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Byfield Seminary collection

Identifier: MS 0516

Scope and Contents

The Byfield Seminary Collection consists of catalogues, a newspaper article detailing the history of the school, and a photograph. The materials briefly document the founding of the institution and its evolution from a seminary into a private residence. They also emphasize the influence of the school's principal, Joseph Emerson, and his educational principles on Mary Lyon, who attended Byfield in 1821. The catalogues dated 1818-1822 and 1821 list the names of students and their residences. Also included in the collection are a newspaper article dated 1966 and a magnet listing the activities celebrating the tercentenary of Byfield Church in 2002. The photograph is a picture of the Byfield Building dated circa 1900.


  • 1818-1966 , bulk 1818-1822
  • Majority of material found within 1818 - 1822

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Byfield Female Seminary opened in 1806 in Byfield Massachusetts. The Reverend Joseph Emerson, a Congregational pastor and teacher, was Principal of the Seminary from 1818-1821, when he moved the school to Saugus, Massachusetts. Pupils at Byfield Female Seminary included Mary Lyon, the founder of Mount Holyoke College, and Zilpah P. Grant Banister.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



Byfield Female Seminary. Founded in Byfield, Massachusetts in 1806; moved to Saugus, Massachusetts in 1822 while Rev. Joseph Emerson was the principal. Collection contains catalogs of students, historical information, and a photograph of the school; materials date primarily from 1824 to 1827.

Byfield Seminary Collection, 1818-[present] (bulk 1818-1822)
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