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A. Elizabeth Adams papers

Identifier: MS 0720

Scope and Contents

The A. Elizabeth Adams Papers consist of letters by and to Adams, her writings, Mount Holyoke College presidential succession documents, biographical information, and photographs. The correspondence consists of two letters by Adams, probably to Mount Holyoke colleagues Dorothy Richardson and Dorothy Cogswell, and a letter to Adams from Ann Haven Morgan, her close friend and teacher in the Mount Holyoke College Zoology Department. The collection also includes Adams's publications in zoology while she was a professor at Mount Holyoke College, as well as biographical notes and a bibliography of her writings. Of particular note in the collection are the presidential succession documents which include correspondence between Adams and individuals with links to Mount Holyoke College regarding the appointment of Roswell G. Ham. Ham was the first male president of Mount Holyoke, succeeding Mary E. Woolley in 1937. Also of particular note is an open letter written by Adams to the Trustees of Mount Holyoke College asking why a man was chosen to succeed Woolley against the wishes of the majority at the college. Included in the collection are opinions and results of polls taken regarding this presidential issue. The collection includes biographical information chiefly containing newspaper articles about Adams's professional activities and material regarding her life and death. The photographs in the collection consist of photographs and snapshots of Adams with friends and students both at home and in the laboratories. Some photographs that were collected or taken by Dorothy Blair, Adams's former Mount Holyoke College roommate are part of the collection.


  • Creation: 1914-1962

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Amy Elizabeth Adams was born on March 28, 1892 in Delaware, New Jersey. She attended Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey and arrived at Mount Holyoke College in September of 1909. After a leave of absence in 1910-1911, she earned her B.A. in 1914, majoring in zoology. From 1914-1915, she worked as a laboratory assistant in the Zoology Department at Mount Holyoke College. She earned her M.A. at Columbia University (1919) and her Ph.D. at Yale University (1926). She returned to Mount Holyoke where she taught zoology, 1919-1957. She served as the acting head of the Zoology Deptartment in 1920-1921, 1929, and 1937, and the acting dean of Mount Holyoke College for the first semester of 1926-1927. Adams retired in 1957. She died February 15, 1962 at the age of sixty-nine in South Hadley, Massachusetts.


1 boxes (1915)

Language of Materials



Adams, A. Elizabeth, 1892-1962; teacher, zoologist, dean. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1914. Papers contain correspondence, writings, Mount Holyoke College presidential succession documents, biographical information, and photographs; primarily relates to her time as a faculty member at Mount Holyoke College.


Arranged in 5 series. Series 1. Correspondence. Series 2. Writings. Series 3. Mount Holyoke College Presidential Succession Documents. Series 4. Biographical Information. Series 5. Photographs.

A. Elizabeth Adams papers, 1914-1962.
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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