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Courses in plant science, also called botany, have been taught at Mount Holyoke since the opening of the Seminary in 1837. At this time, the course of study in botany consisted solely of the identification and classification of flowering plants. Mary Lyon, founder of the Seminary and College, began an herbarium in 1837. In 1861, Professor Lydia Shattuck began her significant contribution to the herbarium. Shattuck opened the botanical gardens at the Seminary in 1878. In 1884, the Botany Department expanded when Professor Henrietta Hooker began teaching a course on mosses. Also added at this time were classes in general morphology and classification of phanerogams and general histology and physiology and systemic botany. Until the 1896/1897 academic year, botany was a required subject for all Mount Holyoke College students. In the 1941/1942 academic year, the department was renamed the Plant Science Department. However, at the request of faculty, staff, and students, it was changed back to the Botany Department in the 1960/1961 academic year. In the 1964/1965 academic year, it merged with the Physiology and Zoology Departments to form the Biological Sciences Department.
The Mount Holyoke College Plant Science Department Records contain lists; advertisements; reports; and photographs. The records include a list of topics for a course in the department and photographs of faculty and students in the laboratory and at the Western Massachusetts Flower Show. The annual reports of the department to the President of the College are also contained in the records. The reports include information about student trends, summer sessions, needs of the department, department events, faculty activities, enrollment trends, the Botany Club, job opportunities in the field, visitors to the department, graduate students, equipment, and various courses.
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
Plant Science Department Records, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA.
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