Welcome to my collection! I am a 1983 alumna of Mount Holyoke College. I do not work for the college, and I don't even live near it, but I've always loved my dear alma mater. I've been a collector of Mount Holyoke memorabilia for over 20 years, and began putting it online in 1996. I am currently about halfway through a program for a masters degree in library and information science, and I have created some parts of this website as homework assignments. I love creating digital surrogates of my paper memorabilia so that other people can find them online and discover their charms, too.
April 25, 2016:
I really need to update this more often! I just finished the Baker letters this winter. When I last updated this blog in 2012, I thought there were about 200 letters. It turned out the dealer indeed had more, and eventually the total was just over 450 letters. They turned out to be a wonderful window into everyday life in the Gardner/Templeton area of Massachusetts in the early 20th century. When I did some research online, I discovered that the historical society out there had a high school photograph of Lucy Baker's class, including her and many of her favorite correspondents. I was able to get a nice copy of it and I used it to illustrate the collection online.
Today I was adding a back issue of The Mount Holyoke to my collection, and I noticed that it mentioned the history of a silver pin I have in my collection. I transcribed the history and include it here.
June 15, 2012:
It seems like the bulk of my work these days are letters. My postcard collection is fairly advanced, so it seems like I only add a few a year at this point. But I love correspondence, and reading mail even if it isn't addressed to me! The biggest archives I've added in the last few years are Lucy Baker 1905 and Bessie Nesbit 1942. The Nesbit collection is enormous - over 400 letters! And that doesn't include dozens and dozens of greeting cards that I weeded out. If the card was only signed with a name and had no handwritten inscription, I weeded it. There are still quite a few cards in the collection, though! I'm glad to say that collection is done.
I'm still working on the Baker letters - I've transcribed about 175 so far, and have another 30 or so to go, I estimate. I'm getting them from a dealer in groups of 50, and I don't know if there are more to come. I guess I'll find out!
Occasionally, I'll get a letter that fits into a tiny collection that I already have. It does make me marvel about how many places some of these correspondence series have gone, and it pleases me when I can bring them back together and get more of a sense of the person. Just yesterday, I found a fourth Sophronia Fisher letter, and that helped me identify a friend discussed in a letter I bought three years earlier! I love when that happens.
I haven't gotten a photograph album in a while, but I was pleased to add two sketchbooks recently that had been created by Harriett Atwood in the 1840s. No sketches on campus, but still, I enjoyed browsing through them. She had great technique!
I'll try to remember to update this page from time to time to talk about my latest projects!
I occasionally hear from people who would like to use an image in my collection for their own research project. I'm happy to scan things larger or do transcription work for people who would like to use more detail on anything in my collection for their projects. Sometimes I have to set a price, but in most cases, I grant access on a donation basis and let you set the price as to what you can afford. Please just drop me email if you'd like to use anything, and I'd be happy to discuss the details with you.
Quite possibly! Click here to see my policies about taking in new materials, making it accessible, and what I plan to do with it in the long term.