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Helen Bateman Heath papers, 1915-1987

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SC-29

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the papers of Helen Bateman Heath, who was the Dean of William Smith College from 1944-1967. Included in the collection are three folders of correspondence regarding both personal and professional matters, three folders of photographs, and two folders of biographical information including newspaper articles and short biographical sketches. There is also a collection of poems, some by unidentified authors, and various pages from two scrapbooks. Two folders contain documents relating to Helen Heath's husband Raymond D. Heath, who died in 1940.

The files related to Hobart and William Smith Colleges contain valuable information on the Western Civilization program and the religious requirement at Hobart College. Included are class notes, plans, and examinations for the Western Civilization courses from 1947-1956. These files also contain documentation regarding the religious requirement at Hobart College and the decision to end the requirement. Includes correspondence between President Louis M. Hirshon, Hobart Assistant Dean Benjamin Atkinson, Chaplain R. Channing Johnson, Professor Otto E. Schoen-Rene, and others. Descriptions of the requirement, counts of students not meeting the requirement, and copies of the 36-page report by the chaplain R. Channing Johnson titled "The Religious Requirement at Hobart College" are also included. Box 1, folder 10 also contains a brief historical sketch of the religious requirement at Hobart College.


  • 1915-1987


Conditions Governing Access

Documents of a personal and confidential nature are closed to researchers in accordance with library policy. These include salary notification letters, appointment notifications and Board of Trustees' votes, and files regarding the religious affiliation of Hobart students and their attendance at religious services.

Biographical Note

Helen Bateman Heath:

Helen Bateman Heath was born in Champlain, N.Y. on October 12, 1900, and received her early schooling at public schools there. She attended Cornell University and received her A. B. degree in 1921, and went on to do graduate work at both Cornell and Syracuse University.

She came to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1921, teaching education and psychology until 1928. In June of that year Helen Bateman married Raymond D. Heath, Hobart class of 1926 and associate editor of the Rome Daily Sentinel. Helen left Hobart and William Smith Colleges after her marriage to Heath and subsequently taught at the Rome, N.Y. Free Academy from 1930-1944. Raymond Heath died in December of 1940. Helen returned to William Smith College in 1944 and was then appointed Dean by President John Milton Potter. She would serve as the seventh Dean of William Smith College until her retirement on June 30, 1967. During her time as dean Heath served under six HWS presidents.

Mrs. Heath was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Lambda Theta, Sigma Alpha Episilon, the National Education Association, the New York State Association of Deans and Guidance Personnel, the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors, and the American Association of School Administrators. She was a member of the Episcopal Church.

Helen Bateman Heath died on January 26, 1987 at age 86, after a lengthy illness.

Raymond D. Heath:

Private in the United States Army, June 1916-July 1920 (Company E. Second Infantry, New York National Guard, later attached to Headquarters Company, 105th Infantry, 27th Division.)

Service: Mexican border, 1916; Overseas, May-December 1918.

Major engagements: Dichebusche sector, Hindenberg Line, Vesle River.

He was wounded October 17, 1918, was hospitalized until 1921 and under medical treatment until 1926. He entered Hobart College (1922), was on the staff of The Rome Daily Sentinel (1929-1940), conducting a daily column for ten years. He was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and of the New York Society of Newspaper Editors, acting as secretary of the latter for a number of years. Heath passed away in December of 1940.

[Information on Raymond D. Heath taken from book gift plate, box 1, folder 14]


2 Linear Feet ([2 boxes])

Language of Materials



The papers of Helen Bateman Heath, William Smith Dean from 1944-1967, contain personal items such as poems, scrapbook pages, files relating to her husband Raymond D. Heath, photographs, and correspondence. The collection also includes documents related to her work at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Class plans, notes, and examinations from the Western Civilization program offer valuable information on the development of the curriculum. There are also three files of correspondence, reports, and other documents on the religious requirement at Hobart College and the decision to end the requirement in the early 1960s.


This collection is organized into the following series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Photographs
  3. Biographical Information
  4. Collection of Writings
  5. Published Materials
  6. Files Related to Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  7. Museum Items
  8. Files Related to Raymond Heath
  9. Scrapbook Pages


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

Box 2: Archives Office, Section 7


This collection was donated by Renee Schoen-Rene in the summer of 1994. Schoen-Rene found these items in the attic of 81 St. Clair Street, Geneva, NY, which was the home of Helen Bateman Heath at the time of her death in 1987.

Helen Bateman Heath papers, 1915-1987: A Finding Aid
Lissa Mele WS'13 with the Archivist Katie Lamontagne
May 2012
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)