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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 233

Papers of Lydia Smith and Edna Tyler, 1858-1927


Manuscripts, family biographical material, etc., about her grandmother and aunt who were authors and stenographers


  • 1858-1927

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Lydia Smith and Edna Tyler as well as 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.


.42 linear feet ((1 file box) plus 1 folio+ folder)

This collection contains the papers of Geraldine Holden's grandmother, Lydia Ann Joslin Smith, and aunt, Edna Ione Smith Tyler. Included are manuscript and typescript works by Lydia Ann Joslin Smith and Edna Ione Smith Tyler, and one short story by Geraldine Holden's mother, Gertrude Aglae Smith Dudley; biographical material on members of the Smith family; printed material on stenography and Tyler's Business College; photographs, tintypes, and a silhouette; and diplomas.


Lydia Ann Joslin was born July 18, 1836 in Vernon, Connecticut, and graduated from East Hartford High School and Tolland Academy. In 1858 she married Henry Weston Smith, a Methodist minister who later became a missionary to miners and Indians in South Dakota. Killed by Sioux Indians in 1876, he became known as the "Martyr Missionary." Of the Smith's four children (two sons, Gerald and Legrand, and two daughters, Edna Ione and Gertrude Aglae), only the daughters survived beyond their mid-twenties. Interested in writing from an early age, Lydia Ann Joslin Smith wrote several historical novels and short articles in the course of her life. Among her pen names were: Annie Lydia Smith, Lydia Ann Jocelyn, Julia Edwards, Ella Jeannette Fielding, and Massacon. Several of her works are included in this collection.

Edna Ione Smith, born October 20, 1861 in South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts, was educated in Louisville, Kentucky and attended the Cincinnati School of Phonography, where she learned shorthand. She married Erastus D. Tyler in 1884, but was widowed in less than a year. She, too, was an author, writing short stories, newspaper articles, and poems. With her mother she wrote and staged plays in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In 1885 the two women began careers as "typewriters" and stenographers in Worcester. In 1886 Edna Ione Smith Tyler became the first stenographer of the Worcester County Court, and the first Worcester stenography teacher. Tyler's Business College, founded by Edna Ione Smith Tyler, was a pioneer in commercial education, teaching shorthand, typing, bookkeeping, and other business skills for over 25 years. The College was sold in 1914.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 75-387, 76-318

The papers of Geraldine Holden were deposited in the Schlesinger Library by Geraldine Holden in November 1975 and September 1976.

Processing Information

Processed: October 1976

By: Katherine Kraft

Holden, Geraldine Weston Dudley, collector. Papers of Lydia Smith and Edna Tyler, 1858-1927: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
This collection was processed under a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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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