Five College Archives and Manuscript
Mount Holyoke College seal
Clapp papers, 1868-1986.
2 boxes (7.5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0520 (LD 7092.8 Clapp)

Clapp, Cornelia Maria, 1849-1934; Zoologist and college teacher. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1871. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1872-1916. Papers consist of letters, writings, biographical information, and photographs; principally documenting her career as a zoology researcher, her work at Woods Hole Marine Biological Institute and her travels.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Cornelia Maria Clapp was born on March 17, 1849, in Montague, Massachusetts, to Richard and Erica Slate Clapp. She graduated from Mount Holyoke Seminary in 1871 and went on to study at Syracuse University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and finally the University of Chicago where she received a Ph.D. in 1896. She was a professor of zoology at Mount Holyoke College from 1904 through 1916. When she retired, she continued doing research at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and published numerous research papers in biology journals. In 1924, the new science building at Mount Holyoke College was named after her. Cornelia M. Clapp died on December 31, 1934, in Mount Dora, Florida.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Cornelia Maria Clapp Papers consist of correspondence, articles and writings, biographical information, and photographs. The papers primarily contain letters to former students and colleagues, including Ann Haven Morgan, describing her work at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and general news regarding work, activities, and health. Also included are letters to Clapp's sister Mary Elizabeth Clapp, describing her academic projects, travels, and the Williston Hall fire of 1917. Also documented in the letters is Clapp's retirement to Florida and her continued involvement with the Mount Holyoke community. Clapp's writings contain a manual of gymnastics prepared for a physical education course that she taught as Mount Holyoke College and works relating to zoological research and study at Woods Hole. Of particular note within the biographical information is a compilation of writings by Ann Haven Morgan outlining Clapp's work at Mount Holyoke and Woods Hole, as well as her contributions to the field of science. Also included are articles from the naming of Clapp Laboratory in 1924 and photographs of Clapp in various academic roles at Mount Holyoke and Woods Hole sites.

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

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Terms of Access and Use
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Preferred Citation

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

Cornelia M. Clapp 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.

  • Clapp, Cornelia M. (Cornelia Maria), 1849-1935.
  • Morgan, Ann Haven, 1882-1966.
  • College teachers - United States - Biography.
  • Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, Mass.)
  • Mount Holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Scientists - United States - Correspondence.
  • Women college teachers - United States - Biography.
  • Women scientists - United States - Correspondence.

  • Morgan, Ann Haven, 1882-1966.

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