Oral Histories

Oral Histories are recorded interviews, often with change-makers, to document world and personal events and how the interviewee experienced them.

Vida Simenas Grayson started the Social Work Archive Oral History Project by interviewing Bertha Capen Reynolds in the 1970s. Her final interview was with Dorcas Bowles in 2007. Kelly Anderson continued her work in the 2010s. In addition to these longer interviews, the Smith College Archives hosted several storytelling workshops. We feature excerpts from all of these kinds of oral histories on this page.

All of the complete oral histories excerpted here, as well as many more, are available in the Smith College Special Collections. Please contact us to view them specialcollections@smith.edu


Choosing, Affording, and Arriving at Our SSW

Choosing, Affording, and Arriving at Our SSW

In this video, Lillian Syndar, M.S.S. speaks about how she came to SSW, and how she afforded it, during the Great Depression. Zora Lucick Jackson, M.S.W. 1963, describes the welcome she received when she arrived from a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada.  Finally, Edith Carlon Atkin, M.S.S. 1930, and Esther Levin, M.S.W. 1967 offer two very different reasons for why they chose Our Smith SSW.