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Carolyn French papers

Identifier: CA-MS-01159

Scope and Contents

This collection contains primarily letters written by Carolyn to her family (namely her father and mother) while she was abroad studying in Paris during her junior year. The letters document her daily life in Paris as well as her many travels across Europe during vacations. The collection also contains a few letters received while abroad, as well as many of her ID cards to the colleges she attended in Paris.

Index to Letters

1947-10-24, 1947-11-3, 1947-11-20, 1947-12-10, 1948-2-21, 1948-4-01
Classes and Academic Life
1947-10-12, 1947-10-24, 1947-11-3, 1947-11-11, 1948-1-23, 1948-2-2, 1948-3-12, 1948-4-17, 1948-4-29, 1948-5-10, 1948-5-24, 1948-6-1, 1948-6-8, 1948-6-27
Clothing and Fashion
1947-8-30, 1947-12-18, 1948-1-8, 1948-1-11, 1948-2-21, 1948-3-16, 1948-4-17, 1948-6-27
College Cévénal (often called Chambon)
1947-8-19, 1947-8-30, 1947-9-9, 1947-10-24, 1948-2-21, 1948-3-12
Concerts, Theatre, and Opera
1947-8-19, 1947-10-12, 1947-10-24, 1947-11-20, 1947-12-10, 1948-1-8, 1948-1-23, 1948-2-2, 1948-2-21, 1948-4-17, 1948-4-29, 1948-5-10, 1948-6-1, 1948-7-21
1947-8-30, 1947-12-3, 1948-2-2, 1948-3-12
1948-3-12, 1948-3-16, undated
1947-8-6, 1947-8-11, 1948-8-1, 1948-8-15
Food and eating
1947-10-24, 1947-11-11, 1947-12-3, 1947-12-10, 1948-4-1, 1948-4-17, 1948-6-1, 1948-8-15
1947-8-30, 1947-10-5, 1948-2-2, 1948-3-16, 1948-4-1, 1948-4-8, 1948-6-8, 1948-6-27, 1948-7-21, 1948-8-1
Media and Politics
1947-8-30, 1947-10-5, 1947-10-12, 1947-11-20, 1947-12-3, 1947-12-10, 1947-12-18, 1948-1-23, 1948-2-2, 1948-4-1, 1948-5-24
Reid Hall
1947-8-11, 1947-10-5, 1947-10-12, 1947-11-3, 1947-12-3, 1948-2-2, 1948-2-21, 1948-3-12, 1948-3-16, 1948-4-29
Social Life
1947-8-19, 1947-11-11, 1947-11-20, 1947-12-10, 1947-12-18, 1948-2-21
1947-12-18, 1948-1-8, 1948-1-11, 1948-7-21

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1946-02 - 1949-05


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

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

Carolyn French ’49, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George M. French lived in Nashua, New Hampshire, before attending Smith College. She lived in Comstock House her freshman year and Dawes House her sophomore year. In 1947, she went to Chambon to attend the College Cévénal, a work camp where she helped build playing fields and barracks and met students from all over Europe. In her junior year, Carolyn continued to meet with her friends from Chambon while she participated in Smith’s Paris Junior Year Abroad program. Carolyn studied at the Sorbonne, the Louvre, Reid Hall, and the Université de Paris. During her Junior Year Abroad, Carolyn wrote home about her travels to Italy, Switzerland, and England and about her active social life in Paris attending dances and concerts. Carolyn returned to Smith and lived in Dawes House for her senior year. During her time at Smith she was a member of the Lifeguards, the Italian Club, and the College Relief Committee. After graduating in 1949, Carolyn attended the Institute of Fine Arts in New York and received her M.A. there in 1952. She went on to have a career in art history at the Toledo Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Belgian American Foundation in Brussels, and Smith College. In 1953 she married J. Richard Judson and they had three children, Pieter, Matthew and Sarah. She reported in her 40th Reunion Book in 1989 that she had retired from High School Special Education teaching in 1982, and spent her time volunteering as an Emergency Room receptionist, a companion to sexual assault victims, a mediator in a Settlement Center dispute, a tutor for LD students, and a delivery worker for Meals on Wheels.


0.229 linear feet (1 container - 5 folders)

Language of Materials



Carolyn French is a Smith College alumna (Class of ’49) who was active in college life, both in Massahcusetts and abroad. She went on to have a career in art history. Her papers contain letters from her to her family, ID cards, photographs of her, and invitations.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Carolyn French papers were donated to the College Archives in May 2014. Source unknown.

Finding aid to the Carolyn French papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2019-07-11: Updated legacy finding aid and published.

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063