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Louise Fruen Barnett papers, 1945-1946.
1 box (0.2 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0771 (LD 7096.6 1949 Fruen)

Barnett, Louise Eleanor Fruen, 1927- ; Teacher and housewife. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1949. Papers consist of letters to her family. Primarily describing her academic and social activities while at Mount Holyoke with an emphasis on classes, traditions and special events, including a lecture by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Louise Eleanor Fruen was born on August 9, 1927 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her parents were Arthur B. Fruen, President of Fruen Milling Company, and Reba M. Watson Fruen. She graduated from West High School in Minneapolis then attended Mount Holyoke College from 1945-1949 and majored in American Culture. She later received a B.S. in Education from the University of Minnesota and a M.L.S. from Kent State University. On November 28, 1952 she married Richard E. Barnett, a graduate of Middlebury College. They had four children. She worked as teacher, a telephone sales representative for Uniited Airlines, and a housewife and has also done volunteer work. The Barnetts have lived in California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Calgary, Canada, New Jersey, New York, Akron, Ohio for 24 years, and North Carolina.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Louise Eleanor Fruen Barnett Papers contain letters written during her freshman year at Mount Holyoke College (September 17, 1945-April 30, 1946). Letters were addressed to her parents and other family members and chiefly reflect her social and academic activities. She discusses her courses and teachers, especially introductory English and philosophy classes with Constance Meadnis Saintonge and Roger W. Holmes and physiology laboratories with Charlotte Haywood. She also mentions Mount Holyoke President Roswell Gray Ham, classmates, and an "extremely boring talk" at the College by Eleanor Roosevelt (October 20, 1945). Many letters discuss food, dating, dances, her expenses, and her job in a campus kitchen. There are also descriptions of a trip to the Outing Club Cabin (November 2, 1945), bicycle trips to Amherst, Massachusetts and visits to Smith College. Also of note is a reference to "8 or 10 Negro students" (September 24, 1945) a mention of writing to President Harry Truman about making "the atomic secret known to the other countries" (November 2, 1945), and a description of her volunteer work at a settlement house in Holyoke, Massachusetts (April 7, 1946). In addition, the letters describe Mount Holyoke traditions such as Mountain Day, College songs, hazing, May Day, Founder's Day and Junior Show.

This collection is organized into one series:

  • Correspondence

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


Preferred Citation

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

Louise Fruen Barnett Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA.

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.

  • Barnett, Louise Fruen, 1927-
  • Amherst (Mass. : Town) - Description and travel.
  • College students - Massachusetts.
  • Dance.
  • Dating (Social custom).
  • English language - Study and teaching (Higher) - Massachusetts.
  • Food.
  • Hazing - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • May Day - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Curricula.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student expenses - 1945-1946.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student life - 1945-1946.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students - Employment.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students - Political activity.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students.
  • Mountain Day - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Philosophy - Study and teaching (Higher) - Massachusetts.
  • Physiology - Study and teaching (Higher) - Massachusetts.
  • Smith College.
  • Student activities - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Student volunteers in social service.
  • Women college students - Massachusetts.

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