Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Mount Holyoke College Archives & Special Collections >> Viola Florence Barnes collection, ca. 1896-1979.
Mount Holyoke College seal
Viola Florence Barnes Collection, ca. 1896-1979.
7 boxes (2.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0704 (LD 7092.8 Barnes)

Abstract:
Barnes, Viola Florence, 1885-1979; Historian, college teacher, and author. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1919-1951. Papers contain correspondence, writings, Mount Holyoke College History Department records, memorabilia, biographical information, and photographs. Principally document her work as a historian and the development of the American Studies program at the College. Author of "The Dominion of New England."

Terms of Access and Use:

Unrestricted

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Viola Florence Barnes was born on August 28, 1885 in Albion, Nebraska. She was the third of five children of Cass Groves Barns (who spelled the family name without an "e"), a physician and newspaper editor, and Isabella Smith Barns. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Nebraska School of Music in 1906 and, after a brief period as a piano teacher, returned to the University to complete work for a B.A. in 1909 and M.A. in 1910. She joined the faculty of the University as a history instructor and continued her studies at Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin during the summers of 1915-1916, then went to Yale University. After receiving her Ph.D. from Yale in 1919, Barnes joined the faculty at Mount Holyoke College and greatly expanded the American history curriculum. She became a full professor in 1933 and was chair of the History Department from 1939-1942. Barnes was also chair of the American Culture major (later the American Studies Program) from its inception in 1937 until her retirement in 1952. Her first book, "The Dominion of New England" (1923, reprinted in 1960) remains a standard history of the colonial period and she was the author of numerous scholarly articles and essays. From about 1926 until the mid-1970s she focused her research on the history of Great Britain from 1760-1776 and completed a three volume manuscript that has not been published. In addition to her work as a teacher and scholar, Barnes was a co-founder and second president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians. She also helped establish the riding program at Mount Holyoke. Barnes died on July 26, 1979 in Holyoke, Massachusetts at the age of ninety-three.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Viola Florence Barnes Collection consists of correspondence, writings, records of the Mount Holyoke College History Department, biographial information, memorabilia, and photographs. This material chiefly relates to Barnes' work as a historian and member of the History Department at Mount Holyoke College. Most of these documents consist of letters to Barnes, 1955-1972, from colleagues and publishers concerning the possible publication of her three-volume manuscript, "Britain in the Shadow of World Revolution, 1760-1776". Correspondents include historians Carl Bridenbaugh, Lawrence Henry Gipson, John Higham, Leonard Woods Labaree, and Edmund Sears Morgan. There are also letters from representatives of university presses and other publishing firms in the United States and Great Britain, especially Princeton University Press, Rutgers University Press, Yale University Press and the American branch of Cambridge University Press. Barnes' writings in this collection include the final typed verson of the "Britain in the Shadow of World Revolution" manuscript as well as published articles and reviews by her dating from 1926-1969 and a substantial number of unpublished essays, drafts, notes, and memoranda probably dating from about 1923-1975. History Department records primarily consist of copies of letters by Barnes, 1946-1950, concerning the curriculum, course work by students, and staffing issues. The collection also include articles, sketches, and other biographical information about Barnes, 1936-1979; a diploma and two certificates dating from 1906, 1913, and 1919; and photographs, circa 1896-1964.


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:

Viola Florence Barnes Collection, 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: 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
1941-1973
7.5 linear inches

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically or by name of correspondent.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Chiefly consists of letters written to Barnes between 1955-1972 concerning the possible publication of her three volume manuscript entitled "Britain in the Shadow of World Revolution, 1760-1776." These documents discuss the merits of the work (often in considerable detail) and ways in which the manuscript might be published. Correspondents include Lawrence Henry Gipson, Leonard W. Labaree, Edmund S. Morgan, and other noted historians, as well as representatives of numerous commerical publishers and university presses. Other letters to Barnes reflect her association with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which gave her financial support for her research, and discuss her gifts of books, articles, and family memorabilia to the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Nebraska State Historical Society between 1968-1973. Also contains several letters by Barnes written between 1941-1973. These letters are chiefly addressed to friends on the Mount Holyoke staff and they include autobiographical details and notes about the history of the College.

circa 1923-1975
1.5 linear feet

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Contains the manuscript of Barnes' three-volume study of the history of Great Britain from 1760-1776 which she completed between 1959-1973. Other writings consist of copies of articles and reviews published between 1926-1969 and a substantial number of unpublished essays, drafts, notes, and memoranda, circa 1923-1975. Some of the latter material concerns the History Department at Mount Holyoke College while other writings are autobiographical in nature.

circa 1939-1950
2 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Reflects activities of the Mount Holyoke College History Department from about 1939-1950 and chiefly consists of copies of letters by Barnes written between 1946-1950. These letters are addressed to President Roswell Ham and other College officials, History Department members (particularly Frederick Cramer), alumnae, students, and colleagues. Also includes notes, lists, and memoranda by Barnes dating from 1939-1942. Materials in this series concern a variety of Department matters, including course offerings and staffing issues.

1906, 1913, 1919
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Contains a certificate for Barnes' completion of her studies at the University of Nebraska School of Music in 1906, her certificate of membership in the National Daughters of the American Revolution, 1913, and her Ph.D. diploma from Yale University, 1919.

