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Katharine Elizabeth (Betty) Taylor Wells papers

Identifier: MS 0598

Scope and Contents

Comprised of Correspondence, Writings, Photographs, Scrapbooks and Biographical Material. Correspondence (1933-1995, n.d.) consists of letters to her parents, written as a Mount Holyoke College student spending her junior year in France, and correspondence (1933-1995, n.d.) with Simone Calvet, a French penpal and later friend. Student letters describe her studies, social activities, and travels in France, Germany and Italy, while the bulk of her correspondence with Simone Calvet reflect each woman's intellectual, family and social life, and their thoughts on marriage, motherhood, world affairs, illness, aging and the nature of their friendship. The Writings series (ca. 1930s, n.d.) is comprised of illustrated short-stories, poems, a manuscript entitled, "First Fruits" and a manuscript entiteld, "What is the Subconscious?" and noted as a French thesis (ca. 1934); all authored by Wells. The Photographs (1935, n.d.) are primarily of snapshots removed from the correspondence from Simone Calvet, as well as a few photographs of Wells as a student at Mount Holyoke. Biographical Material (1934, 1954-55, 1959) consists of newspaper articles announcing Taylor's engagement, wedding and other activities as well as a photocopy of Taylor's diploma from the University of Paris. The Scrapbook Series consists of two scrapbooks, one dedicated to her years as a student at Mount Holyoke College (1931-1935) and consisting of correspondence, clippings, programs and photographs. The other scrapbook is dedicated specifically to Taylor's year studying abroad in France (1933-1934) and includes travel ticket stubs, photographs and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1931-1995, n.d.

Biographical Note

Katharine Elizabeth (Betty) Taylor Wells, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (1935) and a French teacher, was born on December 23, 1913 in Boston, Massachusetts to Earl and Helen Travis Taylor. She graduated from the Girls' Latin School in Boston in 1931, and from Mount Holyoke College in 1935. She spent her junior year abroad (the 1933-1934 academic year) studying in France. In June of 1935, she married Richard Dennison Wells, a graduate of the Harvard Engineering School. They lived in Lewiston, Maine and had one daughter, Katharine, who later attended Colby College. In 1963, Betty Taylor Wells began a program at Northeastern University for her master's degree in education, and started teaching French in high school the following year. She received her M.Ed. in 1966.


1 boxes (1935)

Language of Materials



Mount Holyoke College graduate (1935) and French high school teacher. Correspondence, writings, photographs, biographical material and scrapbooks documenting close friendship with Simone Calvet, a friend met in France her junior year abroad (1935.)


The correspondence is arranged chronologically. The writings, photographs, scrapbooks, and biographical materials are unarranged.

Katharine Elizabeth Taylor (Betty) Wells Papers, 1933-1995
Edited Full Draft
Finding aid prepared by Patricia Albright, revised by Jennifer Gunter King.
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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