Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Mount Holyoke College seal
Banister papers, 1803-1971.
6 boxes (1.1 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0506 (LD 7093.37 B33)

Abstract:
Banister, Zilpah Polly Grant, 1794-1874; Educator. Papers consist of correspondence, writings, biographical sketches, maps and charts, clippings, memorabilia, and photographs. Primarily containing correspondence to family and colleagues pertaining to her work at Adams Female Academy and Ipswich Female Seminary.

Terms of Access and Use:

Unrestricted

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Zilpah P. Grant Banister was born on May 30, 1794 in Norfolk, Connecticut. In 1820 she enrolled in the Byfield Female Seminary in Masachusetts under Reverend Joseph Emerson. She then taught at various schools around Norfolk until she began organizing the Adams Female Academy in Londonderry, New Hampshire, which opened in 1824. Here she worked as principal with Mary Lyon as her assistant. In 1828 she received an invitation to organize a school in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She remained at Ipswich Female Seminary until her retirement in 1839. On September 7, 1841, Grant married William B. Banister and moved with him to Newburyport, Massachusetts. She continued to actively promote women's education, and published a pamphlet entitled "Hints on education" in 1856. Zilpah P. Grant Banister died on December 3, 1874 in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Zilpah Polly Grant Banister Papers contain correspondences, 1824-1874; writings, 1820-1874; biographical sketches, 1803-1971; and maps and charts, circa 1819-1836. Of particular note is the collection of letters written to and by Banister. Banister's sixty letters to family members, former students and colleagues reflect her activities at Adams Female Academy and Ipswich Female Seminary and provide information about her views on education and religion, her travels, and her health and financial affairs. Many of the hundred seventy-two letters are from former Adams and Ipswich students who describe their work as teachers and often explain their inability to repay loans from the Society for the Education of Females. Other correspondents include Mary Lyon, Catherine Beecher, Joseph Emerson, and Cynthia Farrar and Jane Van Allen, missionaries active in Ahmadnagar, India and Gabon, Africa. Also of particular interest are maps and charts composed by Banister. This collection also includes other writings by Banister, notably a notebook kept as a student at Byfield Academy in 1820, several essays and notes on teaching methods, circa 1828-1856, and two autobiographical sketches. In addition, these papers contain notes and clippings, assorted memorabilia, and photographs and a portrait of Banister.

Material from this collection is available in an online digital format.


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

Unrestricted

Preferred Citation

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

Zilpah Grant Banister Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

Additional Formats

The library also has 1 reel of microfilm (positive) of the collection.

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: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm
URL: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
1822-1874
26 folders

Arrangement:

Sub-series 1. Letters by Bannister 1823-1874 Sub-series 2. Letters to Bannister 1822-1872

Restrictions on access:

unresricted

Scope and content:

This series consists of letters written by and to Banister between 1822-1874. Early letters written by Grant concern the Adams Female Seminary and the Ipswich Female Seminary. Among these letters, Banister corresponds with Mary Lyon regarding text books, curriculum and eventually Lyon's plans for Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Later letters concern Grant's health and travels. The majority of the remaining letters are addressed to Elijah and Elizabeth Grant and to Lucinda T. Guilford. Of particular note is a memorilization of Joseph Emerson to his brother Ralph. Many letters written to Banister from former students concern debt incurred to Ipswich Female Seminary's Society for the Education of Females; most correspondences describe their current teaching careers and their inability to repay their loans. Other letters include correspondences from Catharine Beecher, Mary Lyon, Joseph Emerson and Jane Van Allen.

1820-1874
6 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

unresricted

Scope and content:

This series consists of writings, 1820-1874, which include a notebook kept by Banister while a student at the Byfield Female Seminary in 1820; several essays on teaching, including a published essay entitled "Hints on Education"; and two biographical sketches. Essays are primarily religiously founded, with many Bible lessons and stories of salvation. Teaching methods for arithmetic, grammar, geography, intellectual philiosophy, reading geometry, history, botany, and natural philosphy, are outlined. Reports concerning progress at Ipswich Female Seminary are also included.

1803-1971
2.5 linear inches

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

The biographical material contains numerous biographical sketches from newspapers, magazines, and books (circa 1843-1971), many autographs (circa 1830-1874), certificates (1803-1804), locks of hair (circa 1828-1874), and a biography entitled "The Use of a Life." The biographical sketches range from brief mentions of Banister, to detailed accounts of her life. "The Use of a Life" was written in 1885 by Lucinda T. Guilford, an 1847 graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary.

