Bonnie Hurd Smith has been researching Judith Sargent Murray for over twenty years; at Simmons College as part of her undergraduate and her graduate studies in history and communications, as a board member and president, 1992-96, of the Sargent-Murray-Gilman-Hough House in Gloucester, Mass. (Murray's home); as founder of the Judith Sargent Murray Society, 1996; and as an independent scholar, author and lecturer. Smith has reissued many of Murray's essays and her catechism in print and electronically. She has also embarked on a multiyear effort to transcribe and publish Murray's letters; Smith published From Gloucester to Philadelphia in 1790: Observations, Anecdotes, and Thoughts from the Letters of Judith Sargent Murray in 1998, and, most recently, The Letters I Left Behind, Judith Sargent Murray Papers, Letter Book 10 in 2005.
Smith devotes her career to combining history and communications in an effort to make history accessible, engaging, and well-funded. She has served as executive director of the Boston Women's Heritage Trail, created a similar walking tour in Salem, Mass. (both feature Murray), and was director of external affairs for the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. Smith started her own company, Hurd Smith Communcations, in 1990, through which she has provided services in the areas of organizational management, public relations and marketing, event planning, fundraising, graphic design, and writing. Smith also currently serves as executive director of the Ipswich (Massachusetts) Historical Society. For more information visit www.hurdsmith.com/judith.
Photograph by Susan Wilson.