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Soule papers

Identifier: MS 0728

Scope and Contents

The Annah May Soule Papers span Soule's career as a Mount Holyoke College professor ca. 1896-1907 in what was successively called the departments of Constitutional History and Political Economy, Political Economy, History and Political Economy, and History and consist of Mount Holyoke student papers, writing and research notes, correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information, and photographs. The Student Papers series, ca. 1897-1904, constitutes the bulk of the collection and includes papers written by Soule's students in courses titled "Political Institutions," "American Colonial History," and "History of Industrial Society." Subjects of these papers include the history of New England, particularly Massachusetts, as well as social and political issues. For instance, one paper from 1904 is titled "What the Founding of Mount Holyoke Seminary did for the Cause of Woman's Higher Education: A Comparative Study of the Highest Girls' Schools Existing in 1837 and Mount Holyoke Seminary." Other papers address topics such as "A History of the Town Meeting of South Hadley, Mass" (1899); "Steps Leading to the Establishment of the Bureau of Education" (1902); "Growth of Party Management in the United States" (1902); and "The Relation of Slavery to Party Platforms" (1904). The Writings and Research Notes series dates from 1900-1904 and includes a 1900 article about Mount Holyoke's Constitutional History and Political Economy Department, an article published in "New England History Teachers' Association Report" in 1901 on how to incorporate new history requirements into a curriculum, replies to a 1903 questionnaire created by Soule regarding a physical education requirement for college entrance and graduation; a 1903 lecture entitled "Relation of the School and College to Public Health;" and a 1904 paper entitled "The Likeness of Mary Lyon to Emerson." The Correspondence Series dates ca. 1897-1904 and includes two 1900 letters from Susan B. Anthony. The first letter from Anthony requests information about Zilpah P. Grant Banister and Ipswich Female Seminary, where Mary Lyon was a teacher, and the second recommends that Soule teach Anthony's books "Life and Work of Susan B Anthony," and "The History of Woman Suffrage" in her courses. The correspondence also includes a photocopy of an 1897 letter from Woodrow Wilson regarding a possible visit to Mount Holyoke College and a photocopy of a 1904 letter from W.E.B. DuBois responding to Soule's praise of his work. Other correspondence is from the principals of area high schools responding to inquiries by Soule their methods of teaching history. The Memorabilia Series includes a manuscript newsletter titled "The Safford Hall Chronicle, edited by the Soule-Table-Association" written by Mount Holyoke students living in Safford Hall dormitory and containing notes about the activities of students and affectionate comments regarding Soule. Another document, called the "Safford Hall Family Chart of Farewell" contains humorous greetings addressed to Soule. Both documents date from the spring of 1902. Memorabilia also contains a letter written after Soule's death by her mother to "Mrs. Lane" (possibly Clara E. Lane, the Superintendent of Domestic Department at Mount Holyoke from 1887-1891) commenting on the College's domestic work system. The Biographical Information series dates from 1905 and consists of Soule's obituary and a program from her memorial service at Mount Holyoke. The Photographs series contains portraits of Soule ca. 1896-1905.


  • Creation: 1896-1907

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Biographical Note

Annah May Soule was born in 1861 (some sources say 1859) in Port Huron, Michigan. Her father served in the Civil War and was later appointed Treasurer at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Soule attended public school in Jackson, Michigan, then spent a year in a convent school in Canada. She studied history and political science at the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, Michigan for three years, followed by two years studying history and constitutional law at the University of Michigan. She left the University to teach at normal schools in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Soule later returned to the University of Michigan and earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees. In the fall of 1896 Soule came to Mount Holyoke College, to teach in the History and Political Economy Department, where she developed new and innovative courses concerning social issues. One course, called "Elements of Political Economy", required students to visit a factory or other industrial institution and make a formal report about it. Soule was an active member of the American Historical Society, the Michigan Historical Association, the New England Association of Teachers of History, the New England Educational League, and the Association of Intercollegiate Alumnae. Soule died on March 17, 1905 in Marion, Ohio while on leave from Mount Holyoke College.


3 boxes (Faculty/Staff)

Language of Materials



Soule, Annah May, 1861-1905; college teacher/historian. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1896-1905. Papers contain student papers, writing and research notes, correspondence, memorabilia, bibliographical information, and photographs. Primarily documenting her teaching career at Mount Holyoke and her concern with political economy. Also includes two letters from Susan B. Anthony.


Arranged in 6 series: Series 1. Student Papers. Series 2. Writing and Research Notes. Series 3. Correspondence. Series 4. Memorabilia. Series 5. Bibliographical Information. Series 6. Photographs.

Soule Papers, 1896-1907.
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Edited Full Draft
© 2003
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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