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Babcock papers, ca. 1890-1997 (Bulk: 1927-1952)
2 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0796 (LD 7092.8 Babcock)

Babcock, Virginia Frances, 1909-1997; student and secondary school teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1931. Mount Holyoke College graduate student and graduate assistant, 1931-1933. Papers consist of a scrapbook, a photograph album, an account book, correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information, and photographs; principally documenting her years as an undergraduate and graduate student at Mount Holyoke.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Virginia Frances Babcock was born on September 25, 1909 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her parents were Bertram Babcock, who was a purchasing agent for an electric company, and Emma Denham Babcock, a concert violinist and violin teacher. Virginia graduated from high school in Worcester and attended Mount Holyoke College from 1927-1931. She received her B.A. in 1931 with a major in zoology. From 1931-1933 she was a graduate student and graduate assistant in the Zoology Department at Mount Holyoke and received her M.A. in zoology in 1933. She also did graduate work at Sarah Lawrence College, Teacher's College of Columbia University and Harvard University. From 1933 until her retirement in 1973 she taught science, specializing in biology, at Bronxville Senior School in Bronxville, New York. She was eighty-seven when she died on August 22, 1997 in New York City.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Virginia F. Babcock Papers consist of a scrapbook, a photograph album, an account book, correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information, and photographs. Most of this material documents her years as a Mount Holyoke College student and graduate assistant, 1927-1933. The scrapbook reflects her undergraduate years, 1927-1931, and contains photographs of students and faculty members as well as views of the campus. This volume includes photographs of Janet Brewster Murrow, Class of 1933, and numerous members of the Class of 1931, especially Vimala Appasamy, Frances Dorman Menning, Sara Holmes Boutelle, and Elizabeth Lauckhardt Jantzen. The scrapbook also contains Christmas cards, valentines and mementos of events on campus, including Junior Show, Faculty Show, Junior Prom, Mountain Day and Commencement. The photograph album dates from her years as a graduate student and graduate assistant in the Zoology Department at Mount Holyoke, 1931-1933. It contains photographs of graduate students and faculty and staff members, including Ann Haven Morgan, Christianna Smith, A. Elizabeth Adams, and Louise K. Wilde. The album also includes photographs of zoology class members collecting specimens and views of the campus. The account book reflects Babcock's income and expenses during most of her student years and after graduation until 1947. It contains particularly detailed accounts for the purchase of clothing and also reflects expenditures for food, entertainment, books, rent, taxes, telephone calls and travel. Correspondence consists of two letters to Babcock: one concerning the citation that she received from Mount Holyoke College in October 1952 during a special Convocation on Science and Human Values, the other from the "Ladies' Home Journal" in 1953 thanking her for a story she had submitted (a copy of the story accompanies that letter). Memorabilia consists of a handmade Christmas card sent to Babcock by Eleanor Denham Beach, Class of 1935, and her citation from the 1952 convocation at Mount Holyoke. Biographical information consists of newspaper articles about the 1952 award, an obituary for her mother, 1962, and an obituary for Babcock, 1997. The photographs include formal portraits of Babcock in 1931 and 1952, photographs of her with classmates in primary and secondary school, ca. 1918-1922, and photographs of her with classmates and friends at Mount Holyoke in 1933, 1952, and 1986. There are two other groups of photographs in the collection. According to notes by Babcock, one group relates to her aunt, Ruth Babcock. These images date from about 1890-1917 and include photographs of her aunt with classmates at the Gates Lane School in Worcester, Massachusetts. The other group chiefly consists of photographs (most of them unlabeled) of children in schools in New York City and Larchmont, New York, ca. 1891-1920. Some of the photographs are of a person identified as Emmy (Emily) Harlech, born in 1901, with classmates. Other photographs are of students in classrooms and posed outside of school buildings.

This collection is organized into seven series:

  • Scrapbook
  • Photograph Album
  • Account Book
  • Correspondence
  • Memorabilia
  • Biographical Information
  • Photographs

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


Preferred Citation

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

Virginia F. Babcock 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.

  • Adams, A. Elizabeth, 1892-1962.
  • Appasamy, Vimala, 1908-1978.
  • Babcock, Ruth.
  • Babcock, Virginia F., 1909-1997.
  • Boutelle, Sara Holmes.
  • Groves, Pattie J. (Pattie Johnson), 1895-1990.
  • Harlech, Emily, b. 1901.
  • Jantzen, Elizabeth Lauckhardt, 1910-1986.
  • Menning, Frances Dorman, 1909-1991.
  • Morgan, Ann Haven, 1882-1966.
  • Murrow, Janet Brewster, 1910-1998.
  • Smith, Christianna, 1893-1983.
  • Wilde, Louise K. (Louise Kathleen), 1910-1979.
  • Classrooms - New York (State) - Photographs.
  • Clothing.
  • College students - Massachusetts.
  • Graduate students - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Campus - Photographs.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Graduate students.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Photographs.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student expenses - 1930-1933.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student life - 1927-1933.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Traditions.
  • Mountain Day - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Student activities - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Students - New York (State) - Larchmont - Photographs.
  • Students - New York (State) - New York - Photographs.
  • Women - United States - Economic conditions.
  • Women college students - Massachusetts.
  • Women graduate students - Massachusetts - South Hadley.

  • Convocation on Science and Human Values - (1952 : - Mount Holyoke College)

Genre terms
  • Account books.
  • Christmas cards.
  • Photograph albums.
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Valentines.

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