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Josephine Kingsley Hardy papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS 0778

Scope and Contents

The Josephine Kingsley Hardy papers consist of diaries, compositions, commonplace books, and history class notes. The papers reflect her educational and extracurricular endeavors at the "Northfield Seminary" and the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary from 1851-1857. The diaries reflect her time at Mount Holyoke, and discuss clothing styles, religious life, students, faculty and visiting lecturers, the activities of the Class of 1857, and events such as the Fourth of July celebration of 1857 and a visit from Amherst students. They provide insight into her distaste for domestic work, express her dissatisfaction with and criticism of regulations (often with sarcastic humor), and mention the books that she was reading as well as her studies. The 1853 diary contains notes reflecting her study of history in 1852 prior to entering Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. The 1857 diary includes a biographical note written in 1858. The thirty-five compositions about topics such as "The Immigration from Foreign Countries ought to be checked" (March 4, 1854), "Slavery" (circa March 1855), and "What employment brings most happiness" (circa 1853-1855 or 1857) reflect writing instruction during her years at Mount Holyoke and show corrections and evidence of revision. Of note are the commonplace books containing writings by students at Northfield and elsewhere, circa 1851-1853. The writings are gathered into compilations entitled "The Scholar's Wreath," "On Winter," "The Schoolgirl's Trial," "The Weekly Gem," "The Casket of Gems," and "The Mountain Echo." They reflect the writings of both young men and young women, probably classmates in schools that Hardy attended. They show a variety of styles, including poetry, short stories, and essays and concern a broad range in topics from "Queen Elizabeth" to "Cats." The collections demonstrate considerable craftsmanship, often with elaborate calligraphic covers.


  • 1851-1858

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Josephine M. Kingsley resided in Winchester, New Hampshire in 1853. She attended the "Northfield Seminary" in Northfield, Massachusetts in the spring of 1853 and entered Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in the fall of 1853. She left Mount Holyoke in 1855 and studied French and painting in Townshend, Vermont from March-June 1856. She returned to Mount Holyoke in the fall of 1856 and graduated on August 6, 1857. In the fall of 1857 she attended Temple Grove Ladies' Seminary in Saratoga Spring, New York where she studied French and painting for six weeks. She then studied French at Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York. She married Silas Hardy in 1863 and died in Keene, New Hampshire in 1871.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



Hardy, Josephine M. Kingsley, -1871; Student. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1857. Papers consist of diaries, compositions, and history class notes principally documenting her life at Mount Holyoke. Also includes commonplace books containing writings by students at Northfield Seminary and elsewhere, ca 1851-1853.


Arranged in 3 series: Series 1. Diaries, 1852-1853, 1857, 1858. Series 2. Commonplace Books, 1851-1853. Series 3. Compositions, 1853-1855, 1857.

Hardy papers, 1851-1858.
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
© 2004
Language of description
Script of description
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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