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Carr papers

Identifier: MS 0517

Scope and Contents

The Emma Perry Carr Papers contain correspondence, published and unpublished writings, research materials, legal documents, Carr family papers, Mount Holyoke College Chemistry Department records, biographical information, and photographs. The papers chiefly contain Carr's correspondence with various colleagues and institutions ranging from 1918-1969. In these letters, Carr discusses her work on absorption spectra as well as teaching positions at Mount Holyoke and opportunities in the field of research. Of note within the correspondence is Carr's participation in the International Critical Tables of the International Research Council where she worked with Professor Victor Henri of the University of Zurich (several of Henri's letters are in French). An encoded Carr's writings consist of published and unpublished documents primarily regarding her work with various chemists on absorption spectra in addition to several articles written for the "Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly" on the topic of advancements of women in the sciences. To complement her writings, there are extensive research materials including graphs, calculations, plate slides, and lab reports on her specialty. The biographical information includes articles written about Carr and the opportunities for women in science following the turn of the century. Of particular importance are the articles describing her accomplishments in the field of chemistry and her acceptance of the Francis P. Garvan gold medal of the American Chemistry Society. Photographs show Carr in the laboratory and working with students.


  • Creation: ca. 1902-1986

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Emma Perry Carr was born on July 23, 1880 in Holmesville, Ohio, to Edmund and Anna Carr. She attended Ohio State University from 1898 until 1899, and then came to Mount Holyoke College. She attended Mount Holyoke from 1900 until 1902, and later received a B.S. and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1905 and 1910, respectively. She then began teaching chemistry at Mount Holyoke. She became Chair of the Chemistry Department in 1913. In 1937, Carr became the first woman to be awarded the Francis P. Garvan Gold Medal honoring women chemists. She retired in 1946 after publishing numerous articles in chemistry journals. In 1955, the Chemistry Building at Mount Holyoke College was dedicated to Emma P. Carr. She died on January 7, 1972 in Evanston, Illinois.


5.03 Linear Feet (8 full Hollinger, 5 half Hollinger, and 1 specialty boxes)

Language of Materials



Carr, Emma Perry, 1880-1972; Chemist and college teacher. Attended Mount Holyoke College, 1900-1902. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1905-1946. Papers contain correspondence, published and unpublished writings, chemistry research, legal documents, biographical information, Carr family papers, photographs, and Mount Holyoke Chemistry Department records; primarily documenting Carr's chemistry research and her achievements in science.


This collection is organized into seven series:

  1. Correspondence, 1918-1969
  2. Writings, 1909-1957
  3. Research Material, ca. 1909-1957
  4. Department Records, ca. 1920s-1946
  5. Legal Documents, 1926-1935
  6. Biographical Material, 1910-
  7. Photographs, ca. 1902-1960
Carr papers, ca. 1902-1986.
Edited Full Draft
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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