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Lydia W. Shattuck papers

Identifier: MS 0585

Scope and Contents

The Lydia White Shattuck Papers are chiefly comprised of letters (1841-1889) from botanists and other scientists, including Leartus Connor, Asa Gray, Willard B. Rising, Joseph T. Rothrock and Alphonso Wood. Other correspondence is with friends and former students. Shattuck's writings (1849-circa 1883) include a notebook and notes for chemistry courses that she taught at Mount Holyoke; a "List of apparatus desired for the Laboratory of Mt. Holyoke Seminary,"; lists of money collected from students and teachers to fund the installation of an elevator in the Seminary Building; and notes for her remarks at prayer meetings at the school. There are also copies of her poem "Chat in the Wash Room,", her notes on "Miss Lyon's Standard for Absences,", and other verses, notes, and memoranda. The herbarium (circa 1888) contains forty plant samples collected by Shattuck and nine specimens from the "Herbarium of the Mount Holyoke Seminary."Memorabilia (circa 1851-1889) includes a handmade valentine submitted with a contribution to the Seminary Building elevator fund and locks of her hair. Biographical material (circa 1874-1890) chiefly consists of letters and a published memorial documenting written after her death in 1889 which document her achievements. Photographs (circa 1851-1887)consist of several formal portraits of Shattuck and a photograph taken of her while visiting Mills College in California.

Material from this collection is available in an online digital format.


  • 1841-1974

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Lydia White Shattuck was born on June 10, 1822 in East Landoff, New Hampshire. She graduated from Mount Holyoke Seminary in 1851, and returned the next fall as a teacher of botany. She became a prominent botanist, known internationally. In 1869, she took a Mount Holyoke student to Europe where they studied botany, and in 1873, she worked with Professors Agassiz and Guyot in Penikese. She was dedicated to Mount Holyoke's achieving the status of a College, and was able to retire in 1889, shortly after this goal was achieved. Lydia Shattuck died on November 2, 1889 in South Hadley, Massachusetts.


2 boxes (Faculty/Staff)

Language of Materials



Shattuck, Lydia White, 1822-1889; Botanist and college teacher. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1851. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary teacher, 1851-1889. Papers contain letters from scientists and correspondence between her friends and former students, primarily documenting her professional life at Mount Holyoke.

Shattuck papers, 1841-1974.
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
© 2004
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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