Five College Archives and Manuscript
Mount Holyoke College seal
Hardy papers, 1851-1858.
1 box (2.5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0778 (LD 7096.6 1857 Kingsley)

Hardy, Josephine M. Kingsley, -1871; Student. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1857. Papers consist of diaries, compositions, and history class notes principally documenting her life at Mount Holyoke. Also includes commonplace books containing writings by students at Northfield Seminary and elsewhere, ca 1851-1853.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Josephine M. Kingsley resided in Winchester, New Hampshire in 1853. She attended the "Northfield Seminary" in Northfield, Massachusetts in the spring of 1853 and entered Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in the fall of 1853. She left Mount Holyoke in 1855 and studied French and painting in Townshend, Vermont from March-June 1856. She returned to Mount Holyoke in the fall of 1856 and graduated on August 6, 1857. In the fall of 1857 she attended Temple Grove Ladies' Seminary in Saratoga Spring, New York where she studied French and painting for six weeks. She then studied French at Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York. She married Silas Hardy in 1863 and died in Keene, New Hampshire in 1871.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Josephine Kingsley Hardy papers consist of diaries, compositions, commonplace books, and history class notes. The papers reflect her educational and extracurricular endeavors at the "Northfield Seminary" and the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary from 1851-1857. The diaries reflect her time at Mount Holyoke, and discuss clothing styles, religious life, students, faculty and visiting lecturers, the activities of the Class of 1857, and events such as the Fourth of July celebration of 1857 and a visit from Amherst students. They provide insight into her distaste for domestic work, express her dissatisfaction with and criticism of regulations (often with sarcastic humor), and mention the books that she was reading as well as her studies. The 1853 diary contains notes reflecting her study of history in 1852 prior to entering Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. The 1857 diary includes a biographical note written in 1858. The thirty-five compositions about topics such as "The Immigration from Foreign Countries ought to be checked" (March 4, 1854), "Slavery" (circa March 1855), and "What employment brings most happiness" (circa 1853-1855 or 1857) reflect writing instruction during her years at Mount Holyoke and show corrections and evidence of revision. Of note are the commonplace books containing writings by students at Northfield and elsewhere, circa 1851-1853. The writings are gathered into compilations entitled "The Scholar's Wreath," "On Winter," "The Schoolgirl's Trial," "The Weekly Gem," "The Casket of Gems," and "The Mountain Echo." They reflect the writings of both young men and young women, probably classmates in schools that Hardy attended. They show a variety of styles, including poetry, short stories, and essays and concern a broad range in topics from "Queen Elizabeth" to "Cats." The collections demonstrate considerable craftsmanship, often with elaborate calligraphic covers.

This collection is organized into three series:

  • Diaries (1852-1853, 1857, 1858)
  • Commonplace Books (1851-1853)
  • Compositions (1853-1855, 1857)

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


Preferred Citation

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

The Josephine Kingsley Hardy 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.

  • Hardy, Josephine Kingsley. d. 1871.
  • Books and reading.
  • Clothing and dress.
  • College students - Massachusetts.
  • English language - Study and teaching (Higher) - Massachusetts.
  • Fourth of July - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Class of 1857.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Criticism.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Curricula.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Regulations.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Religious life - 1853,1857.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Student life - 1853,1857.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Student papers - 1853,1857.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Students.
  • Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies - History - Sources.
  • Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies - Students.
  • Slavery - United States - Public opinion.
  • United States - Emigration and immigration - Public opinion.
  • Youths' writings, American.

Genre terms
  • Commonplace books.
  • Diaries.

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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