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Elizabeth Willcox Thomson papers

Identifier: SC-22

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of one box containing the papers and college memorabilia of Elizabeth Willcox Thomson, a 1937 William Smith graduate. These documents include William Smith College Alumnae Bulletins from 1940-1943, a 1987 50th Reunion booklet, lyrics for the 1937 class song, and four envelopes of photographs, including dance photos, Little Theatre photos, campus photos, and faculty and student photos.


  • Creation: 1935-1989


Biographical Note

Elizabeth Willcox Thomson graduated from William Smith College with her B.A. in 1936 and from Hobart College with her M.A. in 1937. She was the last of four sisters to graduate from William Smith College. Known for her poetic talents, her work appeared in several campus literary publications, and she wrote her 1937 class song. Elizabeth was an extremely active member in the William Smith community, participating in more than ten organizations during her time at the College, most notably her participation in the Little Theatre, Choral Club, Athletic Board, and her roles as Literary Editor and Class Historian.

After graduation in 1937, Elizabeth worked in the Hobart College Library until 1941 when she went to New York City to finish her library degree at Columbia. She then worked in the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County before being assigned to the library at the United States Naval Training Station at Sampson, south of Geneva, during World War II. There she met her husband, Walter Buchanan Thomson. Elizabeth worked and volunteered in libraries her entire life and was very active in a number of different professional associations. For twenty years she was the founding director of a large public library on Long Island.

She received an honorary doctorate from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1974, awarded for achievements in the library field. In 1989 Elizabeth published a book about her father, the Reverend Reginald Norton Willcox, titled Man of Vision.


0.5 Linear Feet ([1 box])

Language of Materials



This collection contains the memorabilia and college papers of Elizabeth Willcox Thomson, a 1937 graduate of William Smith College. Materials include photographs of campus events, lyrics and music for the 1937 class song, William Smith College Alumnae Bulletins, a collection of poetry by William Smith alumnae, a 1987 50th reunion booklet, and more.


Box 1: Archives Storage, Range 22B, Section 4


The provenance of this collection is unclear, because there are no known records documenting its donation to the Archives and Special Collections. However, it is believed that the papers were donated either by Elizabeth Willcox Thomson herself or by her family.

Elizabeth Willcox Thomson papers, 1935-1989: A Finding Aid
Lissa Mele WS '13 with the Archivist Katie Lamontagne
February 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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)