Skip to main content

George F. Smith, SJ papers

Collection BC-2004-002: George F. Smith, SJ papers


  • Creation: 1918-1930
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1925-1930

Scope and Contents

The George F. Smith, SJ papers consist of five diaries with loose items found within the diaries and two passports. They primarily document Smith’s life while studying religion abroad in Italy, Austria, France, and the Middle East.

The bound diaries relate to aspects of Smith’s extended stay in Europe. They describe his continuing education, ecclesiastical training, religious duties, and his travels in Greece and in the Middle East. The volumes are numbered two through six (note: volume one is not present in the papers). There are also nine sheets torn from a lined notebook with diary-like entries (1918-1921) and loose items found within the pages of the bound diaries, including clippings, letters, photographs, materials related to Smith’s ordination, notes, and ephemera.

The passports were issued to Smith by the United States Department of State on August 13, 1924 and August 20, 1926.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

George Francis Smith was born in Upton, Massachusetts on October 27, 1894 to Honora (Jordan) and Edward J. Smith. He grew up with two brothers, William J. and Edward J. Smith, Jr.

After attending Boston University from 1912-1913 and Boston College from 1913-1914, Smith entered the Jesuit novitiate at St. Andrews-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, New York on September 7, 1914. He studied at the Jesuit Scholasticate in Woodstock, Maryland, from 1918-1921, where he received his A.B. and A.M. degrees. Smith continued his studies in Europe from 1924-1931. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop DiMeo in Naples, Italy, on July 17, 1927. Smith completed the course in theology at the Pontifical Collegium di San Luigi in Naples, Italy from 1924-1928, his Tertianship at St. Andrä in Austria from 1928-1929, his biennium at both Weston College and the Sorbonne in Paris from 1929-1931, and finally earned his Ph.D. at Gregorian University in Rome in 1931.

During his regency, Smith taught Latin, Greek, and Mathematics at Xavier High School in New York City from 1921-1923 and European History and French at Georgetown University from 1923-1924. He would later teach modern languages and European and church history at Weston College (1929-1930, 1932-1941) and at Boston College (1931-1932, 1941-1962). Smith was a distinguished linguist who read and spoke ten languages.

Smith was nicknamed “Huck Finn, SJ” by his fellow Jesuit community members as he was very passionate about horticulture and fishing. He planted a grove of pine trees on the Boston College campus and cultivated a vegetable garden.

Smith died on September 18, 1962.


Boston College Faculty Collection, Boston College Archives


1.75 Linear Feet (4 containers)

Language of Materials



Papers that document the education and religious training of George F. Smith, SJ, primarily in the years surrounding his ordination in 1927. Consists of diaries with letters, photographs, clippings, and ephemera, as well as two passports.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time.

Processing Information

For reasons of conservation, loose materials found within the pages of the bound diaries have been removed and the volume in which they were found noted on the folder.

George F. Smith, SJ Papers
1918-1930 (bulk 1925-1930)
Edward B. Copenhagen, 2004; updated by AnneMarie Anderson, 2010; Ray Hartley and Rachael Young
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States