Resident in China from Farwell, Michigan; papers concern her family life in Farwell, and missionary activities; include letters, diaries, and accounts of father, Josiah L. Littlefield, Farwell lumber dealer and visitor to China, 1916-1917; letters, 1918-1928, of husband, Dr. Dennis V. Smith, medical missionary to China, describing in part Chinese politics and civil war, 1918-1920; letters and other papers of Hazel Littlefield Smith, including materials concerning various European travels, and manuscripts of writings about Irish author Lord Dunsany, her father, and Farwell, Michigan; and photographs. Other correspondents of Hazel Smith include world-renowed scientists (Edwin Hubble and William Beebe), from Chinese Princess Der Ling, and from distinguished European writers and actors (Pierre LaMure, Selma Lagerlof, Brian Aherne, and Ronald Colman).
This collection was accumulated by Hazel Littlefield Smith and consists of materials concerning her career and interests and those of her family, specifically her husband, Dr. Dennis Smith, and her father, Josiah Littlefield (1845-1935), a pioneer lumberman and businessman in Farwell, Michigan.
The collection is particularly valuable for three topics: early days (late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) in Farwell, Michigan; missionary life in China in the period ca. 1915-1928; and the travels and writings of Hazel Littlefield Smith. The materials include correspondence, compositions and business-related materials of Josiah Littlefield; correspondence and other materials of Dr. Dennis Smith, Hazel Littlefield Smith (and Josiah Littlefield) concerning conditions in early republican China; and correspondence and other materials of Hazel Littlefield Smith concerning her travels in Europe (1920s-1950s), her management of the family farm near Farwell, Michigan (1940s), and her essays, poetry and other publications, including Lord Dunsany: King of Dreams.
The three principal figures in the collection--Hazel Littlefield Smith, Dennis Smith and Josiah Littlefield--were highly perceptive observers of persons and events. Their letters are rich in detail, whether describing travel experiences or everyday life in rural northern Michigan.
The collection is arranged into six series: Littlefield Family, China-related materials, Hazel Littlefield Smith, Miscellanea, Dr. Dennis V. Smith, and Visual Materials.