Elizabeth Smith was born Jan. 18, 1859 at 'Mountain Hall', Vinemount. She attended Queen's University, Kingston and received her degree in medicine at the Royal Medical College in 1884 (one of the first 3 women M.D.'s in Canada). In 1886, she would marry Dr. Adam Shortt.

Included in her collection are 15 diaries covering the period from 1872 to 1932, including her time at medical school.

In the winter of 2016, students from Women's Studies 101 transcribed pages from two of Elizabeth Smith's diaries from 1882 (while she was in second year).