Skip to main content

Janice Kidwell papers

Identifier: MS 0818

Scope and Contents

The Janice Kidwell Papers consist of correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information, photographs, and a photograph album. The collection primarily reflects her activities as a student at Mount Holyoke College from 1948-1952. In fourteen letters that she wrote to her parents during her senior year she discusses going on dates, attending dinners and dances, and other aspects of her social life; academic concerns; personal finances; various friendships; impending decisions about career choices; and family matters. Another letter from 1951 refers to her selection as House President for her dorm and includes a clipping about her from the "Mount Holyoke News." Most photographs in the collection (including many of those in the photograph album) also date from her College years: there are photographs of Kidwell on Mountain Day expeditions with classmates, snapshots of the Class of 1952 Junior Show and several photographs of campus buildings and scenes. Other photographs taken during a spring vacation trip to the Bermuda Islands in April 1951 show Kidwell and other passengers on a cruise ship and people and places on the islands; there is also a color postcard of a street scene in St. George's, Bermuda. In addition, the collection includes snapshots of the Class of 1952 at a reunion, possibly in 1987, and formal portraits of Kidwell taken while at College and in 1985. Memorabilia in the collection consists of a program for one-act plays performed by students in 1951 and a clipping concerning Kidwell's Bermuda vacation. Biographical information includes copies of several obituaries for her from 1991.


  • Creation: 1948-1991
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1948 - 1952

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Janice Mary Kidwell was born on September 18, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois to Thomas A. Kidwell, a wholesale florist, and Winifred Hemphill Kidwell. After graduating from South Shore High School in Chicago, she attended Mount Holyoke College from 1948-1952, majoring in economics and sociology with minors in art and the social sciences. Upon graduating she worked in sales at Bloomingdale's in New York City until the fall of 1953, after which she returned to Chicago. Early in 1954 she secured a position in advertising with the firm of J. Walter Thompson, working as a media planner/buyer until 1986, after which she was named Vice President of the firm. She served in that capacity until November 1988, when she assumed the vice presidency of Bayer Bess Vanderwalker. She died on March 28, 1991 in Chicago at the age of sixty.


2 boxes (Class of 1952)

Language of Materials



Kidwell, Janice Mary, 1930-1991; student. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1952. Papers consist of correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information, photographs, and a photograph album; primarily concerning her activities as a student at Mount Holyoke, 1948-1952, including a spring vacation to Bermuda in 1951.


Arranged in 5 series: Series 1. Correspondence. Series 2. Memorabilia. Series 3. Biographical Information. Series 4. Photographs. Series 5. Photograph Album.

Kidwell Papers, 1948-1991 (bulk 1948-1952).
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
© 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