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Hooker papers, 1873-1942 (Bulk: 1884-1927)
1 box (5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0725 (LD 7092.8 Hooker)

Hooker, Henrietta Edgecomb, 1851-1929; Botanist and college teacher. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1873. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1873-1908. Papers consist of correspondence, writings, magazine and newspaper articles, and photographs. Primarily documenting her work as a professor at Mount Holyoke College and her hobby raising Buff Orpington chickens.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Henrietta Edgecomb Hooker was born on December 12, 1851 in Gardiner, Maine to George Washington Hooker and Eliza Annis Ballentine Hooker. She entered Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1869 and graduated in 1873. Following her graduation, she worked at Mount Holyoke teaching algebra and botany. In 1888 she received her doctorate from the University of Syracuse. In 1889 she went to Königliche Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin (Berlin University) to continue her studies. She returned to Mount Holyoke as a professor of botany and was department chair until her retirement in 1908. After retiring she raised Buff Orpington chickens, entering them in contests and donating the prize money to Mount Holyoke College. In 1922 the College awarded her an honorary Bachelor of Science degree. She died at age seventy-seven on May 13, 1929 in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Henrietta Edgecomb Hooker Papers consist of correspondence, writings, magazine and newspaper articles, and photographs. The materials document her experiences as a botany professor at Mount Holyoke College, her hobby of raising and showing Buff Orpington chickens, and her interests in botany. Included is information concerning a hiking tour of Western Massachusetts for Mount Holyoke College students which was led by Hooker. Of note are letters in which Hooker discusses the destruction of Mount Holyoke's Seminary Building by fire in 1896. There is also an article about the history of Mount Holyoke College and the school's need for funds in the aftermath of the fire. Also, in letters written to Mount Holyoke College president Mary Woolley, Hooker states her vision of the history and future of Mount Holyoke College Botany Department. Some letters and writings describe the lives and work of Mary Lyon, Mount Holyoke College president Elizabeth Storrs Mead, and botany professor Lydia W. Shattuck.

This collection is organized into five series:

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Preferred Citation

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

Henrietta Edgecomb Hooker 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

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