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Mary Phylinda Dole Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS 0774

Scope and Contents

The Mary Phylinda Dole Papers consist of course records, writings, memorabilia, samples of weaving, biographical information, and photographs. The material dates from 1885-1947. Course records consist of three notebooks dating from 1885-1886 that contain drawings and descriptions of the dissection of cats for coursework in zoology at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Writings consist of an unpublished autobiographical piece, circa 1940, and an autobiography published in 1941 entitled "A Doctor in Homespun." Memorabilia consists of publication announcements for Dole's autobiography, a Mount Holyoke Club of New York newsletter, 1941, and an announcement for an exhibition of Dole's weaving. There are also two poems to Dole from a patient in 1897. Three samples of weaving, dating from circa 1927-circa 1947, consist of a pillow with a woven top, a scarf, and a small square. Biographical information dates from circa 1906-1947 and includes biographical notes, articles, obituaries, and a tribute. The majority of this information consists of newspaper articles, 1931-1941, that describe her weaving, the fellowship fund she created to help Mount Holyoke alumnae attend medical school, and the publication of her autobiography. The photographs date from 1886-circa 1913, 1937-1941 and consist of both formal and informal photographs of Dole, primarily alone. In addition, there is a photograph of her house in New Haven, Connecticut. There are also a number of negatives for these photographs.

Material from this collection is available in an online digital format.


  • Creation: 1885-1947

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Mary Phylinda Dole was born on August 31, 1862 in Shelburne, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of George Carpenter Dole, a farmer, and Philinda Field Dole. After the deaths of her parents, Dole went to live in Ashfield, Massachusetts with her father's cousin in 1871. She attended the local district school and Sanderson Academy. Dole attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary between 1881-1884 and graduated in 1886. She studied at the Women's Medical College of Baltimore in Maryland from 1886-1888 and earned an M.D. degree. She returned to Mount Holyoke in 1888-1889 and received a B.S. degree. She interned at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston, Massachusetts in 1889-1890. In 1891 Dole opened a private practice in Greenfield, Massachusetts. In 1893 she left for further study in Germany and France, where she worked at the Pasteur Institute. She returned to Greenfield a year and a half later, practicing medicine there until she moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1906. From 1901-1907 Dole served as a trustee of Mount Holyoke College. In 1919 she moved to Northhampton, Massachusetts. In 1927 she retired from medicine and began hand weaving. She was President of the Mount Holyoke Club of Franklin County and honorary president of the Mount Holyoke Club of New Haven. On May 7, 1937 the Alumnae Association awarded Dole the Gold Medal for Eminent Service. In 1941 she published her autobiography, "A Doctor in Homespun." Dole died at her home in Shelburne, Massachusetts, on February 23, 1947, at the age of eighty-four.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 full Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



Dole, Mary Phylinda, 1862-1947; Doctor and weaver. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1886. Mount Holyoke College trustee. Papers consist of course records, writings, memorabilia, samples of weaving, biographical information, and photographs. Primarily documenting her academic work at Mount Holyoke and her autobiography.


Arranged in 5 series: Series 1. Course Records. Series 2. Writings. Series 3. Memorabilia. Series 4. Samples of Weaving. Series 5. Biographical Information. Series 6. Photographs.

Dole papers, 1885-1947.
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
#169; 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