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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1092

Papers of Julia Hamilton Smith, 1942-1991 (inclusive), 1964-1981 (bulk)


Memoir, biographical information, correspondence, photographs, etc., of teacher Julia Hamilton Smith.


  • 1942-1991
  • Majority of material found within 1964-1981


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Julia Hamilton Smith is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1.04 linear feet ((2+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio photograph folder)

The collection includes a memoir by Julia Hamilton Smith with notes and revisions. In addition, there is biographical and family information; correspondence; wills and financial information; photographs; and awards. Smith donated her father's photographs to the Museum of African American History, and the collection contains correspondence and clippings about exhibiting his work. Smith's support of numerous religious and civic organizations is also documented. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.


Julia Hamilton Smith was born in 1885 in Washington, DC, to Hamilton Smith and Julia Luke Brooks Smith. Smith's grandfather, John J. Smith, was an abolitionist and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Her father, Hamilton Smith, was the first Black man to graduate from the Boston University Law School in 1879. He practiced dentistry and was a professor at Howard University School of Dentistry. He was also an amateur photographer. Smith's mother, Julia Luke Brooks Smith, was a teacher in the Washington, DC, public schools. Julia Hamilton Smith graduated high school in Washington, DC, and trained as a teacher; eventually she received a BA in education from Howard University. She taught public school in Washington, DC. In 1947, she retired and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to care for her brother, a physician. Smith was active in religious and civic organizations in Washington and Cambridge, including the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and the Young Women's Christian Association. She donated her father's photographs to the Museum of African American history in Boston, Massachusetts, and gave lectures on the collection. Smith died in 1980 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1550, 78-M239, 2016-M135

The papers of Julia Hamilton Smith were given to the Schlesinger Library by Julia Hamilton Smith in 1969 and 1978, and by Edith Walker in 2016.

Related Material:

There is related materia at the Schlesinger Library, see the Julia Hamilton Smith interview in the Interviews of the Black Women Oral History Project, 1976-1981 (OH-31).

Processing Information

Processed: May 2023

By: Paula Aloisio and Johanna Carll

Folder #2.12 was previously cataloged as A/S651.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Smith, Julia Hamilton, 1885-1980. Papers of Julia Hamilton Smith, 1942-1991 (inclusive), 1964-1981 (bulk)): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library and Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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