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Adelaide Crapsey Papers

Identifier: CA-MS-00050

Scope and Contents

The Adelaide Crapsey Papers contain biographical materials, correspondence and publications spanning the career of Crapsey as a member of the English Department as Smith College.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1913 - 1977


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

Adelaide Crapsey was born on September 9, 1878 to Algernon Sidney and Adelaide Trowbridge Crapsey in Rochester, NY. She attended the Kemper Hall preparatory school in Kenosha, WI and graduated first in her class in 1897. Upon graduating, she entered Vassar College and matriculated with the class of 1901.

In 1903, Crapsey returned to Kemper Hall as a teacher of history and literature. In 1905 she studied at the School of Archeology in Rome, and following her return to the United States the next year, she became an instructor of history and literature in Miss Lowe's Preparatory School in Stamford, CT. However, her health was suffering from the effects of tuberculosis, and she was forced to stop teaching in 1908. She spent much of this time in Italy and England, working on her book, Analysis of English Metrics, which she considered her serious life work. Crapsey was also a talented poet, and invented her own metrical form, the cinquain. In 1911, Crapsey accepted a position as Instructor of Poetics at Smith College. In 1913 she became gravely ill and had to abandon her literary and academic work. She retreated to Saranac Lake in New York, where she died on October 8, 1914. She was 36 years old.

A book of poetry, Verse, was published posthumously by her parents in 1915 as well as the unfinished work A Study in English Metrics, in 1918.


0.229 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



Instructor of English, poet. Contains biographical material, correspondence, and publications.


This collection is organized into three series:

  1. I. Biographical Materials
  2. II. Correspondence
  3. III. Publications

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Gayla B. Spaulding.

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 Adelaide Crapsey Papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Gayla B. Spaulding
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: manosca50 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2018-11-02: Containers added and finding aid updated as part of the College Archives Survey

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063