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Betty Wells Papers, 1931-1995, n.d.
( 1 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0598, LD 7096.6, LD 7096.8

Wells, Katharine Elizabeth (Betty) Taylor, 1913-2002; student and high school French teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1935. Primarily consists of letters to her family describing her junior year abroad (1934-1935) and correspondence (in French) with a French friend, Simone Calvet (1933-1995, n.d.) discussing each woman's intellectual, family, and social life, depression and health problems, reactions to World War II and other world events, and thoughts on marriage, motherhood, children, aging, and the nature of their friendship. Also includes writings and scrapbooks from her years at Mount Holyoke, biographical material, and photographs.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:


Restrictions on use:

Use of the collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.).

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections

Biographical Note

Katharine Elizabeth (Betty) Taylor Wells, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (1935) and a French teacher, was born on December 23, 1913 in Boston, Massachusetts to Earl and Helen Travis Taylor. She graduated from the Girls' Latin School in Boston in 1931, and from Mount Holyoke College in 1935. She spent her junior year abroad (the 1933-1934 academic year) studying in France. In June of 1935, she married Richard Dennison Wells, a graduate of the Harvard Engineering School. They lived in Lewiston, Maine and had one daughter, Katharine, who later attended Colby College. In 1963, Betty Taylor Wells began a program at Northeastern University for her master's degree in education, and started teaching French in high school the following year. She received her M.Ed. in 1966. She died on August 6, 2002, at the age of eighty-eight.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Comprised of Correspondence, Writings, Photographs, Biographical Material, and Scrapbooks. Correspondence (1933-1995, n.d.) consists of letters to her parents, written as a Mount Holyoke College student spending her junior year in France, and correspondence (1933-1995, n.d.) with Simone Calvet, a French penpal and later friend. Student letters describe her studies, social activities, and travels in France, Germany and Italy, while the bulk of her correspondence with Simone Calvet reflect each woman's intellectual, family and social life, and their thoughts on marriage, motherhood, world affairs, illness, aging and the nature of their friendship. The Writings series (ca. 1931-1935, n.d.) is comprised of illustrated short-stories, poems, a manuscript entitled, "First Fruits" and a manuscript entiteld, "What is the Subconscious?" and noted as a French thesis (ca. 1934); all authored by Wells. Some of these items were written for English classes at Mount Holyoke College. The Photographs (1931-1989, n.d.) are primarily of snapshots removed from the correspondence from Simone Calvet, as well as a few photographs of Wells as a student at Mount Holyoke. Biographical Material (1934, 1954-55, 1959) consists of newspaper articles announcing her engagement, wedding and other activities as well as a photocopy of her diploma from the University of Paris. The Scrapbook Series consists of two scrapbooks, one dedicated to her years as a student at Mount Holyoke College (1931-1935) and consisting of corresponence, clippings, programs and photographs. The other scrapbook is dedicated specifically to her year studying abroad in France (1933-1934) and includes travel ticket stubs, photographs and correspondence.

Material from this collection is available in an online digital format.

The correspondence is arranged chronologically. The writings, photographs, biographical material, and scrapbooks are unarranged.

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


Restrictions on use:

Use of the collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.).

Preferred Citation

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

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Betty) Wells Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA

History of the Collection

Processing Information

The papers were processed by Andrea Sheehan and were reprocessed by Jennifer Gunter King, 2005.

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:

Contents List
1933-1995, n.d.

Correspondence, 1933-1995, n.d.11September - October, 193312November - December, 193313January - February, 193414March - April, 193415May - June, 1934161937-1965171966-1979181980-1985191986-19931101994-1995, n.d.
September - October, 1933

Box 1: folder 1
November - December, 1933

Box 1: folder 2
January - February, 1934

Box 1: folder 3
March - April, 1934

Box 1: folder 4
May - June, 1934

Box 1: folder 5

Box 1: folder 6

Box 1: folder 7

Box 1: folder 8

Box 1: folder 9
1994-1995, n.d.

Box 1: folder 10
ca. 1931-1935, n.d.

Essays and Poems
ca. 1931-1935, n.d.

Box 1: folder 11
First Fruits

Box 1: folder 12
"What is the Subconscious" (French Thesis)
ca. 1934

Box 1: folder 13
1931-1989, n.d.

1931-1989, n.d.

Box 1: folder 14
Biographical Material,
1934, 1954-55, 1959

Biographical Material
1934, 1954-55, 1959

Box 1: folder 15

Scrapbook v.1

Box 2
Scrapbook v.2

Box 3

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.

  • Women college students Massachusetts.
  • Aging.
  • Books and reading.
  • Calvet family
  • Children.
  • College students Massachusetts.
  • Depressed persons France Correspondence.
  • English language Study and teaching (Higher) Massachusetts South Hadley.
  • Family France History Sources.
  • Family United States History Sources.
  • Foreign study.
  • France Description and travel.
  • France Social conditions.
  • Friendship United States History Sources.
  • Germany Description and travel.
  • Italy Description and travel.
  • Junior year abroad.
  • Marriage France Social conditions Sources.
  • Marriage United States Social conditions Sources.
  • Mentally ill women France Correspondence.
  • Mount Holyoke College Student papers ca. 1931-1935.
  • Mount Holyoke College Studentlife 1931-1935.
  • Mount Holyoke College Students.
  • Paris (France) Description and travel.
  • Student activities Massachusetts South Hadley.
  • Voyages and travels.
  • Wells family
  • Wells, Betty, 1913-
  • Women France Social conditions Sources.
  • Women Health and hygiene France History Sources.
  • Women Health and hygiene United States History Sources.
  • Women United States Social conditions Sources.
  • World War, 1939-1945 France.

  • Calvet, Simone, 1913-
  • Taylor, Earl Eesley b. 1886
  • Taylor, Helen Sanborn Travis, 1885-.

Genre terms
  • Letters
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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