Through official College records, publications and personal correspondence in Archives and Special Collections, you can learn more about the significant impact of the 1929 – 1941 Depression Era on Mount Holyoke. Need assistance? Ask an archivist.
Board of Trustees Records.
Minutes, “Book C”, November 4, 1925-June 9, 1934 and “Book D”, October 16, 1934-June 7, 1941. Collection identifier: RG 3.1, LD 7082 A1
Reflect discussions and decisions by Board members. Contain many references to the impact of the Depression on the College, including reports of trustee and faculty committees and College administrators.
Career Development Center Records.
Reports, 1929/1930-1940/1941. Collection identifier: RG 7.5, LD 7083.5
Contain information about efforts by the “Appointment Bureau” (predecessor of the Career Development Center) to help both graduating students and alumnae find employment and data about the jobs found by these women.
Collection identifier: RG 10, LD 7088 A2
Describe the curriculum and requirements of the College and include information about expenses and enrollment. Catalogues for 1933/1934-1940/1941 also contain descriptions of cooperative houses for students in financial need.
Committee Advisory to the President on Reorganization.
Records, 1935-1936. Collection identifier: RG 16.3.025, LD 7092.2 Sub-group 5
Meeting minutes, position papers, and reports of a faculty committee created by President Mary Emma Woolley at the request of the Board of Trustees to find ways of reducing the cost of the educational program at the College.
Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1929/1930-1940/1941.
Collection identifier: RG 16.2, LD 7092.2 Sub-group 3
Include discussions and decisions by the faculty about modifications to the curriculum in response to the Depression. Minutes for the April 15, 1935 meeting contain remarks by Alvah Morrison, President of the Board of Trustees, to the faculty concerning the College’s financial problems. Minutes for the December 2, 1935 meeting include a report by the Committee Advisory to the President on Reorganization and responses to this document by faculty members.
Finance Committee Records.
Minutes, 1930/1931-1940/1941. Collection identifier: RG 3.3.13, LD 7082 A1
Records of discussion and decisions by the Board of Trustees committee responsible for managing the overall financial affairs of the College. Many reports on the work of this committee are included in Board of Trustees Minutes.
History and Description Collection.
Materials for 1927-1937, 1973. Collection identifier: RG 20, LD 7093.4
Includes a newspaper article from 1932 describing student's efforts to raise funds for scholarships and interviews of five Mount Holyoke faculty and staff members regarding Mount Holyoke life in the 1930s.
“Mount Holyoke College and the Business Depression,” February 15, 1936. Collection identifier: RG 3.2, LD 7082.18 Morrison
Remarks to alumnae by Morrison as President of the Board of Trustees.
Office of Admissions Records.
Reports, 1929/1930-1940-1941. RG 7.3, LD 7083.5
Discuss the College’s efforts to recruit and retain students. Include information about applicants who withdrew for financial reasons and the increasing need for financial aid by students.
Office of Development.
Records, 1929/1930-1940/1941. Collection identifier: RG 7.14, LD 7083.5
Include annual reports by the Field Secretary and documents and publications relating to fund-raising activities of the College. Some reports for this period are included in Office of the President reports; summaries of those documents also appear in Board of Trustees minutes.
Office of the President.
Reports, 1929/1930-1940/41. Collection identifier: RG 4.1, LD 7082.2 A2
Contain reports Presidents Mary Emma Woolley (1930/31-1936/1937) and Roswell Gray Ham (1937/1938-1940/1941) concerning academic, social, and financial issues, trends, conditions and events at the College. These publications for 1929/1930-1936/37 also contain reports of other College administrators, including the Academic Dean, head of the Board of Admissions, Comptroller, Treasurer, and Field Secretary.
Office of the Treasurer and Comptroller Records
1937/1938-1940/1941. Collection identifier: RG 5 and RG 6, LD 7083.5
Reports, correspondence, and subject files concerning the assets and expenditures of the College. Include correspondence between Alvah Morrison, President of the Board of Trustees, and Treasurer & Comptroller Boardman Bump, 1934-1937.
Intercollegiate Daily News
October 9, 1933-February 6, 1934. Collection identifier: RG 1, LB 2331.5 F5 A1 Folio
A cooperative publication undertaken by Massachusetts State College (now the University of Massachusetts at Amherst), Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College intended to provide information about events at the colleges and â€œresumes of the most important national and international news, as well as provide financial aid to students by paying them for their contributions to the paper. Includes articles about student employment and related issues at these schools and an article in the January 30, 1934 issue entitled "Colleges, Students Adapt Themselves to the Depression."
Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly
1929/1930-1940/1941. Collection identifier: RG 32.1, Periodicals
Contains articles and announcements relating to the financial affairs of the College, fund-raising activities, and the employment of alumnae (including recent graduates).
Mount Holyoke News
1929/1930-1940/1941. RG 32.1, Collection identifier: Periodicals, RG 32, Series 1
Student publication containing articles about campus events and issues. Includes several articles about the comments of speakers concerning the Depression and the responses of students to financial constraints of the time.
