Friday, June 21, 2013

I Found It In The Archives: Alumnae Bearing Gifts

Each year at Commencement and reunion, Mount Holyoke rejoices over the generous monetary gifts received from seniors and alumnae. Equally important to Archives & Special Collections staff are donations of materials which help us fulfill our mission of documenting Mount Holyoke’s rich history.

Jane V. Wheeler's Mount Holyoke dog shows his support for Jimmy Carter and Walter Modale in the 1976 Presidential election
Among the many treasurers which we recently received are letters, class papers, notes, College publications, memorabilia, and photographs from Laurie Soojian Woo (1978), Jane V. Wheeler (1978), and Danetta L. Beaushaw (1988) which chronicle their activities and experiences as students.  Thanks to donations of papers, notebooks, and examinations from Carolyn Chesebrough Foster (1958) and graduating seniors Sara Amjad, Sarah Kate Castle, and Ayoola White, researchers will be able to study curricular developments in the College’s teaching of anthropology, art history, biology, chemistry, English, environmental studies, gender studies, history, music, politics, Russian and Eurasian Studies, statistics, theatre arts, and zoology.  Mrs. Foster also donated notes from a chemistry class, a Class of 1914 group photograph, and College publications which belonged to her mother-in-law, Katharine Condon Foster.  Those items will be added to an earlier gift of Foster’s papers described here.

The diary of Faith Harris begins with a description of her arrival at Mount Holyoke
More Mount Holyoke family papers came from Faith Wilson LaVelle (1943), who gave us a wonderfully-detailed diary kept by her mother Faith Harris Wilson (1919) as a student.  Kimberly A. Fletcher (1973) donated scrapbooks full of Mount Holyoke-related letters, notes, programs, snapshots, and memorabilia (including a plastic frog!) which belonged to her mother, June Chandler Fletcher (1942) and grandmother, Florence Tuttle Chandler (1916). 

Katharine Burt with classmates on Freshman Mountain Day in spring of 1908
In addition, we received a scrapbook from Sarah Kimball (1986) compiled by her mother, Ann Weaver Kimball (1953).  And Tom Andrews (by way of his niece, Carson Ellis, 2013) sent us documents and photographs which once belonged to Katharine Burt Andrews (1911).

We were also delighted to receive some College records from alumnae, including:   

  • Class scribe files, reunion booklets, photographs, and memorabilia from Diana Marston Wood (1958) and Nancy Friedman Ross (1973);
  • From Jean M. Luboja (1973), a collection of handwritten notes and instructions which from 1921-1934 provided guidance to officers and committee members of the College’s pre-SGA student government organizations;
  • Program for the 20th celebration of the Mount Holyoke College African and Caribbean Students Association
  • Donations from seniors Ifeoluwa Olokode and Whitney Hughes of records of the Mount Holyoke College African and Caribbean Students Association and The Renegades, Inc. (“a nerd-centric roleplaying club with an emphasis on geekery, friendship, and games”).

All of these gifts gladden the hearts of archivists and researchers alike, but we are always eager to receive more donations! 

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