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COLLECTION Identifier: A-79

Papers of Margaret Earhart Smith, 1940-1978


Correspondence, minutes, financial records, etc., of Margaret Earhart Smith, educator.


  • Creation: 1940-1978

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Margaret Earhart 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.


2.5 linear feet (6 file boxes)

While there are few personal papers, the Special Services Committee papers (by far the largest group) include many references to Margaret Earhart Smith's family and to its financial arrangements with the Special Services Committee, Hilda Worthington Smith (see the Smith collection, A-76, in the Schlesinger Library), and Ernestine L. Friedmann.

In 1959 Smith gave the Women's Archives files of the Special Services Committee covering the period 1943-1950. This collection (the original A-79) was a combination of papers from Smith's files and files from the Ann Arbor office of the Special Services Committee. The office was run by Mary Malcomson Raphael; Smith lived in Detroit or the Boston area, but visited Ann Arbor often. Smith and Raphael corresponded frequently, often keeping copies of their letters and sometimes sending copies to interested labor educators. These others often sent the same letter to both Smith and Raphael. There was therefore much duplication and the addenda received in 1979 and 1980 added more duplicates. Because it was impossible to separate the work of the Special Services Committee and Smith's work on the Committee, the bulk of the papers--including correspondence, minutes, conference papers, and publications--have been combined in one chronological sequence that provides an extensive history of the Special Services Committee's involvement with the workers' education movement during 1943-1954.

Series IA, Special Services Committee, 1943-1978. The Special Services Committee was an informal group of women who came together to advance and support projects in workers' education: pamphlets ("Army Orientation," 1944, and "University Programs in Labor Education," by Caroline F. Ware, 1946); support, through the National Committee for the Extension of Labor Education, for the Labor Education Extension Bill, 1946-1949, and cooperation with American Labor Education Service (ALES) programs, including the Summer School for Office Workers, Hudson Shore Labor School, university and labor education programs, and workers' education exchanges in England and Europe. Members of the Special Services Committee were on the boards of these organizations and Smith and Mary Malcomson Raphael taught in a number of the programs. This subseries includes correspondence, minutes, conference papers, and pamphlets. Scattered throughout is correspondence with Hilda Worthington Smith, Ernestine L. Friedmann, Eleanor G. Coit, Mary Malcomson Raphael, Sadye Power, and other labor educators of the period.

Series IB, United Community Services of Metropolitan Boston, 1950-1952. Smith was chair of the Labor Participation Committee, whose purpose was "to serve the labor staff of the UCS" in order to develop better communication and cooperation between labor unions and social agencies for their mutual benefit. The two folders include scattered correspondence, minutes, conference papers, and other papers covering the three aspects of the committee's work: educational programs and courses (called Social Work Institutes by the AFL and Union Counseling Programs by the CIO); efforts to increase the involvement of labor leaders on United Community Services committees and the United Community Services board, and labor support for United Community Services through the Red Feather (fund-raising) Campaign; and an institute for union members and social workers.

Series IC, Race relations. In 1943-1945 Smith was actively concerned with race relations through her social work studies and as a member of the Committee on Race Relations of the Michigan Council of Churches. Included are a typed essay, "Detroit and its Negro Labor," responses to another essay, "Toward Better Race Relations," and miscellaneous correspondence, some with the Fair Employment Practices Commission.

Series II, Management Training Program, Radcliffe College. Between 1946 and 1953 Smith was variously a consultant, fundraiser and faculty member in the Management Training Program, and in 1951 was involved in an extensive program evaluation. Besides funding and organizational correspondence and student papers, there are papers about course development and program goals. (See also records in the Radcliffe College Archives.)

Series III, Refugee work. Smith was a founder of the Window Shop, which opened in Cambridge in the spring of 1939 to offer employment to and raise money for refugees from Germany and Austria. She became its first president in 1941. Besides Window Shop correspondence and speeches, this series includes correspondence concerning Smith's own efforts to find placement and employment for refugee families, letters from refugees to Smith, and three typed letters, signed from Felix Frankfurter about an individual case. Folders #60-61 for which original restrictions have expired were added to the collection in October 2009.


