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Babcock papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS 0796

Scope and Contents

The Virginia F. Babcock Papers consist of a scrapbook, a photograph album, an account book, correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information, and photographs. Most of this material documents her years as a Mount Holyoke College student and graduate assistant, 1927-1933. The scrapbook reflects her undergraduate years, 1927-1931, and contains photographs of students and faculty members as well as views of the campus. This volume includes photographs of Janet Brewster Murrow, Class of 1933, and numerous members of the Class of 1931, especially Vimala Appasamy, Frances Dorman Menning, Sara Holmes Boutelle, and Elizabeth Lauckhardt Jantzen. The scrapbook also contains Christmas cards, valentines and mementos of events on campus, including Junior Show, Faculty Show, Junior Prom, Mountain Day and Commencement. The photograph album dates from her years as a graduate student and graduate assistant in the Zoology Department at Mount Holyoke, 1931-1933. It contains photographs of graduate students and faculty and staff members, including Ann Haven Morgan, Christianna Smith, A. Elizabeth Adams, and Louise K. Wilde. The album also includes photographs of zoology class members collecting specimens and views of the campus. The account book reflects Babcock's income and expenses during most of her student years and after graduation until 1947. It contains particularly detailed accounts for the purchase of clothing and also reflects expenditures for food, entertainment, books, rent, taxes, telephone calls and travel. Correspondence consists of two letters to Babcock: one concerning the citation that she received from Mount Holyoke College in October 1952 during a special Convocation on Science and Human Values, the other from the "Ladies' Home Journal" in 1953 thanking her for a story she had submitted (a copy of the story accompanies that letter). Memorabilia consists of a handmade Christmas card sent to Babcock by Eleanor Denham Beach, Class of 1935, and her citation from the 1952 convocation at Mount Holyoke. Biographical information consists of newspaper articles about the 1952 award, an obituary for her mother, 1962, and an obituary for Babcock, 1997. The photographs include formal portraits of Babcock in 1931 and 1952, photographs of her with classmates in primary and secondary school, ca. 1918-1922, and photographs of her with classmates and friends at Mount Holyoke in 1933, 1952, and 1986. There are two other groups of photographs in the collection. According to notes by Babcock, one group relates to her aunt, Ruth Babcock. These images date from about 1890-1917 and include photographs of her aunt with classmates at the Gates Lane School in Worcester, Massachusetts. The other group chiefly consists of photographs (most of them unlabeled) of children in schools in New York City and Larchmont, New York, ca. 1891-1920. Some of the photographs are of a person identified as Emmy (Emily) Harlech, born in 1901, with classmates. Other photographs are of students in classrooms and posed outside of school buildings.


  • Creation: 1890 - 1996
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1927 - 1952

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Virginia Frances Babcock was born on September 25, 1909 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her parents were Bertram Babcock, who was a purchasing agent for an electric company, and Emma Denham Babcock, a concert violinist and violin teacher. Virginia graduated from high school in Worcester and attended Mount Holyoke College from 1927-1931. She received her B.A. in 1931 with a major in zoology. From 1931-1933 she was a graduate student and graduate assistant in the Zoology Department at Mount Holyoke and received her M.A. in zoology in 1933. She also did graduate work at Sarah Lawrence College, Teacher's College of Columbia University and Harvard University. From 1933 until her retirement in 1973 she taught science, specializing in biology, at Bronxville Senior School in Bronxville, New York. She was eighty-seven when she died on August 22, 1997 in New York City.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 full Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



Babcock, Virginia Frances, 1909-1997; student and secondary school teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1931. Mount Holyoke College graduate student and graduate assistant, 1931-1933. Papers consist of a scrapbook, a photograph album, an account book, correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information, and photographs; principally documenting her years as an undergraduate and graduate student at Mount Holyoke.


Arranged in 7 series: Series 1. Scrapbook. Series 2. Photograph Album. Series 3. Account Book. Series 4. Correspondence. Series 5. Memorabilia. Series 6. Biographical Information. Series 7. Photographs.

Babcock papers, ca. 1890-1997 (bulk 1927-1952).
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