Depression Era Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography of Selected Sources in the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Concerning the Impact of the Economic Depression, 1929-1941, on Mount Holyoke

Prepared by: Patricia Albright with help from student assistant Alex Krensky

College Records

Board of Trustees Records. Minutes, “Book C,” November 4, 1925-June 9, 1934 and “Book D,” October 16, 1934-June 7, 1941. 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. 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.

Catalogs, 1929/1930-1940.1941. RG 10, LD 7088 A2

Describe the curriculum and requirements of the College and include information about expenses and enrollment. Catalogs 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. 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. RG 16.025, LD 7092.2 Sub-group 5

Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1929/1930-1940/1941. 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. RG 3.3.13, LD 7082 A1

Record 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. RG 20, LD 7093.4

Includes a newspaper article from 1932 describing student’s efforts to raise funds for scholarships and audiocassette interviews of five Mount Holyoke faculty and staff members regarding Mount Holyoke life in the 1930s.

Morrison, Alvah. “Mount Holyoke College and the Business Depression,” February 15, 1936. 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. 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. 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. RG 4.1, LD 7082.2 A2

Office of the Treasurer and Comptroller. Records, 1937/1938-1940/1941. 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. 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 “resumes 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. 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, Periodicals

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.

Personal Papers

Belcher, Elizabeth. Correspondence, 1936-1939. 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. Margaret Broadbent Papers, 1934-1936, 1938, 1963 (bulk 1934-1936). MS 0622, LD 7096.6 1938 Broadbent
Student, 1934-1938.

Include letters discussing her campus employment and the impact of the depression on students and the College.

Brown, Margaret C. Correspondence, 1933-1937. RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1937 Brown
Student, 1934-1937.

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. 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. Margaret Currier Papers, 1909, 1928-1998 (bulk 1928-1938). MS 0713, LD 7096.6 1931 Currier
Student, 1928-1931.

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. Jean Garis Flood Papers, 1932-2001 (bulk 1932-1935). MS 0820, LD 7096.6 1935 Garis
Student, 1931-1935.

Include a letter written in 1932 describing an economics class exercise about finding ways to respond to the depression.

Hall, Marie. Correspondence, 1931-1932. RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1933 Hall
Student, 1929-1933.

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. RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1939 Hoffman
Student, 1935-1939.

Include letters describing her efforts to find post-graduation employment.

Hucker, Emily. Correspondence, 1926-1930. RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1930 Hucker
Student, 1926-1930.

Letters for her senior year, 1929-1930, include references to her search for post-graduation employment.

Ireland-Frey, Louise M. Correspondence, 1934-1936. MS 0577, LD 7092.8 Ireland
Graduate student and laboratory assistant, 1931-1936.

Letters include references to her finances.

Irons, Katharine. Correspondence, 1936-1940. RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1940 Irons
Student, 1935-1940.

Include many letters discussing her life in cooperative housing, finances, and campus employment.

Kemble, Luella N. “My Mount Holyoke Experience,” February 1, 1972. 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. RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1932 McElrath
Student, 1928-1932.

Letters include references to the impact of the depression on students and also discuss her father’s job loss in 1931.

Parker, Eleanor C. Eleanor C. Parker Papers, 1937-1995 (bulk 1937-1941). MS 0623, LD 7096.6 1941 Parker
Student, 1937-1941.

Include letters discussing her campus employment

Ransom, Annette Mowatt. Annette Mowatt Ransom Papers, 1927-1965 (Bulk 1932-1937). MS 0696, LD 7096.6 1936 Mowatt
Student, 1932-1936.

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. Margaret Stallman Ruth Papers, 1928-2001. 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. RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1940 Southworth, Student, 1936-1940.

Include letters discussing her finances and campus employment.

Streeter, Barbara. Correspondence, 1932-1937. RG 27.1, LD 7096.6 1937 Streeter
Student, 1933-1937.

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. Barbara J. White Papers, 1935-1971, 1975, 2007. 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. 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