Five College Archives and Manuscript
                        Collections
Mount Holyoke College seal
Physics Department Records, 1847-
( linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 18.28 (LD 7092.8)

Abstract:
The Mount Holyoke College Physics Department Records contain reports; articles; memoranda; newsletters; news clippings; booklets; brochures; press releases; announcements; lists; a grade book; examinations; notebooks; and photographs.

Terms of Access and Use:

Records restricted to use by office/department of origin for 25 years from date of record creation. Access to student records restricted.

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Historical Note

Since 1837, the study of the sciences has been emphasized at Mount Holyoke. In the first year of the Seminary, seven sciences were taught, including physiology, botany, natural philosophy, zoology, chemistry, astronomy, and geology. Natural philosophy was taught through text work supplemented by sets of lectures given by professors from nearby colleges who performed more elaborate experiments than the early equipment at Mount Holyoke allowed. In the 1877/1878 academic year, the name of this course of study was changed from natural philosophy to physics. The first physics laboratory at Mount Holyoke was initiated by Professor Mack in the 1885/1886 academic year. Between 1884 and 1886, influenced by the opening of the new laboratory, the study of physics expanded to include more opportunity for advanced work. By the 1887/1888 academic year, laboratory work was compulsory to satisfy the graduation requirement in physics, and an elective in physics was offered. In 1890/1891, the College acquired a full time instructor, Professor Keith. From 1897 until 1904, students were able to graduate from the College with a joint major in physics and chemistry or in physics and astronomy. By 1902/1903, the rapidly expanding Physics Department consisted of three full time instructors, one assistant, and thirteen semester courses. Since 1905, students have been able to graduate from the College with a major in physics.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mount Holyoke College Physics Department Records contain reports; articles; memoranda; newsletters; news clippings; booklets; brochures; press releases; announcements; lists; a grade book; examinations; notebooks; and photographs. The annual reports of the department to the President of the College can be found in the records. These reports contain information regarding enrollment trends, majors, honor work, graduate work, course content, the Student Science Conference, lectures, equipment and facilities, gifts to the department, faculty activities, changes in personnel, needs of the department, student work, and department curriculum. Articles found in the records include "History, Equipment and Courses" and "The New Physics Laboratory" by Professor Elizabeth R. Laird and an article about women and physics by Edward P. Clancy. Advertising materials, including brochures, press releases, announcements, and booklets, pertain to the department itself, laboratory equipment, department trips, lectures, and other department activities. Information regarding the equipment and facilities can be found in the records in addition to information regarding the major in physics, course offerings, changes in curriculum, and the needs of the department. Lists of physics majors at Mount Holyoke and their activities as alumnae are also included in the records. Course records include various examinations, class notes, and laboratory notebooks. The department newsletter contains information about daily happenings in the department, special events in the department, and the work and activities of physics students, staff, and faculty.


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

Records restricted to use by office/department of origin for 25 years from date of record creation. Access to student records restricted.

Preferred Citation

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

Physics Department Records, 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


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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