Mount Holyoke College
Archives and Special Collections
Elizabeth Storrs Billings Mead Records, 1893-1912
Record Group Number: RG 4.12
Elizabeth S. Billings was born in 1832, in Conway, Massachusetts
and graduated from Ipswich Female Seminary. She had a distinguished
career as teacher at Andover Seminary and Oberlin College, and Associate
Principal of Abbott Academy. She married the Rev. Hiram Mead in
1858 and after his death became the first non-alumnae President
of Mount Holyoke Seminary and College in 1890. During her ten-year
tenure she directed the expansion of the curriculum, encouraged
teachers to pursue advanced degrees and allowed students a measure
of self-government. When the Seminary building was destroyed by
a fire in 1896, Mead initiated an extensive building project (including
the erection of Mary Lyon Hall in 1897) which became the foundation
for the modern College. In 1901, a dormitory was named Mead Hall
in her honor. She died in 1917.
Description of Records:
Personal and professional information in the records of Elizabeth
S. Mead includes correspondence from 1893-1912; biographical materials
which consist of a genealogy, profiles, news clippings, tributes
and obituaries; publications, including a bound volume of religious
writings and a memorial address delivered by Mead; and photographs.
The records provide information on Mead's life at the College, particularly
the extensive rebuilding which she orchestrated. The memorial address
is on a former Principal of the Seminary, Sophia Hazen [Stoddard].
Included is a memorial on a cousin of Mead's, Mary Elwell Storrs.
Cite as: Office of the President, Elizabeth
Storrs Mead Records, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special
Collections, South Hadley, MA.
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted.