This spring the Princeton Architectural Press rolled out, “Smith College: The Campus Guide” as part of its on-going campus guide series. Author Margaret Vickery spent a lot of time working in the College Archives collecting information and stories about the buildings that remain on campus, some that no longer exisit, and still others that never had the chance of making it from conceptual design to ‘real life.’ This guide is an important work for people interested in learning more about the surroundings of the place we live in and come to work in everyday.
At the Archives Vickery worked with many collections and sources that document the growth of campus. The following three collections were a wealth of information for her book, and you too can come and conduct research in them:
Smith College Buildings Files, A-Z: http://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/smitharchives/manosca104_main.html Click on ‘view entire finding aid’ on the left-hand side bar for the complete listing.
Smith College Grounds Collection, A-Z: http://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/smitharchives/manosca137_main.html ‘Grounds’ at Smith include landscape design documents, Botanical Garden records, as well as photographs for sections of campus.
Office of the President Records, 1872-present: http://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/smitharchives/list Every president dealt in some form or other with the expansion of campus, whether through acquisition of land, or purchase of pre-existing buildings. For the tenure of most presidents, there are files specifically relating to the Buildings & Grounds department, that document these changes. There may also be correspondence with donors, architects, constructions firms, as well as subject files for specific projects around campus.
These are but 3 of the collections that Vickery used in her research. Biographical files, official publications, as well as photographic evidence all offer additional pieces to the story of Smith’s campus.
If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to come to the Archives to review our sources, or contact us for more information. Our website at www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/archives is a useful first step to learning about us.