Margaret Earhart was born in Evanston, Illinois, on February 3, 1902, the daughter of Harry Boyd and Carrie (Beal) Earhart. After graduation from Vassar College in 1923 ME was involved with a number of journalistic pursuits in Ann Arbor, including research for a book on Emily Bronte, which included travel abroad. Teaching and psychiatric counseling were also part of Smith's early work experience. In February 1926 she married Dr. Clement Andrew Smith (b. 1901), a pediatrician. They had four children: Pamela, Margaret Abigail, Reynolds and Hilary. In 1930 the Smiths moved to Boston, where Smith lived from then on except for the years 1932-1933 and 1943-1945.

In the years 1930-1943 Smith continued to work on the Bronte manuscript, which she eventually destroyed. She became active in early efforts to help refugees from Europe, was the first president of the Window Shop in Cambridge (see the Window Shop collection in the Schlesinger Library), and also helped individuals who were trying to get entrance visas to the United States.

From 1943 to 1945 the Smiths lived in Detroit. In 1943 Smith began to study for a masters degree in social work at the University of Michigan, with a particular interest in race relations sparked by the race riots in Detroit. That same year Smith, Mary Malcomson Raphael, and several other friends formed the Special Services Committee. The purpose of the Committee was to encourage, support and initiate programs that would facilitate workers' education and bridge the gap between labor and other parts of society. "It [Special Services Committee] is a flying wedge, whose principal purpose it is to explore facts, and serve as a kind of activating force." Most Special Services Committee work involved assisting other organizations within the workers' education movement; the Special Services Committee provided substantial funds for some programs, largely from Smith's family money. Through her work with the Special Services Committee, Smith became well known in the field of workers' education, developing contacts in unions, universities and government.

The Smiths moved back to the Boston area in 1945, and in 1949 Smith became an advisor to and faculty member in the Management Training Program at Radcliffe College. She also chaired the Labor Participation Committee of United Community Services of Metropolitan Boston (1949-1953) and was a trustee of Radcliffe College (1949-1960) and a trustee representative to the Advisory Board of the Women's Archives (1953-1956). Smith was on the boards of the Cambridge Settlement House, Cambridge Community Services, Shady Hill School, Family Services Association, Putnam Children's Center of Boston, and Vassar College. The Smiths maintained a summer home in Peacham, Vermont. Smith died of cancer on October 8, 1960.


The collection is arranged in three series:

  1. I. Labor education and related activities
  2. ___A. Special Services Committee
  3. ___B. United Community Services of Metropolitan Boston
  4. ___C. Race relations
  5. II. Management Training Program, Radcliffe College
  6. III. Refugee work and miscellaneous

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 59-23, 79-M91, 80-M70

The papers of Margaret Earhart Smith were given to the Schlesinger Library by Margaret Earhart Smith in October 1959, and in April 1979 and in April 1980 by Dr. Clement A. Smith, her widower.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Records of the Window Shop, 1939-1992 (MC 427).


The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Harvard Theatre Collection, February 1984:

  1. Three theatre programs

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Boston Public Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts:

  1. Four folders: mimeo. reports, brochures, etc. most re: labor education efforts of United Community Services of Boston, 1940s-1950s, February 1984

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Cambridge Historical Society, February 1984:

  1. By-laws of the Cambridge Community Center (mimeo.)

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Cornell University, Labor-Management Documentation Center, February 1984:

  1. One carton: printed miscellany and other papers mainly re: labor education, some re: unions, etc.

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Friends Historical Library, February 1984:

  1. Brochures, form letters, etc. of American Friends Service Committee

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Metropolitan Toronto Library, February 1984:

  1. Pamphlets, circulars, most issued by British Information Services during World War II

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the New School for Social Research, February 1984:

