Five College Archives and Manuscript
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Mount Holyoke College seal
Adams papers, 1914-1962.
1 box (5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0720 (LD 7092.8 Adams)

Abstract:
Adams, A. Elizabeth, 1892-1962; teacher, zoologist, dean. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1914. Papers contain correspondence, writings, Mount Holyoke College presidential succession documents, biographical information, and photographs; primarily relates to her time as a faculty member at Mount Holyoke College.

Terms of Access and Use:

Unrestricted

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Amy Elizabeth Adams was born on March 28, 1892 in Delaware, New Jersey. She attended Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey and arrived at Mount Holyoke College in September of 1909. After a leave of absence in 1910-1911, she earned her B.A. in 1914, majoring in zoology. From 1914-1915, she worked as a laboratory assistant in the Zoology Department at Mount Holyoke College. She earned her M.A. at Columbia University (1919) and her Ph.D. at Yale University (1926). She returned to Mount Holyoke where she taught zoology, 1919-1957. She served as the acting head of the Zoology Deptartment in 1920-1921, 1929, and 1937, and the acting dean of Mount Holyoke College for the first semester of 1926-1927. Adams retired in 1957. She died February 15, 1962 at the age of sixty-nine in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The A. Elizabeth Adams Papers consist of letters by and to Adams, her writings, Mount Holyoke College presidential succession documents, biographical information, and photographs. The correspondence consists of two letters by Adams, probably to Mount Holyoke colleagues Dorothy Richardson and Dorothy Cogswell, and a letter to Adams from Ann Haven Morgan, her close friend and teacher in the Mount Holyoke College Zoology Department. The collection also includes Adams's publications in zoology while she was a professor at Mount Holyoke College, as well as biographical notes and a bibliography of her writings. Of particular note in the collection are the presidential succession documents which include correspondence between Adams and individuals with links to Mount Holyoke College regarding the appointment of Roswell G. Ham. Ham was the first male president of Mount Holyoke, succeeding Mary E. Woolley in 1937. Also of particular note is an open letter written by Adams to the Trustees of Mount Holyoke College asking why a man was chosen to succeed Woolley against the wishes of the majority at the college. Included in the collection are opinions and results of polls taken regarding this presidential issue. The collection includes biographical information chiefly containing newspaper articles about Adams's professional activities and material regarding her life and death. The photographs in the collection consist of photographs and snapshots of Adams with friends and students both at home and in the laboratories. Some photographs that were collected or taken by Dorothy Blair, Adams's former Mount Holyoke College roommate are part of the collection.

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:

A. Elizabeth Adams Papers, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Mass.

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.

Series Descriptions
1926, 1957
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The correspondence includes two personal letters addressed to "Dorothy" and "Dorothea" that Adams possibly wrote to Dorothy Richardson, a Mount Holyoke College graduate (Class of 1924) and teacher of zoology. The letters were written while Adams was on a cruise near Antigua and visiting Venezuela. They describle events during her trip. Also included is a personal letter, 1926, written to Adams by Ann Haven Morgan who was a close friend to Adams and a teacher of zoology at Mount Holyoke College. The letter by Morgan is written from Kartabo, South America regarding the people, sites, and adventures she had along her trip through the South American tropics. There is also a note in a Christmas card, 1957, which Adams addressed to "Dorothy," probably Dorothy Cogswell, who was a professor of art at Mount Holyoke College.

1924-1961
5 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The writings includes published experiments and writings conducted by Adams. Most of the publications center around endocrinology, embryology, and Triturus viridescens. They focus on the different factors that effect the Triturus viridescens and their endocrinology and embryology. The series also includes some notes and reports about her activities and a bibliography of Adams's writing.

1935-1937
2 folders folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Materials in this series consist of letters, telegrams, memoranda, drafts, notes, and lists. These documents reflect Adams's leading roll in the controversy surrounding the appointment of Roswell G. Ham as the first male President of Mount Holyoke College, succeeding Mary E. Woolley. The series includes correspondence between Adams and the Board of Trustees concerning issues such as the process of eliminating candidates for the position, the worry that Mount Holyoke College was not maintaining its standard, and President Woolley's retirement. The series also includes significant correspondence between Adams and various individuals with connections to Mount Holyoke concerning the retirement of President Woolley and the search process. Correspondents include Marion Park, Kathryn McHale, and Frances Perkins (Mount Holyoke Class of 1902). The series also includes a letter from Elizabeth Walter, a Mount Holyoke College alumna, (Class of 1929) denying the Trustees' request that the faculty and alumna stop their opposition to the new president's appointment. Also included is a list of candidates sent to Adams by Mrs. John M. Maguire. Most of the letters to Adams express the sentiment that a woman should be the next President of Mount Holyoke, but the priority is finding someone that is experienced, educated, and executive. Of particular note in the series is an open letter to the Trustees of Mount Holyoke College written by Adams asking why a man was chosen when majority of the faculty and alumnae prefer a qualified woman for the position. The series also contains a list of people who opposed and approved of Adams's open letter to the Trustees and the statistics for this poll. Also included are copies of editorials and letters written by Mount Holyoke College alumnae regarding the new President.

1922-1962
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The biographical information chiefly consists of newspaper articles about her professional activities. Also included are a resume and biographical sketch, a tribute published in the "Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly," obituary notes, the text for her memorial service, and notes by several friends and relatives written after Adams's death.

1914-circa 1957
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The photographs consists of snapshots and formal photographs of Adams, 1914-circa 1957, pictures of Adams with friends, in laboratories with students, the house that she shared with Ann Haven Morgan, and photographs from a Mount Holyoke College reunion in 1939. Also included is a group of snapshots which were collected or taken by Dorothy Blair, Adams's Mount Holyoke College roommate.

Contents List
Correspondence,
1926, 1957
1 folder

Correspondence,
1926,1957

Box 1: folder 1
Writings,
1924-1961
5 folders



Box : folder 1
Publications,
1924-1931

Box 1: folder 2
Publications,
1932-1936

Box 1: folder 3
Publications,
1940-1949

Box 1: folder 4
Publications,
1951-1961

Box 1: folder 5
Notes,
reports, and bibliography, 1940-1954

Box 1: folder 6
Mount Holyoke College Presidential Succession Documents,
1935-1937
2 folders folders

Presidential Succession Documents,
1935-1936

Box 1: folder 7
Presidential Succession Documents,
1937

Box 1: folder 8
Biographical Information,
1922-1962
1 folder

Biographical Information,
1922-1962

Box 1: folder 9
Photographs,
1914-circa 1957
1 folder

Photographs,
1914-circa 1957

Box 1: folder 10
110Photographs, 1914-circa 1957

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
  • Adams, A. Elizabeth, 1892-1961.
  • Ham, Roswell Gray, 1891-
  • Woolley, Mary Emma, 1863-1947.
  • College presidents - United States.
  • Male college presidents - United States.
  • Mount Holyoke College - History.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Presidents.
  • Mount Holyoke College. - Trustees.
  • Women college presidents - United States.
  • Women college teachers - Massachusetts
  • Women zoologists - United States.
  • Women's colleges - United States - Administration - History - 20th century - Sources.
  • Zoologists - United States.

Contributors
  • Blair, Dorothy, b. 1890.
  • Cogswell, Dorothy McIntosh, 1909-
  • Morgan, Ann Haven, 1882-1966.
  • Richardson, Dorothy, 1903-1990.

Genre terms
  • Letters
  • Photographs


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