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Mary Ellen Padin Papers , 1943-(present (Bulk: 1943-1947)
7 boxes (5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0826

Padin, Mary Ellen, 1925-; Librarian. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1947. Papers contain correspondence, scrapbooks, recollections, Mount Holyoke publications, and photographs. Primarily concerning her academic and social activities as a Mount Holyoke student.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections

Biographical Note

Mary Ellen Padin was born on April 29, 1925 in New York City. Her parents were Manuel Padin, an exporter, and Mary Elizabeth Lindsay Padin. She attended the Ursuline School in New Rochelle, New York, and graduated in 1943. In September 1943, she entered Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in physics. While at Mount Holyoke College, she played volleyball and sang in the choir and Glee Club. She was also involved in the Physics Club and founded and led the Camera Club. After graduating from Mount Holyoke in 1947, she enrolled in the Columbia School of Library Science at Columbia University. She received her B.S. in Library Science in 1948 and received a M.S. in Library Science in 1954 from Columbia University. She worked as a librarian at the New York Public Library (1948-1940), at Sam Tour and Co. in New York, the U.S. Naval Ordinance Test Station in China Lake, California (1954-1944), at Dunlap and Associates, Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, and at IBM. She has been an avid traveler throughout her life. She toured Europe extensively for business and pleasure, and visited family in Spain numerous times. She has been active in the local Embroiderer's Guild during her retirement in New Milford, Connecticut.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mary Ellen Padin Papers consist of correspondence, scrapbooks, reminiscences, publications, and photographs. The material primarily relates to her experiences as a student at Mount Holyoke College from 1943-1947. Her letters provide detailed descriptions of her daily activities, academic work, her social life, college traditions, and current events. She was interested in physics, music, Spanish, and history, and discusses many of her professors, including Ruth Sedgwick (Spanish), Rogers D. Rusk (physics), John Kirkpatrick (music), and Frank E. Bailey, Jr. (history). She was an enthusiastic participant in college social activities and often mentions traditions including Mountain Day, Freshman Hazing, Convocation, Junior Show, and events where music was a component. Outings with friends to picnic near the Connecticut River and trips to Holyoke, Massachusetts to shop are described. Her letters also reflect the impact of World War II on Mount Holyoke. For example, she mentions furniture shortages, changes to meals, and the presence of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) training on campus. Several of the letters are pasted in her scrapbooks. Four volumes of scrapbooks include photographs of friends participating in Mount Holyoke traditions, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, and programs from various events. Each item in the scrapbooks has extensive captions. Included in the scrapbooks are her "Notes and Observations on Freshman Hazing Day" (1946) and pictures from the event. In 2002, Padin began compiling her recollections of life at Mount Holyoke and also started collecting those of some of her classmates. These recollections provide detailed descriptions of meals, dorm life, music, student employment, physical education requirements, mail procedures, attire, and hobbies. They also present a picture of Mount Holyoke life during and immediately following World War II. Publications consist of annotated copies of Mount Holyoke hymnbook, the 1947 "Llamarada," and "A Memory Book: Mount Holyoke College 1837-1987" by Anne C. Edmonds. Photographs include several of Padin and of some of her classmates.

This collection is organized into five series:

  • Scrapbooks
  • Correspondence (1943-1947)
  • Recollections
  • Publications
  • Photographs

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


Restrictions on use:


Preferred Citation

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

Mary Ellen Padin 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:

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.

  • College students - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Hazing - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Class of 1947.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Curricula.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Recollections.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student life - 1943-1947.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Students.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Traditions.
  • Padin, Mary Ellen, 1925-
  • Student activities - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • Women college students - Massachusetts - South Hadley.
  • World War, 1939-1945 - Massachusetts.

Genre terms
  • Letters.
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.

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