  1. Catalogue and miscellany issued by the New School for Social Research

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Princeton University Library, Manuscript Division, February 1984:

  1. Printed pamphlets, brochures, newsletter issued by ACLU

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, February 1984:

  1. Six issues of newsletter of National Citizens Political Action Committee, August-September 1944

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Widener Library, Harvard University, April 1984:

  1. Six publications of American Friends of German Freedom, 1942-1943

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the Radcliffe College Archives, Record Group XIXa, Box 5, #66, June 1984:

  1. Management Training Program: correspondence, report, 1951-1953

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the American Jewish Historical Society, February 1984:

  1. Publications re: World War II refugees: National Refugee Service: Emigre Service Release #21, October 22, 1941; NRS Community Bulletin, III2, 4-6, Feb., April-July 1942.
  2. 2 YWCA pamphlets
  3. Dorothy Frances Buxton, The Economics if the Refugee Problem, n.d.

The following items have been removed from the collection and donated to the The New York Public Library, Manuscript and Archives Division, August 1984:

  1. Publications of American Friends of German Freedom, 1942-1943


  1. Box 1: 1-8
  2. Box 2: 9-16
  3. Box 3: 17-28
  4. Box 4: 29-39
  5. Box 5: 40-53
  6. Box 6: 54-69


Researchers should refer to this index because all correspondence has been left interfiled with minutes, reports, and other working papers of the various organizations listed in the series described on pages 2 and 3.

This index includes the names of individual writers and recipients of letters. Information about individuals and subjects is not indexed. Margaret Earhart Smith is not included as a writer; her letters appear throughout the collection. In cases where married couples wrote both jointly and separately, each person is indexed.

  1. No symbol = Writer
  2. * = Writer and recipient
  3. + = Recipient

The numbers refer to folders.

