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Helen Ainslie Smith papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Smith

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection consists of letters between Helen Ainslie Smith and her advisor, Rev. F. A. Adams; rough drafts of some of her writings; incomplete pages of notes and several small notebooks; various childhood writings and drawings of Helen’s daughter Paula Gerard; the last will and papers pertaining to the death of her father Walter E. Smith; and some genealogical papers and letters from around 1900. Also included are many photographs, mainly of identified and unidentified individuals, ca. 1880-1900; and various European locations, from her travels between 1900 and 1919.


  • Creation: 1744-1950
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1880-1890



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Helen Ainslie Smith papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Helen Ainslie Smith papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Helen Ainslie Smith

Author and translator.

Helen Ainslie Smith was born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1857 to Mr. and Mrs. Walter E. Smith. In March of 1893 she married James H. Elliott of New York. After her marriage, Smith continued to use her maiden name in her literary work. Smith authored several well-known books, including The Great Cities of the Ancient World, under the pseudonym “Hazel Shepard” (1885); The Great Cities of the Modern World (1885); One Hundred Famous Americans (1886); Bird and Fishes (1886); Stories of Persons and Places in America (1888); History of Japan in Words of One Syllable (1898); and The Thirteen Colonies, 2v (1901). She traveled extensively between 1901-1919, visiting Italy, Spain, France, and Algiers, among other places. Smith had one daughter, Pauline "Paula" Gerard, who worked as an artist. Helen Ainslie Smith died in 1932.


1.2 Linear Feet (3 boxes and 1 oversize folder)


Helen Ainslie Smith was the author of books on the ancient world and colonial American history. The papers contain correspondence with family and friends, family photographs, work notes, and other materials.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Family Papers, 1744-1932
Boxes 1-2
Series 2: Photographs, 1877-1950
Boxes 2-3

Collection Stack Location

1 31 1, 1 43 9



Processed by

Marisa Bell-Metereau, 2009.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of the Helen Ainslie Smith papers, 1744-1950, bulk 1880-1890
Marisa Bell-Metereau
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States