Five College Archives and Manuscript
Mount Holyoke College seal
Emerson papers, 1803-1844.
2 boxes (7.5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0534 (LD 7093.37 E45)

Emerson, Joseph, 1777-1833; Clergyman. Founder of Byfield Seminary. Papers consist of correspondence, published works, and biographical material. Primarily containing letters to his friends and former pupils. Also contains letters by his daughter, Nancy Emerson.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Joseph Emerson was born on October 13, 1777. He attended Harvard University, graduated in 1798 and taught for a short time before becoming a minister. In 1818 he founded the Byfield Female Seminary, in Byfield, Massachusetts. Here, Zilpah Grant Banister taught hundreds of students, before she went on to found her own school. Joseph Emerson died on May 13, 1833 in Wethersfield.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Letters to relatives, friends and former pupils, 1803-1832; manuscript and published lectures, addresses and other writings, circa 1803-1844; and biographical material. Also includes letters and writings, 1833-circa 1840, of one of his daughters, Nancy Emerson.

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


Preferred Citation

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

Joseph Emerson Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Haldey, 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.

  • Emerson, Joseph, 1777-1833.
  • Emerson, Nancy, b. 1806.
  • Clergy - United States - Biography.
  • Education - United States - History - Sources.
  • Educators - United States - Biography.
  • Women - Education - United States - History - Sources.

  • Emerson, Nancy, b. 1806.

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