Five College Archives and Manuscript
Mount Holyoke College seal
Ball Papers, 1895-1952.
13 boxes (5.2 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0505 (LD 7092.8 Ball)

Ball, Margaret, 1878-1952; College teacher and author. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1900. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1901-1945. Papers contain correspondence, essays, drafts, research notes, clippings, subject files, family financial records, and memorabilia; chiefly notes her academic activities as both a student and professor along with four decades of correspondence between faculty and alumnae.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Margaret Ball was born in New Haven, Connecticut on April 9, 1878. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke in 1900, and went on to obtain a Master's Degree in English Literature and a Ph.D. in Education and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in 1903 and 1908 respectively. She published her first work in 1907, entitled "Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature." In 1910 she published "The Principals of Outlining," and in 1924 an introduction to Charlette Bronte's "Jane Eyre," Modern Reader Series. Additionally, Ball wrote numerous articles in many popular periodicals. She taught as an assitant professor at Mount Holyoke College and Barnard College. She gained a full profesorship in 1921 and taught at Mount Holyoke until 1943. Margaret Ball died on January 3, 1952 in Lakeville, Connecticut.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Margaret Ball Papers consist of correspondence, essay drafts, research notes, clippings, subject files, family financial records, and memorabilia. The correspondence, arranged alphabetically, represent over four decades of personal and professional experiences beginning with her undergraduate years at Mount Holyoke College, 1896-1900. The letters are primarily from friends, former students, and former colleagues discussing health, education, careers, and travels. Course materials include exams and reading lists and of special note is her introductory English course on the importance of letter-writing. The research notes include articles focusing on education and literature collected by Ball and copies of her works. Her writings represent her academic and intellectual development beginning with essays from college and graduate school to tributes to her colleagues and published works. Of particular note within the collection are correspondence and writings about fellow colleagues, involvement in Mount Holyoke campus development and comments on the selection of Roswell Gray Ham as the first male president of the College.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:


Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Margaret Ball Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection

Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form:
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Ball, Margaret, 1878-1952.
  • College teachers - Massachusetts - Biography.
  • College teachers - Massachusetts - Correspondence.
  • English language - Study and teaching - History - Sources.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Alumni and alumnae.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student expenses - 1896-1900.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student notebooks - 1896-1900.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student papers - 1896-1899.
  • Mount Holyoke College.
  • Women - Education - Massachusetts - History - Sources.
  • Women college teachers - Massachusetts - Biography.
  • Women college teachers - Massachusetts - Correspondence.

Genre terms
  • Account books
  • Notebooks

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