  1. Addes, George F. 7
  2. Arter, Rhetta M. 36
  3. Atkinson, Glen 10
  4. Bakke, Dr. E. Wight 11+
  5. Barbash, Jack 10*
  6. Beirne, J. A. 27
  7. d'Andelot Belin, G. 20
  8. Blanding, Sarah 15+
  9. Bradley, Phillips 29+
  10. Brameld, Dr. Theodore 11+
  11. Brown, Andrew 39+
  12. Bullock, Matthew W. 35+
  13. Burch, Glen 38
  14. Carey, James B. 29
  15. Carmichael, Oliver C. 10*
  16. Childs, Mr. 12+
  17. Christman, Elisabeth 10
  18. Clifford, Clark 29+
  19. Cogen, Charles 16+
  20. Coit, Eleanor G. 2, 4, 5-6*, 7, 9, 11+, 12*, 13, 15+, 17*, 35, 38*
  21. Combs, J. H. 28+
  22. Connable, Alfred B., Jr. 9, 13, 28-29, 32
  23. Connor, Edward D. 5
  24. Cook, Cara 35
  25. Cooper, Katherine 16+, 17
  26. Cruickshank, Nelson 5+, 11+
  27. Dawson, Emma 1+, 2*, 4-6+, 9-10+, 18+, 38+
  28. Day, Jack 11+
  29. Day, Jane L. 15*
  30. Duggan, Laurence 12
  31. Edelman, John W. 2+, 10, 12+, 15+
  32. Elder, Arthur A. 5, 10, 11*, 12, 27, 29, 32
  33. Elvin, Lionel 38*
  34. Embree, Edwin R. 12
  35. Euler, R. 4
  36. Farrell, James T. 13
  37. Ferguson, Homer 32+
  38. Fernald, Elizabeth T. 14
  39. Fernbach, Frank 30
  40. Fisher, C. A. 5, 11*
  41. Flood, Daniel J. 27
  42. Freund, Libby 20
  43. Friedmann, Ernestine L. 2*, 4+, 5, 7*, 10-13*, 14, 15*, 16, 18-19*, 20, 36-37, 38+
  44. Geddes, Donald Porter 18*
  45. Geddes, Josephine 10+, 11*
  46. Golden, Clinton S. 10, 13, 15*
  47. Haber, Dr. William 11+
  48. Harbison, Prof. Frederick 12+
  49. Hare, Butler B. 27+
  50. Haskins, Olive C. 15+
  51. Healy, James J. 37+
  52. Hedges, Mr. Marion H. 11, 12+, 14+, 30, 38+
  53. Hodgkins, Mr. 14+, 38+
  54. Hughes, Mr. H. D. 17+
  55. Hulbert, Henry S. 22
  56. Hutchins, Jane 20+
  57. Johnson, Prof. Alvin 3+
  58. Jones, Bess 2*, 5
  59. Kellog-Smith, Peter 20
  60. Kleinman, Nancy Jean 14+
  61. Knowland, William F. 29+
  62. Lavelle, William 12+
  63. Lindeman, Mr. Eduard C. 3+, 15*
  64. Liveright, Alexander A. 17
  65. Lockwood, Helen 15+, 37*
  66. Lucas, Scott W. 33
  67. Luchek, Anthony 10-12, 13*, 38
  68. McDevitt, James L. 10
  69. Matthews, Prof. Robert E. 10-11+
  70. Morse, Wayne 32+
  71. Murphy, Catherine 35
  72. Murray, Philip 28
  73. Myers, Francis J. 27+
  74. Niebuhr, Prof. R. 3+
  75. Norwood, Rose 6+
  76. Patton, James G. 10
  77. Perlis, Leo 39
  78. Power, Eugene B. 20
  79. Power, Sadye 4-6+, 7*, 9+, 11+, 14+, 18
  80. Pyle, H. G. 12*
  81. Rafsky, William L. 27
  82. Raphael, Mary Malcomson 1-3+, 4-7*, 9-15*, 16+, 17-18*, 22+, 27-28+, 32-33+, 36-38+
  83. Reichard, Hugh 15
  84. Reuther, Victor G. 3+, 7, 10*, 12+, 27, 40
  85. Reuther, Walter 6+
  86. Reynolds, Victor 12+
  87. Rich, Irving J. 36+
  88. Riley, Effey 10
  89. Rogin, Lawrence 12+, 37+
  90. Rosmond, Dr. Clifford L. 29+
  91. Rothenberg, Eve 9
  92. Schafer, Vera L. 20
  93. Schwarz, Daniel 10*
  94. Seidman, Mr. Joel 11-12+, 14+
  95. Sexton, Brendan 17
  96. Shearman, Harold 17+
  97. Sheppard, W. Manly 32
  98. Sifton, Paul 7+
  99. Smith, Hilda Worthington 2*, 4-5*, 6, 7*, 9*, 10, 11*, 12, 13*, 14, 15*, 17-18, 19-20*, 27-28*, 29-30, 32-33, 36
  100. Solt, Guy W. 14, 15*
  101. Stark, Harry 16
  102. Starr, Mark 3+, 5+
  103. Strachan, Alan 5+, 6
  104. Taylor, Harold 15*
  105. Thomas, R. J. 2+
  106. Turkel, Fannie 7
  107. Vandenberg, Arthur H., Jr. 9+, 28-29+
  108. Walsh, Joseph M. 27+
  109. Ware, Caroline F. 4-5, 11+, 12+, 27
  110. Wertheimer, Barbara 20*
  111. Willcox, Bertram F. 12
  112. Williams, Constance 5
  113. Wilson, Roy 35+
  114. Witte, Edwin E. 11-12+
  115. Wodlinger, David 17
  116. Woll, Matthew 9+
  117. Wood, Margaret D. 10, 36, 38+
  118. Wray, J. V. C. 12+
  119. Zvelzer, Margery 4-5

Processing Information

Processed: December 1983

By: Nancy Falk

Smith, Margaret Earhart, 1902-1960. Papers of Margaret Earhart Smith, 1940-1978: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

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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