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Isabel Smith Stein collection on Elizabeth Cisney Smith

2007.002

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Drexel University. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Drexel University: College of Medicine Legacy Center
Creator:
Smith, Elizabeth Cisney, M.D., 1881-1965
Title:
Isabel Smith Stein collection on Elizabeth Cisney Smith
Date [inclusive]:
1887-1972
Call Number:
2007.002
Extent:
6.8 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
Elizabeth Cisney Smith (1881 to 1965) was a practicing physician for 35 years from the time of her graduation from Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1911 to her retirement in 1946. She primarily worked in Pennsylvania and Maryland with brief time spent in North Dakota and Ohio. Dr. Smith was an active supporter of women’s rights as well as the suffrage movement. The collection was initially compiled and arranged by Isabel Smith Stein the daughter of Dr. Elizabeth Cisney Smith, and consists of 6 linear feet of material housed in 17 boxes. This collection dates from 1887 to 1972 and is composed of diaries and memoirs, correspondence, photographs, and audio materials.
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Biography/History

Elizabeth Cisney Smith was a physician who practiced for 35 years in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Dakota and Maryland, from the time of her graduation from Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1911 to her retirement in 1946. Dr. Smith was active in the women’s rights and the suffrage movement, and was one of the founding members of a regional chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Club in her town. Born on July 29, 1881 near Blair's Mills, in Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania, her initial education included enrollment at Dry Run Academy, Dickinson College, and State Normal School in California, Pennsylvania. At the State Normal School she met her future husband, Augustus Edwin Smith. When she was nineteen, Elizabeth began teaching, and at twenty two she and Augustus married and moved to a farm.

Three years later in 1906 the Smiths moved to Philadelphia where Augustus attended Jefferson Medical College. The registrar at the Jefferson Medical College informed Ms. Smith that the Woman’s Medical College was also in Philadelphia and suggested that she should enroll. While a student at the Woman’s Medical College, Smith became pregnant and due to the intervention by the Dean she was forced to enroll and pay for an additional year at the school. After her graduation in 1911, she still had to pass the Pennsylvania Medical board examination in order to be certified as a physician. When her results were posted in the newspaper in the headlines announced that she had achieved the second highest marks in the state.

Dr. Smith practiced for nine years in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh. During this time she became actively involved in women’s suffrage movement. In 1919, the family moved to Ohio where she was the founder and first president of a chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Club. She was the delegate to the national convention for the organization as well.

Dr. Augustus Smith died in 1934. In the following two years, Dr. Smith attended graduate courses at Harvard University, she sold the farm, and took a position in Harrisburg as the regional director of Maternal and Child Health in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She left her position at the Pennsylvania Department of Health to move to North Dakota, but left shortly after due to a lack of funding. She moved frequently from 1936 to 1940, searching for work in the public health field and finding it difficult to secure any favorable positions.

The outbreak of World War II provided Dr. Smith dedicated work in Middle River, Maryland as the sole general practitioner. Thousands of aircraft workers came to work at the Glenn Martin bomber plant, which brought young mothers to the area and officials at Glenn Martin asked that Dr. Smith set up a practice for the workers and their families. She continued with this work until 1946, when she retired at the age of 66. She moved frequently around the U.S. and passed away on November 13th, 1965 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents

The collection was initially compiled and arranged by Isabel Smith Stein the daughter of Dr. Elizabeth Cisney Smith, and consists of 6 linear feet of material housed in 17 boxes. This collection dates from 1887 to 1972 and is composed of two main series: Elizabeth Cisney Smith and Isabel Smith Stein. There is evidence that this collection was compiled by Elizabeth's family (primarily Isabel) for the purpose of recording the life of their mother Elizabeth Cisney Smith.

The first series includes: Dr. Smith's personal history and background, personal correspondence (primarily with family), medical practice, materials related to her husband Dr. Augustus Edwin Smith, photographs and audio materials.

The second series, relating to Isabel Smith Stein, consists of: Isabel's biographical writings, stories and articles, correspondence, and research files on women in medicine.

