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Arthur Taber Jones papers

Identifier: CA-MS-00394

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, publications, photographs, clippings, course notes, research notes, a scrapbook and other materials documenting Arthur Taber Jones' career as a professor of Physics at Smith College. The collection includes a substantial series of correspondence between Jones in his roles as professor, researcher, and editor as well as a materials collected by Jones relating to carillons and organs.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1876 - 1951
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1919 - 1950


Language of Materials

English with some correspondence in German, French, and Italian.

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

Arthur Taber Jones was born in Vassalboro, Maine on September 6, 1876. Shortly after receiving his B.S. from the University of Chicago in 1899 he joined the teaching staff at Purdue University (1902 - 1910). In 1904 he and Jane Johnson married. A daughter, Esther Elizabeth, was born in 1909. In 1911 he moved to Clark University and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1913. He spent several years at Iowa State College before joining Smith College in 1919.

A prolific researcher and a dedicated polyglot, Jones corresponded with amateur and professional researchers from all around the world. His interests spanned not only the field of acoustics for which he was widely known but also anything that caught his attention from the wheeling of a bicycle to the gliding motions of a snake. Jones' time at Smith is punctuated by many assignments and the rewards of a fruitful academic career: member and chair of many faculty committees, chair of the department, and president of the local chapters of the American Association of University Professors, Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma Xi.

By the request of his department and the trustees of the college, he postponed his retirement and continued to teach through 1946 until his various colleagues returned from war work. He continued on as Professor Emeritus until his death on February 8, 1951.

After his death, Jones' colleagues in the Department of Physics went through nearly four decades worth of records and arranged for their transferal to the Neilson Library. The collection contains a wealth of intimate detail documenting scholarly discussions of moot points, interested inquiries, and heated debates as well as publications and reprints from international journals, independent publishers, commercial vendors and other unique sources.


1.542 linear feet (4 containers)


Faculty. Professor of Physics. Contains correspondence, course materials, notes, research, reprints, and a scrapbook compiled by the Department of Physics in 1951.


This collection is organized into three series:

  1. General
  2. Professional
  3. Scrapbook

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown source.

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Carron, Archives Specialist.

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 Arthur Taber Jones papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Carron.
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 (
  • 2018-12-10: Updated to conform to DACS and added boxes

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063