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Cornelia Catlin Coulter Papers, ca. 1890-1960.
1 box (0.2 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0722 (LD 7092.8 Coulter)

Abstract:
Coulter, Cornelia Catlin, 1890-1960; college teacher. Mount Holyoke College faculty member 1926-1951. The papers consist of correspondence, writings, biographical information, Chamberlain Family Papers, and photographs. The papers primarily document family relationships and her time at Bryn Mawr and Mount Holyoke.

Terms of Access and Use:

Unrestricted

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Cornelia Catlin Coulter was born in 1885 in Ferguson, Missouri. Her father was a Presbyterian minister. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1907 from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. She earned her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College in 1911 after spending a year studying at the University of Munich in 1909-1910. Coulter was a teacher and reader of Latin at Bryn Mawr College from 1911-1912, a teacher of Latin and Greek at Saint Agnes School in New York, 1912-1916, and an instructor and associate professor of Latin and Greek at Vassar College from 1916-1925. She arrived at Mount Holyoke College in 1926, where she remained till her retirement in 1951. She was a professor of Latin (Classical Languages and Literature) and chairman of the Department from 1935-1948. After her retirement from Mount Holyoke, she taught for two years at Hiram College, 1951-1953. Coulter returned to Mount Holyoke in 1957 where she taught for one semester prior to teaching at the University of North Carolina in 1959. Coulter served as President of the New England Classical Association, the American Philological Association, and the Western Massachusetts Society of the Archaeological Institute. She died April 27, 1960, at the age of seventy-five in Newport News, Virginia.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Cornelia Catlin Coulter papers consist of correspondence, reprints, newspaper clippings, Chamberlain Family Papers, and photographs. The papers document family issues; her experience as a doctoral student at Bryn Mawr between 1908 and 1911; her time abroad in London, Italy, and Germany; and her work at Bryn Mawr and Mount Holyoke College. The Chamberlain family papers document Coulter's relationship with her two sisters and their lives between 1939 and 1960. The collection also documents Coulter's career and scholarship in classics, focusing on Greek and Roman writings, through newspaper clippings and reprints. The photographs consist primarily of portraits and snapshots of Coulter from circa 1890-1954. Correspondents include Shirley Chamberlain and Florence Chamberlain Schneiderwirth.


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:

Cornelia Catlin Coulter Papers, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA.

History of the Collection

Summary of Correspondence

These letters of Cornelia Coulter to her cousins Shirley and Florence Chamberlain were written between April 8, 1908 and February 26, 1960. They are primarily letters of family news and plans. The earliest (1908) was written while she was a graduate student at Bryn Mawr. She was in Germany and Italy in 1908-09 and then was back at Bryn Mawr in February of 1910 at the time of Bryn Mawr's 25th anniversary. In the fall semester of 1911 she was teaching eight hours a week, enjoying it, but finding it required much preparation (December 3, 1911). There is a jump, then, in her letters until 1932 when she was in ltaly. The first letter written from Mount Holyoke was April 15, 1933 although she had been teaching at the College beginning in 1926. There are a few letters written in the thirties and early forties. She retired in 1952.

On January 24, 1957 Cornelia wrote from Ferguson, Missouri, her home town, to Elizabeth Green, Head of the News Bureau, about her college reunion at Washington University where 7 of the original class of 34 in the college and school of engineering returned. In the Elizabeth responded with news of the college (August 11, 1958. On September 6, 1959 Cornelia sent out a mineo-ed letter to friends telling them she had been called back to Mount Holyoke in September 1957 to substitute in the Classics Department for someone who was ill. "It was sheer joy," she wrote. She also said she was to go to Chapel Hill in North Carolina as Visiting Professor in January. However, she wrote that her teaching was interrupted in October because of "circulatory difficulties." Her last letter is dated February 26, 1960 and is followed by two letters from her nephew, J. Richard Coulter reporting finally on her death on April 27, 1960. There is also correspondence of Shirley and Florence, her cousins, and letters written from Shirley to Cornelia.