The strength of this collection comes from Dr. Smith's memoirs and personal writings, which add depth to the collection with her detailed accounts of attending the Woman’s Medical College, her involvement in women’s suffrage, as well as dealing with the turbulent times of The Great Depression. Stein's biographical writings are influenced by her mother’s life and summarize the uniqueness of her mother as female doctor during the first half of the 20th century. The collection has an extensive amount of correspondence both from and to Dr. Smith with various sources (primarily her family), which support the memoirs.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Drexel University: College of Medicine Legacy Center

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Daniel DelViscio

Access Restrictions

Patient case histories in Medical Practice subseries are restricted.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift donated by Elizabeth Bouvier a grandchild of Drs. Elizabeth Cisney Smith and Augustus Edwin Smith.

Processing Information note

This collection was processed as part of the HCI-PSAR Internship Pilot Program, facilitated by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) in winter of 2015. The HCI-PSAR project was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The HCI-PSAR Intern who processed this collection received guidance and supervision from professional archivists at the Drexel University Collecge of Medicine Archives and Special Collections.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Business and Professional Women's Club.
  • Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Correspondence
  • Memoirs
  • Photographs
Personal Name(s)
  • Smith, Augustus Edwin, M.D., d. 1934
  • Stein, Isabel (nee Smith)
Subject(s)
  • Cambria County (Pa.)
  • Depressions--1929--United States
  • Medical education
  • Women in medicine--United States--Congresses
  • Women physicians--United States
  • Women's rights--United States

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Collection Inventory

Elizabeth Cisney Smith.

Personal history and background.

Box Folder

Spelling book, 1890.

1 1

School materials, 1890-1900.

1 2

Autograph album and diary, 1889, 1899.

1 3

Typed diary (1 of 2), 1899.

1 4

Typed diary (2 of 2), 1899.

1 5

Bound diaries, 1900, 1901.

1 6

Teaching materials before medical school, 1900-1901.

1 7

Memoirs before medical school, 1900-1901.

1 8

Speech to medical women missionaries (original and typed), 1913-1916.

1 9

Notebook and clippings from B and P convention in Chattanooga, Tennesse, 1922.

1 10

Memiors, 1930s-1950s.

1 11

Diary of North Dakota, 1930s.

2 1

Diary started in 1930s, 1930s.

2 2

Bound diaries, 1936-1940.

2 3

Noted on 4 week course at Harvard Scool of Public Health, 1937.

2 4

Transcribed memoirs (1 of 2), 1950s.

2 5

Bound notes and writings during trip to Europe, 1954.

2 6

Reeves road house sale, 1937, 1960.

2 7

Writings and memorabilia, 1890, 1920, 1959.

2 8

Personal correspondence.

Box Folder

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others (original and typed), 1897-1899.

3 1

Envelopes, 1900-1902.

3 2

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1900 May - 1900 September.

3 3

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1900 October - 1900 December.

3 4

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to Augstus Smith, 1900 July 4 - 1900 December 20.

3 5

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others (original and typed), 1901 January - 1901 February.

3 6

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1901 March - 1901 June.

3 7

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1901 July - 1901 December.

3 8

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others (transcribed), 1902.

3 9

George Cisney to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1901-1921.

3 10

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others (original and typed), 1902 January - 1902 May.

4 1

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others (original and typed), 1902 June - 1902 July.

4 2

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others (original and typed), 1902 August - 1902 September.

4 3

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1902 October - 1902 December.

4 4

Jack Flood (hired man) to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1903 February.

4 5

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1903 January - 1903 September.

4 6

Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1907-1912.

4 7

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to medical school and others, 1909-1910.

4 8

Grandmother Cisney to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1908-1909.

4 9

Grandfather Cisney to Elizabeth Cisney Smith (original and transcribed), 1909-1910.

4 10

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to Mrs. A.R. Kaufflin Mifflin, 1910.

4 11

Grandmother Smith to Elizabeth Cisney Smith (original and transcribed), 1909-1914.

4 12

Grandfather Cisney to Elizabeth Cisney Smith (original and transcribed), 1910-1911.

4 13

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to Sister Lucy (original and transcribed), 1910-1911.

4 14

Dr. Isabel Shannon to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1912-1914.

