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Alexander Sloan and Ishbel MacLeish Campbell papers, 1901-1996

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SC-15

Scope and Contents

Box 1 contains manuscript materials, which includes: materials on Alexander Campbell and family, including correspondence; the Aviator's Flight Log book of Kenneth MacLeish; book dust jackets; materials on the Archibald MacLeish Collection at Greenfield Community College; photocopies of newspaper articles on Archibald MacLeish; articles by Alexander Campbell for publications of "For Arts Sake!"; and other miscellaneous papers. This collection of papers dates from 1901-1996.

Boxes 2-3 contain a collection of articles, clippings, photographs, notes, and various other items found and removed from the books of Alexander and Ishbel Campbell's library, donated to the Warren Hunting Smith Library at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Includes 76 folders organized by people and subjects. Most of the people that are covered in these files are writers. There are 8 folders that include correspondence, notes, and postcards of Campbell's found in the books.


  • 1901-1996


Conditions Governing Access

Documents of a personal and confidential nature are closed to researchers in accordance with library policy. These include salary notification letters and acknowledgements.

Biographical Note

Alexander Sloan Campbell, born in 1902, began his career at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as an undergraduate, graduating from Hobart College in 1925. He obtained his master's degree from Harvard University in 1927, and began teaching English at Avon Old Farms Preparatory School in Avon, CT, and later at the Fountain Valley School in Colorado. In 1947 he taught briefly at Sampson College, and finally returned to Hobart and William Smith Colleges to teach as Instructor of English in 1948. He would spend 20 years at the Colleges, retiring as an Assistant Professor in 1968. His expertise was in Shakespeare and American Literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. He had a special interest in dramatics, was a member of the Medbury Mummers as an undergraduate student, and later directed an adaptation of "Spoon River Anthology" for the HWS Little Theatre in 1962. Outside of the Colleges, Campbell conducted morning reading classes for women in Geneva. These continuing education classes read and discussed novels and biographies.

Alexander Campbell was the husband of Ishbel (MacLeish) Campbell. Ishbel was the sister of the American poet, essayist, lawyer, and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish. Ishbel and Archibald's brother Kenneth MacLeish was a pilot in World War I. Kenneth died during the war when his plane was shot down.

Alexander Campbell died on September 14, 1990.


2.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. Manuscript materials
  2. Items removed from donated books


Box 1: Archives Storage, Range 22A, Section 2

Box 2-3: Archives Storage, Range 22B, Section 2


Most of these items were found inside books which were given to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1991 under the terms of the will of Mr. Alexander Sloan Campbell and Mrs. Ishbel (MacLeish) Campbell. Mrs. Campbell was the sister of the American author, Archibald MacLeish. Upon her death the Campbell books were brought to Warren Hunting Smith Library; as they were cataloged, the items found in them were given to the Archives.

The provenance of the manuscript materials in the first series is unclear. There are no records documenting their addition to the Archives. They were added to the materials found in the donated books in order to create a more complete collection on Alexander Sloan and Ishbel MacLeish Campbell.

Alexander Sloan and Ishbel MacLeish Campbell papers, 1901-1996: A Finding Aid
Lissa Mele
October 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)