United States National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
History of Medicine

Directory of History of Medicine Collections


Mount Holyoke College
Archives and Special Collections
Library, Information and Technology

50 College Street
South Hadley, Massachusetts 01075-6425
United States
Jennifer Gunter King, Head of Archives and Special Collections
(413) 538-2441
1 413-538-3079
Fax: (413) 538-3029

Archives and Special Collections records, rare books and manuscripts reflecting the history and mission of Mount Holyoke College including its founding, operation, and curriculum. Mount Holyoke was founded in 1837 and is the first continuous institution of higher education for women. A pioneering school that emphasized the sciences for women since inception, the College's records document the emergence of science and medical studies for women as well as the history of women in higher education, women in science, early missionary history, New England and Massachusetts education and religious history. Also heavily documented are Mount Holyoke's alumnae. Most notable are papers documenting the life and work of physician and anesthesiology Virginia Apgar (1880-1975), noted for developing the Apgar score for newborns. Other medical fields represented in alumnae files include nutrition, medicine, biomedical research, medical missionaries, psychiatry, physiology and midwifery.

The collection is non-circulating and non-browsable. Researchers interested in the collection should visit the web address https://www.mtholyoke.edu/archives/. Some materials are digitized and available online. Finding aids to manuscript and archival records are online. Manuscripts and books are cataloged in the library catalog (https://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/mountholyoke/list/). Researchers can email reference requests online to archives@mtholyoke.edu.


The Archives is comprised of over 9,000 linear feet of archival records and manuscript material. Foremost are official college records, including, but not limited to, the records of administrative offices; academic departments; faculty, administrative and student committees; faculty and student clubs; college and student publications; photographs and slides; memorabilia and other ephemeral. Manuscript materials actively collected by Special Collections include the personal papers and other non-print or ephemeral materials of selected alumnae and faculty, the records and other non-print or ephemeral materials of other institutions and organizations related to the history of, or disciplines taught by, the College.

The rare book collection totals 11,000 volumes, the bulk of which were published in the 16th-19th Centuries. The collection's strengths include renaissance science, medieval Italian literature and history, Americana, Fine Press Editions and artist's books.

Subject Strengths:
History of Anesthesiology and Anesthesia; History of Gynecology and Obstetrics; History of Medicine; History of Pediatrics; History of Women in Medicine
Last Updated:
24 Apr 2017