4 15

Grandparents to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1913-1924.

5 1

Institutional correspondence to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1916-1922.

5 2

Brother Alf to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1922-1924.

5 3

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others (original and typed), 1921-1925.

5 4

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1926-1929.

5 5

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1930.

5 6

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1931.

5 7

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1932.

5 8

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1933.

5 9

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others (Augustus Smith's death), 1934.

5 10

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1935.

6 1

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1936.

6 2

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1937.

6 3

Politicians to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1937.

6 4

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1938.

6 5

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1939.

6 6

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1940.

7 1

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1941.

7 2

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1942.

7 3

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1943.

7 4

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1944.

7 5

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1945.

7 6

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1946.

8 1

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to Isabel, 1947.

8 2

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to Isabel, 1948.

8 3

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to Isabel, 1949.

8 4

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1950.

8 5

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1952.

8 6

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1953.

8 7

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1954.

8 8

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1955.

8 9

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1955.

8 10

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1956.

8 11

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1957.

8 12

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1958.

8 13

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1959.

8 14

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1960.

8 15

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to others, 1962.

8 16

Politicians to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1962.

8 17

Randall Smith to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1934-1935, undated.

9 1

Randall Smith to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1960-1965.

9 2

Elizabeth Cisney Smith to Randall Smith, 1935-1962.

9 3

Medical Practice.

Box Folder

Professional correspondence, 1912-1972.

10 1

Addresses and exspenses, 1937-1951.

10 2

North Dakota notes, 1938-1940.

10 3

North Dakota medical records, 1938-1940.

10 4

Munich medical notes, addresses, and exspenses, 1954-1955.

10 5

Persciption booklets, undated.

10 6

Medical exspense book, 1935.

11 1

Medical exspense book, 1936.

11 2

Medical exspense book, 1945.

11 3

Medical exspense book, 1946.

11 4

Medical exspense book, 1947.

11 5
Patient case histories [RESTRICTED], undated.
General note

Content restricted.

12 1

Augustus E. Smith.

Box Folder

Augustus E. Smith materials, 1907-1920.

13 1

Wallet, undated.

13 2

Daybook, 1930.

13 3

Augustus E. Smith estate accounts, 1934.

13 4

Biography and condolences, 1934.

13 5

Photographs.

Box Folder

Medical school, undated.

14 1

North Dakota, undated.

14 2

Reeves road house, undated.

14 3

Miscellaneous photographs, undated.

14 4

Miscellaneous photographs, undated.

14 5

Miscellaneous photographs, undated.

14 6

Miscellaneous photographs, 1920-1960s, undated.

14 7

Audio.

Box Folder

Randall Smith talking to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, undated.

15 1

Candid recording in North California, 1961 August 7.

15 2

Doctor smith, undated.

15 3

Letters to Augustus E. Smith (empty), 1900 July - 1900 December.

15 4

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Isabel Smith Stein.

Biographical writings.

Box Folder

Biography writings on Elizabeth Cisney Smith, undated.

16 1

Biography writings on Elizabeth Cisney Smith, undated.

16 2

Stories and articles, undated.

Box Folder

"Holy Ghost".

16 3

"September Morn", undated.

16 4

"When The North Wind Blew", undated.

16 5

"When The North Wind Blew" notes, undated.

16 6

"Some Day You Will Remember This" (Alternate When The North Wind Blew), undated.

16 7

"Some Day You Will Remember This" (Alternate "When The North Wind Blew"), undated.

16 8

"I Had Never Heard of Such a Thing as a Woman Doctor", undated.

16 9

Correspondence.

Box Folder

Miscellaneous clippings and correspondence, 1911-1982.

17 1

Isabel to Elizabeth Cisney Smith, 1919-1924.

17 2

Correspondence from Elizabeth, 1950-1961.

17 3

Condolence letters and obituary, 1966.

17 4

Isabel Correspondence to others, 1970s.

17 5

Isabel Correspondence to others, undated.

17 6

Research files on women's medical practice.

Box Folder

Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1907-1912.

17 7

Compiled clippings, 1960s-1980s.

17 8

Women's medical publications compiled, 1965-1990.

17 9

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