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Ransom papers

Identifier: MS 0696

Scope and Contents

The Annette Mowatt Ransom Papers consist of correspondence, a scrapbook, biographical information and photographs. The bulk of the collection describes her undergraduate years at Mount Holyoke College, 1932-1936, and reflects campus events and traditions. Her letters to her family, 1923-1936, discuss her daily life and social activities. They include descriptions of traditions including the hazing of freshmen, Mountain Day, Junior Prom, Junior Show and Faculty Show. The letters also describe examinations, food, clothes, cooperative work by students, zoology courses, rules and regulations of dating, faculty, sports, and her involvement with the Outing Club. She mentions an attempt to abolish the required chapel attendance (February 17, 1933) and notes the approval of smoking in the dorms (May 20, 1934). She also describes Mary E. Woolley (November 6, 1934) and Gertrude Stein's visit to campus (January 20, 1935). Her letters reflect her opinion that she would "much rather be mediocre and do things than stay home and study every minute." Other correspondents include Pauline C. Gates, Mount Holyoke College Class of 1933, and Ruth Sawyer Durand, mother of Margaret Durand McCloskey, Class of 1936. The scrapbook also concerns her years as an undergraduate and contains her explanatory notes. Included in the scrapbook are photographs, press clippings, programs from campus events, a Mountain Day announcement, a copy of senior rules for freshman hazing, Christmas cards and Valentines. The photographs in the scrapbook document her dorm rooms, a winter sports class, the Sycamores and field hockey. The biographical information consists of a page from the 1964 program during which she received her Masters of Education from the University of New Hampshire. The photographs consist of a formal portrait taken during her senior year. Additional correspondence in the collection also describes the six months she spent working on the island of Inagua in the Bahamas. She was employed as a secretary-companion and zoologist, but her letters reflect her experiences of cooking, training kitchen staff, whitewashing, darning, and dreaming up entertainment for the staff of young men, which included her brother Allan.


  • Creation: 1927-1965
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1932 - 1937

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Annette Mowatt was born on September 23, 1915 to Frank and Sarah Quimby Mowatt in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Her mother was a member of the Mount Holyoke College Class of 1907. Mowatt attended Mount Holyoke from 1932-1936 and received her B.A. in 1936 with a major in zoology. In December of that year she went to the British West Indies to work as a secretary/companion and zoologist for the West India Chemical Company until June 1937. For six months in the winter of 1937 she attended business administration courses at Harvard University. She married Frederick J. Ransom on December 28, 1940, and they had three children. She attended classes at the University of Colorado from 1942-1944 and at Denver University from 1948-1950. She became the school district secretary in New Ipswich, New Hampshire in 1958. She received her Masters in Education from the University of New Hampshire in 1964. From 1966 until her retirement in 1977 she was a guidance counsellor at the Houston Independent School District in Houston, Texas. She died at the age of eighty-one in South Tamworth, New Hampshire on October 9, 1996.


2 boxes (1936 Mowatt)

Language of Materials



Ransom, Annette Mowatt, 1915-1996; student and zoologist. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1936. Papers consist of correspondence, a scrapbook, biographical information, and photographs; principally pertaining to her daily activities and social events at Mount Holyoke. Also of note is her correspondence pertaining to her work as a secretary-companion and zoologist in the British West Indies, 1936-1937.


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

Ransom papers, 1927-1965 (bulk 1932-1937)
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
© 2003
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