Margaret Grierson (Storrs) (1900 - 1997)

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Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Margaret Grierson (Storrs)

Margaret Storrs Grierson (June 29, 1900–December 12, 1997), archivist and philosophy professor, was the founder and first director of the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College. In this capacity, she traveled extensively, in the United States and abroad, assembling manuscripts that document the history of women.

Personal life

Grierson was born in Denver, Colorado. Her father was railway executive Lucius Seymour Storrs and her mother was Mary Cooper Storrs, daughter of Job Adams Cooper, sixth Governor of the State of Colorado. Grierson had one sibling, a brother, Lucius ("Luke") Seymour Storrs, Jr.

Because of her father's career, the family moved several times during Grierson's childhood. She attended seven schools before entering Misses Masters' School, Dobbs Ferry, New York.

She received an A.B. from Smith College and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College.

During her subsequent professional years at Smith, Grierson developed an enduring friendship with professor Marine Leland that lasted until Leland's death in 1983.

On December 7, 1938, she married Sir Herbert Grierson, Rector of the University of Edinburgh, in Edinburgh, Scotland.


Grierson returned to Northampton, Massachusetts in 1930, and taught philosophy at Smith College until 1936. In 1940, she became the college archivist, and in 1942, she also became the executive secretary of the Friends of the Smith College Library. in 1942, she became the first director of the Sophia Smith Collection at the college. Until her retirement in 1965, Grierson simultaneously held the three positions.

She was awarded the Smith College Medal in 1968.

Grierson died of cancer in 1997 in Leeds, Massachusetts.


The Grierson Scholars program was launched in the late 1990s, partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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