|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 1 series: Series I: Marie Read Smith Papers, 1934-1938.
The collection is comprised of a scrapbook, a July 1934 issue of Fortune magazine, a photograph of a woman Smith met while in Italy, and a letter to Smith's parents. The scrapbook is a thorough documentation of Mussolini's adult life and tenure as Prime Minister, and includes both photographic clippings and news articles. As Smith was an ardent proponent of the dictator, the scrapbook also serves as a tribute. The issue of Fortune magazine includes a special section on Italian fascism, which can be found between pages 46 and 126. The collection also features a handwritten letter addressed to Smith's parents, dated May 21, 1938. The letter describes Smith's encounter with Mussolini while studying in Italy, and is accompanied by a photograph of her friend, Daisy, also a friend of Mussolini, who facilitated the meeting. Albeit brief, the encounter is described by Smith in detail, and the letter also includes observations of Hitler, who was also present at the time.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Marie Read Smith Papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed Megan Darlington, MSI Candidate 2013, University of Michigan 5/2/2012.
Finding aid written Megan Darlington, MSI Candidate 2013, University of Michigan 5/2/2012.
2012-05-04 xnl document instance creted by Megan Darlington.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Marie Read Smith was an avid supporter of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator and leader of the National Fascist Party. Likely affiliated with the women's division of the No Foreign War Committee, she was staunchly opposed to American involvement in World War II. In 1938, she was granted a fellowship by Casa Italiana and Barnard College to study in Italy. While there, she had a brief encounter with Mussolini, which is the subject of the letter in this collection.