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Christianna Smith papers

Identifier: MS 0739

Scope and Contents

The Christianna Smith Papers contain writings, correspondence, memorabilia, tributes and recollections, a sampler of needlework, stiches, newspaper articles, resumes and photographs. Most of the collection consists of copies of published articles and a textbook written by Smith between 1920-1969 concerning various topics in zoology and cell biology. Tributes and recollections in these papers provide detailed information about Smith as a teacher, colleague and friend. Most of these documents consist of letters by Smith's former students written in 1983-1984 in response to requests for information about her from Helen A. Padykula, who received a M.A. degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1948, and Isabelle B. Sprague, a 1937 graduate and professor of Biological Sciences at Mount Holyoke. Rounding out the collection are a few personal letters and greeting cards sent to Smith, resumes that she compiled, newspaper articles about her, a sampler of needlework stiches that she made in 1903, and photographs dating from ca. 1915-1983 that are primarily portraits of Smith in her office or laboratory.


  • Creation: 1903-1984
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920 - 1984

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use


Biographical Note

Christianna Smith, a zoologist and Mount Holyoke College graduate and faculty member, was born on March 27, 1893 in Newark, New Jersey. Her father was William Smith, a teacher. After graduating from high school in New Bedford, Massachusetts she attended Mount Holyoke College from 1911-1915, where she majored in mathematics and zoology and received a B.A. degree. She subsequently received a M.A. (1920) and Ph.D. (1923) in zoology from Cornell University. Smith taught zoology at Mount Holyoke College from 1915 until her retirement in 1958, except for the years when she taught at Cornell University (1918-1919) and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (1920, 1922, 1924). She received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Mount Holyoke in 1975. She died at ninety on August 16, 1983 in Northampton, Massachusetts.


1 boxes (Faculty/Staff or 1915)

Language of Materials



Smith, Christianna, 1893-1983; Zoologist and college teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1915. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1915-1958. Papers consist of writings, correspondence and memorabilia, tributes and information regarding her death, sampler of needlework, newspaper articles, resumes, and photographs. Primarily documenting her professional career as a researcher and professor at Mount Holyoke College. Also contains Helen A. Padykula's correspondence concerning the tribute she wrote to Smith and Isabelle B. Sprague's correspondence concerning the death of Smith.


Arranged in six series. Series 1. Writings. Series 2. Correspondence. Series 3. Tributes and Recollections. Series 4. Sampler. Series 5. Biographical Information. Series 6. Photographs.

Smith Papers, 1903-1984 (bulk 1920-1984)
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
Finding aid prepared by Ralitsa Donkova.
© 2005
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Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA