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Daniel Aaron Papers

Identifier: CA-MS-00369

Scope and Contents

The collection contains various papers related to Daniel Aaron's professional life. This includes correspondence with other scholars, pamphlets related to various conferences he attended or speeches he gave worldwide, and photographs of these events. A large portion of the collection is dedicated to Professor Aaron's reception by the public and other scholars in the form of newspaper clippings reviewing his books and reporting on his speeches. The collection also contains many of Aaron's published works, from articles to books, as well as the manuscript versions of some of these texts.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1939 - 1972


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

Daniel Aaron was born in Chicago in 1912. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1933 and received his doctorate in 1943 from Harvard University. Aaron's first teaching position was at Harvard, where he lectured from 1936-1939 in the Department of English. In 1939, Aaron joined the Smith faculty. During his time at Smith, Aaron travelled as a visiting lecturer to the Guggenheim (1947), Bennington College (1950-51), the University of Helsinki (191951-52), Amherst College (1954-55), the University of Warsaw (1962-63), Columbia University (1960-61), and MIT (1965). In 1961, he was named Jordan Professor of English Language and Literature. His articles and books include Poland: A Self Interview (1964), Men of Good Hope (1951), and the critically acclaimed Writers on the Left (1961). In 1972-1983, he became the Director of Graduate Study in American Civilization at Harvard University where he was named the Victor S. Thomas Professor of English and American Literature. During this time, he founded the Library of America. In 2010, Aaron received the National Humanities Medal. At the time of writing, Aaron still works at Harvard University.


1.313 linear feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



Contains news articles, faculty listings, correspondence, photographs, books, pamphlets and manuscripts documenting the life and work of Daniel Aaron during his professional life at Smith College.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Daniel Aaron, 1965-1969. Some material may be from other sources.

Processing Information

Please note that prior to 2018, folder inventories were not always updated when new material was added to the collection. As a result, folder inventories may not be complete and folder numbers may be incorrect.



Finding aid to the Daniel Aaron Papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Finding aid prepared by Madison White (Class of 2016) and Daniel Michelson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2018-10-30: Containers added and finding aid updated as part of College Archives survey

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063