By: CR Ludwig

May 1998


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
Correspondence,
1908-1911, 1932-1960
2 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Chronological

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The correspondence includes letters Coulter wrote to her cousins, Shirley Chamberlain and Florence Chamberlain Schneiderwirth, and her aunt Daisy Tompkins Chamberlain, 1908-1911, 1932-1960. These letters discuss her activities, travels, and family news concerning her brother, Joseph H. Coulter, and his children and events in their lives. The letters from 1908-1911 were written by Coulter when she was a graduate student at Bryn Mawr College. In these letters she describes her studies, exams, the College's twenty-fifth anniversary celebration, 1910, and visits with Florence and Shirley. Two letters dated November 1908 and April 1909 were written from Munich, Germany and Rome, Italy. In these letters she discusses a trip she made to England where she particularly enjoyed visiting Warwick, Stratford, and Kenilworth. Coulter also describes her time in Munich, Germany, where she attended concerts and the theater and saw art work by famous German artists such as Durer, Holbein, and Bocklin. In a letter dated December 3, 1911, Coulter discusses her teaching of Latin at Bryn Mawr College and her students. In a letter dated December 2, 1932, she describes a trip she took to Italy, where she visited Rome, Florence and Perugia and saw the Alps and the St. Francis Church. Coulter's letters dated 1933-1954 are written from Mount Holyoke College. In these letters she discusses her family life as well as her teaching at Mount Holyoke. Also included in the series is a 1959 letter from Coulter to friends announcing her temporary position in the Classics Department at Mount Holyoke College and her status as a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Letters from January 1959 to 1960 chiefly concern her health problems.

Correspondence,
1908-1911

Box 1: folder 1
Correspondence,
1932-1960

Box 1: folder 2
Writings,
circa 1911-1958
3 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Chronological

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

These writings include Coulter's Ph.D. dissertation submitted to Bryn Mawr College in 1911, entitled "Retratio in the Ambrosian and Palatine Recensions of Plautus: A Study of the Persia, Poenulus, Pseudolus, Stichlus, and Trinummus." Also included in the series is a manuscript poem possibly written by Coulter, numerous publications dealing with Greek and Latin poetry, medieval writings, the Middle Ages, language, Roman writings, and a published book review.

Manuscript poem,
circa 1911

Box 1: folder 3
Publications,
1911-1937

Box 1: folder 4
Publications,
1939-1958

Box 1: folder 5
Biographical Information,
1940-1960
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The biographical information includes letters, data, and announcements regarding the John Hay Whitney Foundation, for which Coulter was chosen to be a visiting professor at Hiram College following her retirement from Mount Holyoke, a letter from Dick Coulter, her nephew, regarding Cornelia's health following a stroke, a short biography, newspaper clippings, and a journal clipping regarding her death.

Biographical Information,
1940-1960

Box 1: folder 6
Chamberlain Family Papers,
1939-1960
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

This series consists of seven letters written by Cornelia Catlin Coutler's cousins, Shirley Chamberlain and her sister, Florence Chamberlain Schneiderwirth, 1939-1960. These letters discuss Florence's trip to St. Louis, the birthplace of their father, where she visited with Coulter and saw many sites where her father and grandfather used to stand. She tells of the old pharmacy building that belonged to their grandfather and the old birthplace of their father. The series also includes five letters from Shirley to Coulter written in 1939, 1948, 1949, 1959, and 1960, discussing casual matters such as visits, appreciation for gifts received, health matters, and plans for a trip to Europe.

Letters by Shirley Chamberlain and Florence Chamberlain Schneiderwirth,
1939-1960

Box 1: folder 7
Photographs,
circa 1890-1952
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The photographs consists of formal photographs of Coutler. The series includes pictures of Coulter as a child, circa 1890, and as a young woman, circa 1907, as well as photographs of her taken in the 1930s and 1940s. The series also includes a photograph of Coulter with three Mount Holyoke College students who participated in an Easter play presented by the Classics Department in 1952.

Photographs,
circa 1890-1952

Box 1: folder 8

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
  • Coulter, Cornelia Catlin, 1885-1960.
  • Bryn Mawr College - Faculty.
  • Bryn Mawr College - Graduate students - Correspondence.
  • Classicists - Massachusetts.
  • College teachers - Massachusetts.
  • Germany - Description and travel.
  • Graduate students - Pennsylvania - Bryn Mawr - Correspondence.
  • Italy - Description and travel - 1901-1944.
  • London (England) - Description and travel - 1901-1950.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Voyages and travels.
  • Women - Health and hygiene - United States - History - Sources.
  • Women classicists - Massachusetts.
  • Women college teachers - Massachusetts.
  • Women travelers.

Contributors
  • Chamberlain, Daisy Tompkins.
  • Chamberlain, Shirley.
  • Coulter, Joseph H.
  • Schneiderwirth, Florence Chamberlain, b. 1900.

Genre terms
  • Letters
  • Photographs.


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