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Lithgow papers

Identifier: MS 0683

Scope and Contents

The Marion Irene Lithgow Papers consist of a scrapbook, correspondence, biographical information, and a photograph. The material chiefly relates to her time as a student at Mount Holyoke College, 1918-1922. In weekly letters written home to her mother during her junior and senior years (1920-1922), Lithgow frequently discusses clothing, asking her mother to clean, alter, dye, and mend various items so that she can attain the most current fashions. Almost all of the letters also discuss her expenses and request items and money to be sent from home. In addition, she describes her social activities, including long hikes with friends, shopping expeditions, and motion pictures that she saw. She discusses Mount Holyoke College traditions such as the Senior-Freshman Reception, Junior Show, Mountain Day, and the interclass volleyball, basketball, and baseball games. Her May 4, 1921 letter about Junior Prom covers almost thirty pages, discussing the men, clothing, food, dancing, and other activities that surrounded the event. She also mentions searches for chaperones, assigned seating in the dining rooms, curfews, and chapel regulations and makes occasional references to political issues. For example, she urges her mother to vote for Warren G. Harding in the 1920 presidential election and mentions a freshman with a "Bolshevistic temperament." She periodically discusses academic matters, too, including her relationships with some professors and her grades. Her scrapbook dates from 1919-1922 and contains photographs of College administrators including President Mary Emma Woolley and Dean Florence Purington, notes from classmates, quotations, songs, images of celebrations, and newspaper clippings. Biographical information consists of a biographical note (1922) and her obituary (1992). The collection also contains a photograph taken during her senior year at Mount Holyoke.


  • Creation: 1920-1992
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920 - 1922

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Marion Irene Lithgow was born on February 20, 1901 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Her father was John A. Lithgow, a storekeeper. She entered Mount Holyoke College in September 1918 after graduating from Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire. Upon graduating from Mount Holyoke in June 1922 with a degree in chemistry, she taught math at Sanborn Academy in East Kingston, New Hampshire. In the summer of the following year she attended Harvard University Summer School. She then taught high school math and English in Stonington, Connecticut. From 1924-1925, she attended Boston University and received her M.A. and from 1925-1936 she taught math, science, and history at the Girls' Latin High School in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1967 she began dividing her time between a summer home in Ocean Bluff, Massachusetts and a winter home in Venice, Florida. She died in Venice, Florida at the age of ninety-one on June 16, 1992.


2 boxes (1922)

Language of Materials



Lithgow, Marion Irene, 1901-1992; student; teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1922. Papers contain a scrapbook, correspondence, biographical information, and a photograph primarily relating to Lithgow's time at Mount Holyoke College. Includes references to her clothing, expenses, sports, motion pictures, academics, political issues, and traditions such as Junior Prom.


Arranged in 4 series: 1. Scrapbook. 2. Correspondence. 3. Biographical Information. Series 4. Photograph.

Lithgow papers, 1920-1992 (bulk 1920-1922)
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
© 2004
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Encoding funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA