Scope and Contents

The collection contains documents related to Margaret Hill Peoples’ professional and student life at Smith College. These include three photo albums from Peoples’ student years, documenting her social life, travel, and college experience. The collection also contains professional photos and news releases related to Peoples’ time as a faculty member.


  • 1916 - 1981


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

Margaret Hill Peoples, class of 1920, was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to John M. and Rebecca (Doty) Peoples in 1896. After studying for a short time in Switzerland at “les Fougères”, Peoples came to Smith College where she would spend most of her working life and where she would earn three degrees: her B.A. in 1920, her M.A. in 1922, and her Ph.D. in 1928. During her time as a Smith undergraduate, Peoples was very active in college life, as a Junior Usher, a Student Advisor and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Silver Bay Delegates, Phi Kappa Psi, La Société Francaise, El Club Espanol, and the Spectator. From 1923 until her retirement in 1961, Peoples was a member of the Smith College Department of French. She focused her academic work on 18th and 19th century literature, specializing in Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and George Sand. For her work on French culture, she was awarded the title of “Officier des Palmes Academiques” by the French government in 1959. During her work at Smith, Peoples also worked as an administrator. She was dean of the classes of 1934 and 1942, was chair of her department for several years, and was director of the Junior Year in France. Upon her retirement, Peoples split her time between her sister’s home in Coral Gables, Florida and her Northampton home that she shared with Priscilla Paine Van der Poel, professor emeritus of art. Peoples died in Coral Gables in 1981 after a long illness.


0.438 linear feet (1 container)


Contains news clippings, photographs, and photo albums of Margaret Hill Peoples, professor of French and class of 1920.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source unknown.
Finding aid to the Margaret Hill Peoples papers.
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White
Description rules

Revision Statements

  • 2019-07-11: 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