Sneha Girap (Editor)

Nora Archibald Smith

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Name  Nora Smith
Role  Author
Siblings  Kate Douglas Wiggin

Died  1934, Portland, Maine, United States
Books  Action Poems and Plays for, Froebel's Gifts, The Blacksmith's Craft ‑ An, The Children of the Future, Boys and Girls of Bookland

Nora Archibald Smith (1859–1934) was an American children's author of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and sister of Kate Douglas Wiggin. Nora and Kate co-authored and co-edited a series of children's books.


Both sisters were active in the kindergarten movement that was developing at the turn of the twentieth century, and wrote repeatedly on the subject. They were admirers of Friedrich Fröbel and promoted his theories on early childhood education.

Early life

Nora Archibald Smith (1859-1934) was the sister of Kate Douglas Wiggin, known best for her novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Both girls were born in Philadelphia to Robert Noah Smith and Helen Elizabeth (Dyer) Smith. Their father died shortly after Nora’s birth and their mother then moved the family to Portland, Maine. She soon remarried and the family moved into Nora and Kate’s stepfather’s (Dr. Albion Bradbury) house in Hollis, Maine. It was in the farmhouse called “Quillcote” that both Nora and Kate grew up and to which they would later retire.


In 1873, while Kate attended finishing school in Andover, Massachusetts, Dr. Bradbury moved the family to California. Kate opened the first free kindergarten west of the Rocky Mountains on Silver Street in San Francisco, California while Nora was teaching in the public schools of Tucson, Arizona. In 1877 Nora was awarded an A.B. from Santa Barbara College. In 1880 Nora and Kate founded the California Kindergarten Training School together and Nora received a certificate from the school in 1881.

Nora then went on to become the superintendent of the free kindergarten on Silver Street and later to take over the running of the California Kindergarten Training School in 1889. Ms. Smith was president of the California Froebel Society, an executive member of the committee of the International Kindergarten Association, and the vice-president (1891-1892) of the kindergarten department of the National Education Association (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899). Nora Archibald Smith collaborated with her sister to write or edit fifteen books. Nora, a writer in her own right, also published many serial stories and academic journal articles on early childhood education.

As sole writer

  • The Children of the Future (1898)
  • Under the Cactus Flag: a story of life in Mexico (1899)
  • The Message of Froebel and Other Essays (1900)
  • Three Little Marys (1902)
  • Adventures of a Doll (1907)
  • Old, Old Tales from the Old, Old Book (1916) – Bible stories
  • Plays, Pantomimes, and Tableaux for Children (1917)
  • The Christmas Child (1920)
  • Boys and Girls of Bookland (1923), illus. Jessie Willcox Smith
  • Kate Douglas Wiggin as Her Sister Knew Her (1925)
  • A Truly Little Girl (1927)
  • Bee of the Cactus Country (1932), illus. Erick Berry
  • With Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • The Story Hour: a book for the home and kindergarten (1890), LCCN 14-19353 <!-– primarily a collection of stories written or adapted by the sisters, from a glance at the electronic copy at HDL ; earliest in LCCatalog for Nora -->
  • Golden Numbers: a book of verse for youth, eds. (1902), LCCN 02-27230
  • The Posy Ring: a book of verse for children, eds. (1903) – "companion volume", LCCN 03-5775
  • The Fairy Ring, eds. (1906)
  • Magic Casements: A Second Fairy Book, eds. (1907)
  • Pinafore Palace: a book of rhymes for the nursery, eds. (1907)
  • Tales of Laughter: A Third Fairy Book, eds. (1908)
  • The Arabian Nights: their best-known tales, eds. (1909), illustrated by Maxfield Parrish
  • Tales of Wonder: A Fourth Fairy Book, eds. (1909)
  • The Talking Beasts: a book of fable wisdom, eds. (1911)
  • An Hour with the Fairies (1911)
  • Twilight Stories: more tales for the story hour, eds. (1925), LCCN 25-17938
  • The Story Hour. A Book for the Home and Kingergarten
  • Children's Rights
  • The Republic of Childhood (3 volumes)
  • Marm Lisa
  • Wiggin died in 1923 and the Library of Congress Catalog (link LCCN) does not credit her as co-editor of Twilight Stories.


    Nora Archibald Smith Wikipedia