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Caroline Heminway Kierstead papers

Identifier: CA-MS-00140

Scope and Contents

The Caroline Heminway Kierstead Papers, 1923-1985, consist of 2.5 linear feet of materials materials related to the professional and personal life of a long-time member of the Smith College Geology Department. Types of materials include correspondence, publications, handwritten and typescript lecture and research notes, diaries, and photographs. These items not only document her teaching career at Smith and her research interests, but also provide insight into her personal life and pastimes. Her detailed lecture notes and course material give researchers an informative look at the Geology Department curriculum and methods in the middle of the twentieth century.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1923 - 1985


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Marion H. Nutting has assigned the copyright of Caroline Heminway Kierstead's works to Smith College; 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 Kierstead, 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

Caroline Heminway Kierstead was a professor of Geology at Smith College as well as an internationally known breeder and exhibitor of Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs. Born in Corning, New York on July 12, 1904 to Herbert A. and Ella May (Daley) Heminway, Kierstead graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1925 with a major in Philosophy and Psychology, and a minor in Geology. After working in her father's law office for a year, she returned to school to earned a master's degree from Cornell University (1928) and later a Ph.D. from Indiana University (1941). She also studied over the years at Syracuse University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Wyoming. Heminway married Friend H. Kierstead, an electrical engineer from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1947. He died around 1970.

Kierstead joined the faculty of Smith's Geology Department in 1928 and retired after a long teaching career in 1969. She was promoted steadily through the department, from instructor when she began in 1928, to assistant professor (1932), associate professor (1940) and finally full professor in 1964. Elected chairman of the Geology Department in February 1946, Kierstead served in that capacity until January 1952. She also acted for a short time as the Dean of the Class of 1944. From 1943 to 1945 she took a leave of absence to work for Shell Oil Company, bringing along two Smith graduates. This experience gave her a useful understanding of the oil industry.

Keirstead was interested in many fields of geology, and was especially partial to topological and geological maps. Her field of research was micropaleontology, specifically the study of foraminifera, or unicellular shelled microorganisms. Her publications include many articles for scientific journals, one book, and a textbook; she also edited and contributed to several other publications. Her geological research led her to travel all over the world, including Antarctica and New Zealand. Additionally, she held memberships in many prestigious professional associations.

In her private life, Kierstead was an internationally known breeder and exhibitor of Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs. Her dogs won several American Kennel Club champions. She served as president of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America for a period of time, and belonged to several other dog clubs as well. Also, she published Pembroke Pictures and Pedigree, an annotated index of the history of the breed. Kierstead died on June 17, 1985 at the age of 80.


4.333 linear feet (4 containers)

Language of Materials



This collection documents the research insterests, professional career and personal life of Caroline Heminway Kierstead, a professor of geology at Smith College. Materials include correspondence, publications, diaries, and photographs.


This collection is organized into six series:


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Marion H. Nutting, Kierstead's sister, in 1985. Additional material transferred from the Science Center, September 1993.

Related Material

See RG 52. Academic Departments for information on the Geology Department.

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 Caroline Heminway Kierstead papers
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Christina Lehman, Ellice Amanna
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 (
  • 12/03/18: Finding aid updated with additional container, locations, barcodes

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063