Smith Centennial Study Oral History Project records
Scope and Contents
The Smith Centennial Study Oral History Project records are comprised of news clippings, reports to the National Endowment for the Humanities, transcripts and correspondence with participants in the study, general correspondence, annotated and published copies of the book, College: A Smith Mosaic, interview statistics and transcript excerpts by subject.
Dates of Materials
- Smith College. (Organization)
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
The Smith Centennial Study, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, was a project that President Mendenhall asked Jacqueline Van Voris to undertake in 1970 as an oral history project for Smith College's centennial celebration. Ms. Van Voris dedicated over four years to the project, which culminated with the publication of the book, College: A Smith Mosaic, which she submitted as partial fulfillment of requirements for her MA in Education in 1975. The purpose of the study was to provide a source of information about the importance of education in women's lives. Smith alumnae were interviewed, their observations were recorded on tape and the tapes were transcribed. The interviews were informal conversations conducted in a manner designed to extract pertinent information. The questions were designed to stimulate conversation and to keep the focus on the respondent. Phrasing of the questions encouraged the respondent's frank appraisal of her education. Questions typically asked included: "Why did you decide to go to Smith? Was it your idea? What was your academic preparation? What courses did you study? What are your remembrances of Smith? What is your general assessment of the education you received? How could college have helped you more? Have your views on education changed over the years since your graduation? Have you ever felt discriminated against because you are a woman?"
The interviews were conducted and recorded from 1971-74. The book, College: A Smith Mosaic, was published in February, 1975 and lists of respondents were sent to the Directory of Oral History Collections for inclusion in that directory.
10.479 linear feet (26 containers)
Language of Materials
The Smith Centennial Study was an oral history project undertaken as part of Smith College's centennial celebration. The project culminated with the publication of the book, College: A Smith Mosaic. The purpose of the study was to provide a source of information about the importance of education in women's lives. Smith alumnae were interviewed, their observations were recorded on tape and the tapes were transcribed. The collection includes clippings, reports to the National Endowment for the Humanities, transcripts and correspondence with participants in the study, general correspondence, annotated and published copies of the book, College: A Smith Mosaic.
This collection is organized into four series:
- I. Background
- II. Transcripts and Correspondence with Participants
- III. Transcript Excerpts by Subject
- IV. Audiovisual
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request the creation of and access to digital copies.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Processed by Gayla Spaulding
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 Smith Centennial Study Oral History Project
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Gayla Spaulding, Ellice Amanna
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2005-09-23: manosca90 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
- 2018-11-07: Added correct container locations and barcodes.
- 2018-11-26: Updated finding aid with new box numbers, barcodes, locations
- 2020-05-29: Added agents, access and use notes to 165 interviews in Series II.
Part of the Smith College Archives Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063