18 maps and charts in 4 oversized boxes

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

This series contains eighteen maps and charts owned by Banister. Some were made by Banister to use as classroom tools. Many are geological charts. "A tabular view of Stratified Rocks" (124 x 23 inches), "Bed, Veins, and Overlying masses of Trap Rock" (13 x 23 inches), a diagram of valleys of subsidence, elevation, and erosion and ravines (1.3 x 2.3 inches), a diagram of the Tyrolese Alps (34 x 18 inches), "Ideal Section of the Crust of the Globe (76 x 18 inches), and "Section Showing the Classes of Large Groups of Rocks" (23 x 42 inches) are all geological charts made by Banister. A map of the United States, including state and territory boundaries and some sailing routes of British war ships from 1775-1776, was made by Banister (each piece 25 x 50 inches, total of 50 x 50 inches). A map of the mid-Atlantic states was made by Banister (25 x 42 inches), as well as a map of eastern New England (25 x 40 inches). She also made a map of central North America with various state and territory boudaries and other unidentified divisions (26 x 36 inches). Banister made two maps of the Holy Land, one with possible geological or tribal divisions (22 x 36 inches), and one which labels the Dead Sea and Simeon (23 x 27 inches). Five additional maps were owned by Banister: a map of Washington and Pittsburg outlining plans for a Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from 1826 (21 x 31 inches), two maps of Europe and neighbooring countries, (21 x 24 inches), the other containing wooden end pieces (30 x 31 inches), a map from Washington to Buffalo detailing the proposed National Road (18 x 39 inches), a map from Washington to New Orleans in reference to a National Road between the two cities (19 x 28 inches), and a map of Asia made by Eliza P. Capen for Banister.

Contents List
Correspondence,
1822-1874
26 folders

Correspondence by,
1823-1829

Box 1: folder 1
Correspondence by,
1830-1834

Box 1: folder 2
Correspondence by,
1835-1837, 1839

Box 1: folder 3
Correspondence by,
1846-1847, 1853

Box 1: folder 4
Correspondence by,
1856-1857, 1860-1862

Box 1: folder 5
Correspondence by,
1863, 1865-1866

Box 1: folder 6
Correspondence by,
1867-1868, 1870-1872

Box 1: folder 7
Correspondence by,
1873-1874

Box 1: folder 8
Correspondence to,
1822-1824, 1826-1827

Box 1: folder 9
Correspondence to,
1830-1835

Box 1: folder 10
Correspondence to,
1836

Box 1: folder 11
Correspondence to,
1837

Box 1: folder 12
Correspondence to,
1838

Box 1: folder 13
Correspondence to,
1839

Box 1: folder 14
Correspondence to,
1839

Box 1: folder 15
Correspondence to,
1839

Box 1: folder 16
Correspondence to,
1840

Box 1: folder 17
Correspondence to,
1840

Box 1: folder 18
Correspondence to,
1841

Box 1: folder 19
Correspondence to,
1841

Box 1: folder 20
Correspondence to,
1842-1843

Box 1: folder 21
Correspondence to,
1844

Box 1: folder 22
Correspondence to,
1845-1846

Box 1: folder 23
Correspondence to,
1847, 1849

Box 1: folder 24
Correspondence to,
1851-1859

Box 1: folder 25
Correspondence to,
1860, 1872

Box 1: folder 26
Writings,
1820-1874
6 folders

Writings,
1820-circa 1828-1835

Box 1: folder 27
Writings,
1830-1835

Box 1: folder 28
Writings,
1836-1855

Box 1: folder 29
Writings,
1856

Box 1: folder 30
Writings,
1858-1874

Box 1: folder 31
Biographical Material,
1803-1971
2.5 linear inches

Biographical Sketches, notes, etc.,
circa 1843-1971

Box 2: folder 1
Certificates, locks of hair
1803; circa 1828-1874

Box 2: folder 2
"Autographs,"
circa 1830-1874

Box 2: folder 3
"The Use of A Life,"
1885

Box 2: folder 4
Photographs and Portraits,
1850-1874
2 folders

Photographs


Box 2: folder 5
Portrait


Box 2: folder 6
26Portrait
Maps and Charts,
18 maps and charts in 4 oversized boxes

Oversized: Maps and Charts 5-8


Box 3: folder 4
Oversized: Maps and Charts 9-12


Box 3: folder 5
Oversized: Maps and Charts 13-14


Box 3: folder 6

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.

Subjects
  • Banister, Zilpah P. Grant (Zilpah Polly Grant), 1794-1874.
  • Beecher, Catharine Esther, 1800-1878.
  • Emerson, Joseph, 1777-1833.
  • Farrar, Cynthia, 1795-1862.
  • Lyon, Mary, 1797-1849.
  • Adams Female Academy (Derry, N.H.)
  • Byfield Female Seminary.
  • Canandaigua Seminary.
  • Disease.
  • Education - New York.
  • Education.
  • Educators - Massachusetts - Biography.
  • Health.
  • Ipswich Female Seminary (Ipswich, Mass.)
  • Mount Holyoke College - Inception.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Seminary building.
  • Oberlin College.
  • Social conditions - Middle west.
  • Society for the Education of Females (Ipswich, Mass.)
  • Teachers - Eastern States.
  • Teachers - Middle West.
  • Teachers - New England.
  • Teachers - Southern States.
  • Teachers - United States - Correspondence.
  • Transportation and travel.
  • Women - Education - United States - History - Sources.
  • Women - United States - Economic conditions - Sources.
  • Women - United States - Social conditions - Sources.

Contributors
  • Beecher, Catharine Esther, 1800-1878.
  • Emerson, Joseph, 1777-1833.
  • Farrar, Cynthia, 1795-1862.
  • Lyon, Mary, 1797-1849.

Genre terms
  • Letters-Collections
  • Notebooks
  • Textbooks


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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