William Allan Neilson

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William Allan Neilson
William Allan Neilson portrait.jpg
Born(1869-03-28)28 March 1869
Died13 February 1946(1946-02-13) (aged 76)
OccupationEducator, writer, and lexicographer
Board member ofG.C. Merriam and Co., NAACP, National Refugee Service
Spouse(s)Elisabeth Muser
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh, Harvard University
Academic work
InstitutionsBryn Mawr College, Harvard University, Columbia University, Smith College
Notable worksThe Facts about Shakespeare
William Allan Neilson signature.png

William Allan Neilson (28 March 1869 – 1946) was a Scottish-American educator, writer and lexicographer, graduated in the University of Edinburgh in 1891 and became a Ph.D. in Harvard University in 1898. He was president of Smith College between 1917 and 1939.

Neilson was born in Doune, Scotland and he emigrated to the United States in 1895, being naturalised 3 August 1905. He taught at Bryn Mawr College from 1898 to 1900, Harvard from 1900 to 1904, Columbia from 1904 to 1906, and Harvard again from 1906 to 1917. Neilson was author of a number of critical works on William Shakespeare, Robert Burns and the Elizabethan theatre, editor of the Cambridge and Tudor editions of Shakespeare (1906, 1911) and editor of Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition (1934).[2] Less known is his translation of the famous late 14th century Middle English alliterative chivalric romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


Further reading[edit]

  • Margaret Farrand Thorp, Neilson of Smith (1956)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "William Allan Neilson Personal Papers, 1952-1946, Biographical Note". Five College Archives & Manuscript Collections. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  2. ^ "President William Allan Neilson". Smithipedia. Retrieved 26 April 2017.