Belcher, Elizabeth. Correspondence, 1936-1939.
Collection identifier: RG 19, LD 7092.8 Belcher
Student, 1936-1940, and graduate assistant in chemistry, 1940-1941
Contain frequent references to her finances and campus employment.
Broadbent, Margaret. Correspondence, 1934-1936, 1938, 1963 (bulk 1934-1936).
Collection identifier: MS 0622, LD 7096.6 1938 Broadbent
Include letters discussing her campus employment and the impact of the Depression on students and the College.
Brown, Margaret C. Correspondence, 1933-1937.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1937 Brown
Includes references to the impact of the Depression on students and the College, such as a comment in her letter of March 17, 1934 that students would no longer receive “seconds” at meals.
Colver, Carol. Excerpts from letters to her parents, October 1930-January 1934.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1934 Colver
Student, Class of 1934.
Include references to the impact of the Depression on students. Also mentions her father’s pay cut and comments by economics professor Alzada Comstock about the depression.
Currier, Margaret. Correspondence, 1909, 1928-1998 (bulk 1928-1938).
Collection identifier: MS 0713, LD 7096.6 1931 Currier
Letters from 1929-1931 include references to the impact of the Depression on students and the College. Also include letters written as a graduate student at the University of Michigan and as a librarian at Yale University describing the impact of the depression on the library profession.
Flood, Jean Garis. Correspondence, 1932-2001 (bulk 1932-1935).
Collection identifier: MS 0820, LD 7096.6 1935 Garis
Include a letter written in 1932 describing an economics class exercise about finding ways to respond to the Depression.
Hall, Marie. Correspondence, 1931-1932.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1933 Hall
Letters include several references to the depression, such as a discussion in her April 12, 1932 letter of “cooperative houses” on campus for students in financial need.
Hoffman, Mary Elizabeth. Correspondence, 1935-1939.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1939 Hoffman
Include letters describing her efforts to find post-graduation employment.
Hucker, Emily. Correspondence, 1926-1930.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1930 Hucker
Letters for her senior year, 1929-1930, include references to her search for post-graduation employment.
Ireland-Frey, Louise M., Correspondence, 1934-1936.
Collection identifier: MS 0577, Collection identifier: LD 7092.8 Ireland
Graduate student and laboratory assistant, 1931-1936.
Letters include references to her finances.
Irons, Katharine, Correspondence, 1936-1940.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1940 Irons
Include many letters discussing her life in cooperative housing, finances, and campus employment.
Kemble, Luella N. “My Mount Holyoke Experience,” February 1, 1972.
Collection identifier: RG 19, LD 7092.9 Kemble
Student, 1929-1933; Alumnae Association and Career Development Center staff member, 1969-1978.
Recollection of her student years at the College, including comments about the impact of the depression on students and their families and the difficulties members of her class faced in finding employment after graduation.
McElrath, Eleanor. Correspondence, 1929-1932.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1932 McElrath
Letters include references to the impact of the depression on students and also discuss her father’s job loss in 1931.
Parker, Eleanor C. Correspondence, 1937-1995 (bulk 1937-1941).
Collection identifier: MS 0623, LD 7096.6 1941 Parker
Include letters discussing her campus employment.
Ransom, Annette Mowatt. Correspondence, 1927-1965 (Bulk 1932-1937).
Collection identifier: MS 0696, LD 7096.6 1936 Mowatt
Include letters describing her campus employment. Her letter of March 7, 1932 also describes the jobs of other students and states that there were 300 applications for cooperative housing for students.
Ruth, Margaret Stallman. Correspondence, 1928-2001.
Collection identifier: MS, LD 7096.6 1932 Stallman, Student, 1928-1932.
Include letters discussing her financial situation, campus employment, and efforts to find a post-graduation job.
Southworth, Marion White. Correspondence, 1936-1940.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1940 Southworth, Student, 1936-1940.
Include letters discussing her finances and campus employment.
Streeter, Barbara. Correspondence, 1932-1937.
Collection identifier: RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1937 Streeter
Contains letters written at a boarding school, 1932-1933, and as a Mount Holyoke student. The letters describe her life in cooperative housing at the College and frequently refer to her finances and her concern about finding a post-graduation job.
White, Barbara J. Correspondence, 1935-1971, 1975, 2007.
Collection identifier: MS 0849, LD 7092.8 Johnson
Student, 1935-1939; graduate student, graduate assistant, and instructor, 1939-1944
Include letters that frequently refer to her finances and employment.
Woolley, Mary Emma. Papers, circa 1845-1947 (bulk 1900-1947).
Collection identifier: MS 0842, LD 7082.25 1901
Mount Holyoke College President, 1901-1937.
The Speeches and Articles series (Series 2) contains published articles, typescripts, drafts, and notes written by Woolley. Many of these documents concern the role of education for women, while others (such as notes for a talk to a group of “trust officers” on March 19, 1936, speech #760) refer in part to financial problems of women’s colleges.