1936-1979
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Includes newspaper articles and press releases about Barnes as well as a biographical questionnaire and lists of her publications. Also contains a tribute read at her memorial service on August 16, 1979 and a recollection by William S. McFeely presented at the September 24 Faculty Meeting of that year.

circa 1896-1964
4 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Consists of formal portraits and informal snapshots of Barnes, circa 1896-1964. Of particular note are photographs of Barnes teaching a kindergarten class in the Albion, Nebraska, Methodist Church in 1896 at the age of ten and of her with members of her high school graduating class in 1901. Also includes photographs of other people (probably friends or colleagues) and of a variety of animals, buildings, and scenes. Almost all of the photographs are unlabeled and undated.

Contents List
Correspondence,
1941-1973
7.5 linear inches

Letters by Barnes
1941-1973

Box 1: folder 1
Letters to Barnes
1959-1972

Box 1: folder 2
Letters to Barnes from Carl Bridenbaugh
1959, 1966

Box 1: folder 3
Letters to Barnes from David Donald
1962

Box 1: folder 4
Letters to Barnes from Lawrence Henry Gipson
1955, 1960, 1961, 1963

Box 1: folder 5
Letters to Barnes from John Higham,
1961, 1962, 1972

Box 1: folder 6
Letters to Barnes from Leonard W. Labaree
1960, 1962, 1963

Box 1: folder 7
Letters to Barnes from James Kirby Martin
1970, 1971

Box 1: folder 8
Letters to Barnes from Broadus Mitchell
1969

Box 1: folder 9
Letters to Barnes from Edmund S. Morgan
1959-1960

Box 1: folder 10
Letters to Barnes from Arthur M. Schlesinger
1962

Box 1: folder 11
Letters to Barnes from associations and organizations
1961-1972

Box 1: folder 12
Letters to Barnes from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
1959-1960, 1963

Box 1: folder 13
Letters to Barnes from the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum
1968-1971

Box 1: folder 14
Letters to Barnes from the Nebraska State Historical Society
1966, 1968-1973

Box 1: folder 15
Letters to Barnes from publishers
1941-1972

Box 1: folder 16
Letters to Barnes from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
1955, 1956, 1960

Box 1: folder 17
Letters to Barnes from American Heritage Publishing Co.
1969

Box 1: folder 18
Letters to Barnes from Archon Books
1969-1972

Box 1: folder 19
Letters to Barnes from Barnes & Noble, Inc.
1960

Box 1: folder 20
Letters to Barnes from Cambridge University Press
1963-1964

Box 1: folder 21
Letters to Barnes from Clarendon Press
1963-1964

Box 1: folder 22
Letters to Barnes from Columbia University Press
1963

Box 1: folder 23
Letters to Barnes from Cornell University Press
1960-1962

Box 1: folder 24
Letters to Barnes from Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.
1960-1961, 1964-1966

Box 2: folder 1
Letters to Barnes from Harvard University Press
1960, 1963

Box 2: folder 2
Letters to Barnes from Johns Hopkins Press
1963, 1965

Box 2: folder 3
Letters to Barnes from Jonathan Cape Limited
1962

Box 2: folder 4
Letters to Barnes from Longmans, Green & Co.
1961, 1963

Box 2: folder 5
Letters to Barnes from Oxford University Press
1956, 1960, 1961, 1963

Box 2: folder 6
Letters to Barnes from Princeton University Press
1962-1963

Box 2: folder 7
Letters to Barnes from Rutgers University Press
1963

Box 2: folder 8
Letters to Barnes from University of Wisconsin Press
1963-1964

Box 2: folder 9
Letters to Barnes from Yale University Press
1956, 1959-1960

Box 2: folder 10
Writings,
circa 1923-1975
1.5 linear feet

Published articles and reviews
1926-1969

Box 3: folder 1
Essays, notes, and drafts,
circa 1939-1975

Box 3: folder 2
Essays, lists, drafts, notes, and memoranda
circa 1923-1975

Box 3: folder 3
Essays, lists, drafts, notes, and memoranda
circa 1923-1975

Box 3: folder 4
"Britain in the Shadow of World Revolution, 1760-1776," Volume I (typescript)


Box 4: folder 1-17
"Britain in the Shadow of World Revolution, 1760-1776," Volume II (typescript)


Box 5: folder 1-17
"Britain in the Shadow of World Revolution, 1760-1776," Volume III (typescript)


Box 6: folder 1-19
History Department Records
circa 1939-1950
2 folders

Correspondence
1946-1950

Box 7: folder 1
Notes, lists, and memoranda
circa 1939-1942

Box 7: folder 2
Memorabilia,
1906, 1913, 1919
1 folder

University of Nebraska School of Music, certificate
1906

Folio
National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Ph.D. diploma
1913

Box 7: folder
Yale University
1919

Box 7: folder
Biographical Information,
1936-1979
1 folder

Articles, sketches, biographical questionnaire, lists of publications, and memorial tributes
1939-1979

Box 7: folder 3
Photographs,
circa 1896-1964
4 folders

Formal photographs of Barnes alone
circa 1896-1964

Box 7: folder 5
Informal photographs of Barnes alone
circa 1919-1951

Box 7: folder 6
Photographs of Barnes with others and of other people, animals, buildings, and scenes
1896-circa 1952

Box 7: folder 7
Photograph of Barnes with her high school graduating class
1901

Folio

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
  • Barnes, Viola Florence, 1885-1979.
  • Mount holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Women college teachers - Massachusetts - Biography.


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search