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Graves correspondence, 1923-1932.
3 boxes (1.2 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0544 (LD 7092.8 Graves)

Graves, Dorothy Boyd, 1907- ; Student. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1927. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1929-1932. Papers consist of correspondence to her mother, primarily describing her academic and social activities at Mount Holyoke.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Dorothy Boyd Graves was born in July, 1907. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in June of 1927 and went to Italy to study art. In 1929, she received a master's degree in art from Smith College. That fall she became an instructor at Mount Holyoke until 1932. She married George F. Thomas of Princeton, New Jersey and later worked at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, Vermont.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Dorothy B. Graves Papers consist of correspondence, course papers and outlines, biographical material, and photographs. The majority of the collection consists of letters from Graves to her mother as a student between 1923 and 1927 and as an instructor at Mount Holyoke between 1929 and 1932. During her years as a Mount Holyoke student, she wrote to her mother almost daily, highlighting her social life, academics, and extra-curricular activities. Graves spends significant time discussing dances, parties, weekend trips off campus, football games, and other gatherings with friends. She frequently highlighted the clothes that she and her friends wore and the food that they ate. The collection contains several photographs of Thomas, including two photographs taken in front of Mead Hall posing in the popular clothing of the period, and pictures from a graduation party. Scrapbook pages with programs and other information about special events are included. She also devoted much of her letters to discussing the academic life at Mount Holyoke, sharing with her mother her frustrations over work, relationships with professors such as Florence Foss of the Art Department, feelings about specific courses, and her prides and disappointments with her grades. Also included in the collection are numerous papers and exams that Thomas had written, predominantly associated with her Art major and her English minor. Two photographs of Thomas' sculptures for art classes are included. The letters also show that her extra-curricular activities were of great importance to her. They included Glee Club and other choirs, drama groups, athletics, debate, and activities related to her class and dorm. As an art instructor at Mount Holyoke, Thomas continued her frequent correspondence with her mother. The letters from her years as an instructor document the content of her courses, for which outlines are included in the collection, her relationships with students and other faculty members, and her participation in the college community. The letters reflect that she was a popular and enthusiastic member of the Art Department, often chosen by students and colleagues to participate in college traditions, including the Senior-Freshman reception and the Faculty Show. One image of Thomas participating in Faculty Show is included in the collection, along with a program. Other correspondences include letters, both formal and friendly, from Florence Foss, Gertrude Hyde, and Mary Woolley recognizing Thomas' professional and personal achievements. The collection also documents these achievements with newspaper articles.

Chronologically arranged.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
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Preferred Citation

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

Dorothy B. Graves Correspondence, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

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.

  • Graves, Dorothy B. (Dorothy Boyd), 1907-
  • Graves, Rose Boyd.
  • Albums - circa 1923-1927.
  • College students - Massachusetts - Correspondence.
  • College teachers - Massachusetts - Correspondence.
  • Friendship - United States - History - Sources.
  • Mothers and daughters - United States - History - Sources.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Curriculum - 1923-1932.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Examinations - 1924-1932.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke College - History - Sources.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student drawings - 1925-1927.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student life - 1923-1932.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student papers - 1923-1926.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Traditions.
  • Mount Holyoke College. - Art Dept.
  • Music.
  • Recreation.
  • Women - United States - Social conditions - Sources.
  • Women college students - Massachusetts - Correspondence.
  • Women college teachers - Massachusetts - Correspondence.

  • Graves, Rose Boyd.

Genre terms
  • Letters

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