Fonds 7 - Ella Smith

Title proper

Ella Smith

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA MtA 7

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Date(s)

  • 1902-1977, predominant 1932-1936 (Creation)
    Creator
    Smith, Ella Lauchner

Physical description

21 cm of textual records
ca. 650 postcards
8 photographs

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Name of creator

(1884-1972)

Biographical history

Ella Lauchner Smith, 1884-1972, was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, eldest daughter of J. Willard Smith, well known shipping personage, and Frances Louise Hanson Smith. She attended McGill University and received BA and MA degrees in Classics (Hon.) in 1905 and 1908. In 1914 she was granted a BA (Hon. History, Class I) from Somerville College, Oxford University, England, and an MA in 1921. She was the first Canadian woman to receive a degree from Oxford.

Following teaching appointments at the Bedales School and Sweet Briar College, Virginia, she developed tuberculosis and spent five years in recovery at Saranac Lake. From 1926-1928 she taught at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Between 1928 and 1938 she carried out political research travel visiting Central Europe, Soviet Russia and Spain to experience living conditions in those countries. On return to Canada and the United States, an outspoken critic of the Stalinist regime, she delivered a series of candid public lectures on her experiences and her assessment of the political and social orders. In 1932 she lectured under the auspices of the U.S. Foreign Policy Association and in 1936 she was connected with the Dominion News Service, British United Press. From 1940-1951 Smith served as lecturer, Department of History, Mount Allison University and also ran a campus bookstore ca. 1951-1960. In 1963 she received a D.Litt. from Mount Allison.

Custodial history

Most of the fonds was stored in home of creator's sister, Helen Smith Skinner. Some items found in books donated to Ralph Pickard Bell Library and transferred to Archives.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records generated by Smith as teacher, traveler and lecturer.

Files contain travel documents; account books concerning prices in Russia, 1932; draft lecture notes on the history of Canada; public lecture notices and programs for Smith's presentations; scrapbook of press notices and clippings concerning her public lectures; postcards collected in travels and used to illustrate lectures; certificates; diplomas; letters of recommendation; photographs of Oxford University "first women's degree day" 14 October 1920, Women's Council parade, Sackville, New Brunswick, Mount Allison campus scenes; painting "Tantramar Marshes" by Stanley Royle; letter from Elizabeth Brewster, 1969; letters from Smith to family (mainly Helen Smith Skinner) and friends concerning Northern Spain during the time of the Spanish Civil War [1936?].

Physical condition

Some items are fragile

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Helen Smith Skinner, 1973

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Language of material

  • English

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No restrictions

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