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Smith College Medal Committee records

Identifier: CA-MS-00093

Scope and Contents

The Business series consists of material about the medals, committee business, restricted committee files, and committee preparations for the Medal Awards Ceremony. Although the smallest of the five series, it provides a look into the internal workings of the Committee. Included are items concerning the design of the medal itself, statistics on the Medalists, photographs, procedural guides for Committee members, minutes, and meeting notices.

The series also has material about the Committee's preparations for each year's Medal Awards Ceremony. For each year, these papers are divided into general, correspondence, and preparation between the medalists and the Committee. The documents detail the planning process of the event itself.

The Medalists series include a file for each medalist, ordered alphabetically by the name they received the medal under. These files include such items as a medalist's published works, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, and other biographical information. The restricted files include letters of recommendation, nomination forms and any other material that mentions names of those who nominated or recommended as a medal recipient.

Dates of Materials

  • 1911-2003


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives, with some exceptions. All boxes marked RESTRICTED contain strictly confidential information. They are open only to the College Archivists, the members of the Medal Committee, the President of the College and the Board of Trustees. Medalists may have access to their own confidential file. Confidential materials include: all nominee files, letters of recommendation and nomination forms for medalists, and any Committee document that states the names of nominees.

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 College Medal was first awarded in November 1964 as a means of honoring the "distinguished service" of alumnae. The Medal is awarded annually to those alumnae, and in exceptional cases, faculty, who "exemplify in their lives and service to the community or the College the true purpose of a liberal arts education."

The Smith College Medal Committee was formed in 1962 to establish the guidelines for awarding the Medal. Composed of faculty, alumnae and members of the College administration appointed by the president, the Smith College Medal Committee meets several times a year to research and present possible candidates and to choose the medal recipients. They also make preparations for the Medal Awards Ceremony held each year at Rally Day (before 1972-73 it was held in October).

Since 1964, the Committee has awarded over 150 Medals to those from a diverse range of interests and fields who have been an outstanding service to their communities and to the College.


34.066 linear feet (54 containers)

Language of Materials



The Smith College Medal Committee records consist of minutes of committee meetings, correspondence, press releases, news clippings, memorandums, biographical information on medalists and nominees, nominations forms, letters of recommendation, photographs of medalists and various other papers which document the committee's complicated process of researching possible candidates and selecting medal recipients.

Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into three series:

  1. Series I. Business
  2. Series II. Medalists
  3. Series III. Nominees


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time.

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 to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The majority of the collection was transferred from the Smith College Medal Committee. The source of some items is unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Alissa Chadburn.

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.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Finding aid to Smith College Medal Committee Records
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Alissa Chadburn, Ellice Amanna
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: manosca93 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 11/19/18: Finding aid updated with new box numbers, barcodes, locations

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063