Martha Smith, CSJ, PhD
The Archives is named in honor of Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Martha Smith, a lifelong Kansas Citian, a graduate of St. Teresa’s Academy and the College of St. Teresa (which became Avila University), who entered religious life in 1947. She later earned a doctorate in modern European history and received a Fulbright scholarship to India to study Sanskrit and learn about Indian history and culture. Sister Martha was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship and the Sears Award for Excellence in Teaching. She was an educator and author who served as history professor at Avila from 1965-1995. In 1997, as professor emerita, she began work on the Women Religious Special Collection then housed in the University’s library. During this time she also co-authored the book, Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836-1920. Sister Martha died in 2011.
The Martha Smith, CSJ, Ph.D. Archives & Research Center was officially named and opened to the public in August 2014, following a major renovation of the Hooley-Bundschu Library into a modern, state of the art learning commons. A space was specifically designed for the Archives as part of the renovation plans for the new learning commons. This new space includes a research/reading room, a processing workroom and ample onsite, climate controlled, closed stack storage for our archival collections.