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Valerie Saiving papers, 1944-1987

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SC-49

Scope and Contents

This is a collection of Valerie Saiving's scholarly and professional work. It includes her work as a scholar as well as material that reflects her time as a student at the University of Chicago and as a Professor at HWS.

The HWS Course Notes series includes 57 folders reflecting 30 different courses in Religious and Women's Studies. The University of Chicago series includes 7 term papers written from 1945-1959, 22 folders of class notes reflecting 19 different courses, and 11 folders reflecting 4 different drafts/versions of her Dissertation entitled "The Concepts of Individuality in Whitehead's Metaphysics". The Articles series includes 11 folders reflecting 5 different scholarly articles, including the 1960 piece "The Human Situation: A Feminine View". The Miscellaneous series includes research notes and library call slips from 1969-1970, programs from an honorary tribute dinner, and correspondence between Saiving and Henry Nelson Wieman, noted American philosopher and theologian.


  • 1944-1987


Biographical Note

Valerie Saiving taught Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges from 1959 to 1987. She is often hailed as a founder of feminist religion with her 1960 article "The Human Situation: A Feminine View", originally published in the Journal of Religion. In the article she forms what can be called a feminine complaint against contemporary theologians who make the mistake, she believes, of assuming that a "thinking man's theology is equally good for a thinking woman."

She received her B.A. in 1943 from Bates College. Her doctoral thesis entitled "The Concepts of Individuality in Whitehead's Metaphysics" was published in 1966 by the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. She was a co-founder of the Department of Religious Studies and of the Women's Studies program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.


4 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. HWS course notes
  2. University of Chicago
  3. Articles
  4. Miscellaneous


Box 1: Archives Storage, Range 22A, Section 6

Boxes 2-3: Archives Storage, Range 22B, Section 6

Box 4: Archives Storage, Range 22A, Section 6


Donated by Valerie Saving's daughter, Emily Gray, in July 2008.

Valerie Saiving papers, 1944-1987: A Finding Aid
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)