Five College Archives and Manuscript
Home >> Mount Holyoke College Archives & Special Collections >> Lithgow papers, 1920-1992 (bulk 1920-1922)
Mount Holyoke College seal
Lithgow papers, 1920-1992 (Bulk: 1920-1922)
2 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0683 (LD 7096.6 1922 Lithgow)

Lithgow, Marion Irene, 1901-1992; student; teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1922. Papers contain a scrapbook, correspondence, biographical information, and a photograph primarily relating to Lithgow's time at Mount Holyoke College. Includes references to her clothing, expenses, sports, motion pictures, academics, political issues, and traditions such as Junior Prom.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Marion Irene Lithgow was born on February 20, 1901 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Her father was John A. Lithgow, a storekeeper. She entered Mount Holyoke College in September 1918 after graduating from Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire. Upon graduating from Mount Holyoke in June 1922 with a degree in chemistry, she taught math at Sanborn Academy in East Kingston, New Hampshire. In the summer of the following year she attended Harvard University Summer School. She then taught high school math and English in Stonington, Connecticut. From 1924-1925, she attended Boston University and received her M.A. and from 1925-1936 she taught math, science, and history at the Girls' Latin High School in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1967 she began dividing her time between a summer home in Ocean Bluff, Massachusetts and a winter home in Venice, Florida. She died in Venice, Florida at the age of ninety-one on June 16, 1992.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Marion Irene Lithgow Papers consist of a scrapbook, correspondence, biographical information, and a photograph. The material chiefly relates to her time as a student at Mount Holyoke College, 1918-1922. In weekly letters written home to her mother during her junior and senior years (1920-1922), Lithgow frequently discusses clothing, asking her mother to clean, alter, dye, and mend various items so that she can attain the most current fashions. Almost all of the letters also discuss her expenses and request items and money to be sent from home. In addition, she describes her social activities, including long hikes with friends, shopping expeditions, and motion pictures that she saw. She discusses Mount Holyoke College traditions such as the Senior-Freshman Reception, Junior Show, Mountain Day, and the interclass volleyball, basketball, and baseball games. Her May 4, 1921 letter about Junior Prom covers almost thirty pages, discussing the men, clothing, food, dancing, and other activities that surrounded the event. She also mentions searches for chaperones, assigned seating in the dining rooms, curfews, and chapel regulations and makes occasional references to political issues. For example, she urges her mother to vote for Warren G. Harding in the 1920 presidential election and mentions a freshman with a "Bolshevistic temperament." She periodically discusses academic matters, too, including her relationships with some professors and her grades. Her scrapbook dates from 1919-1922 and contains photographs of College administrators including President Mary Emma Woolley and Dean Florence Purington, notes from classmates, quotations, songs, images of celebrations, and newspaper clippings. Biographical information consists of a biographical note (1922) and her obituary (1992). The collection also contains a photograph taken during her senior year at Mount Holyoke.

This collection is organized into four series:

  • Scrapbook
  • Correspondence
  • Biographical Information
  • Photograph

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


Preferred Citation

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

Marion Irene Lithgow 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.

  • Lithgow, Marion Irene 1901-1992.
  • Purington, Florence, 1862-1950
  • Woolley, Mary Emma, 1863-1947.
  • Clothing and dress.
  • College students - Massachusetts.
  • Fashion - Social aspects - United States - History - 20th century - Sources.
  • Motion pictures - United States - History - Sources.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Baseball.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Basketball.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Curricula.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Regulations.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Religious life - 1920-1922.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student expenses - 1920-1922.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student life - 1920-1922.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students - Political activity.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Traditions.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Volleyball.
  • Mountain Day - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Proms - Massachusetts - History - Sources.
  • Student activities - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Women college students - Massachusetts.

Genre terms
  • Letters
  • Scrapbooks

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search