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Hooker papers

Identifier: MS 0725

Scope and Contents

The Henrietta Edgecomb Hooker Papers consist of correspondence, writings, magazine and newspaper articles, and photographs. The materials document her experiences as a botany professor at Mount Holyoke College, her hobby of raising and showing Buff Orpington chickens, and her interests in botany. Included is information concerning a hiking tour of Western Massachusetts for Mount Holyoke College students which was led by Hooker. Of note are letters in which Hooker discusses the destruction of Mount Holyoke's Seminary Building by fire in 1896. There is also an article about the history of Mount Holyoke College and the school's need for funds in the aftermath of the fire. Also, in letters written to Mount Holyoke College president Mary Woolley, Hooker states her vision of the history and future of Mount Holyoke College Botany Department. Some letters and writings describe the lives and work of Mary Lyon, Mount Holyoke College president Elizabeth Storrs Mead, and botany professor Lydia W. Shattuck.


  • Creation: 1873-1942
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1884 - 1927

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Henrietta Edgecomb Hooker was born on December 12, 1851 in Gardiner, Maine to George Washington Hooker and Eliza Annis Ballentine Hooker. She entered Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1869 and graduated in 1873. Following her graduation, she worked at Mount Holyoke teaching algebra and botany. In 1888 she received her doctorate from the University of Syracuse. In 1889 she went to Berlin University to continue her studies. She returned to Mount Holyoke as a professor of botany and was department chair until her retirement in 1908. After retiring she raised Buff Orpington chickens, entering them in contests and donating the prize money to Mount Holyoke College. In 1922 the College awarded her an honorary Bachelor of Science degree. She died at age seventy-seven on May 13, 1929 in Holyoke, Massachusetts


1 boxes (Faculty/Staff)

Language of Materials



Hooker, Henrietta Edgecomb, 1851-1929; Botanist and college teacher. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1873. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1873-1908. Papers consist of correspondence, writings, magazine and newspaper articles, and photographs. Primarily documenting her work as a professor at Mount Holyoke College and her hobby raising Buff Orpington chickens.


Arranged in 5 series: Series 1. Correspondence. Series 2. Writings. Series 3. Chicken Information. Series 4. Biographical Information. Series 5. Photographs.

Hooker papers, 1873-1942 (bulk 1884-1927)
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