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Emerson papers

Identifier: MS 0534

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection is composed of Rev. Emerson’s published writings, including lecture notes as well as published pamphlets. The first box contains biographical material and correspondence, including a biography written by Ralph Emerson, his brother, which draws heavily from Rev. Emerson’s personal correspondence. The biographical material extends to cover Emerson’s second wife, Eleanor, and his daughter Nancy, whose correspondence with Mary Lyon is included in this collection. In addition, the second box contains four books that were published with Emerson’s edits and commentary in the 1820s and 1830s. The collection contains materials dating between 1803 and 1844.


  • Creation: 1803-1844

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Joseph Emerson was born on October 13, 1777. He graduated from Harvard University in 1798 and became a minister. In 1818, he founded the Byfield Female Seminary in Byfield, Massachusetts. Zilpah Grant taught at the seminary, and Mary Lyon attended as a student in 1821. Joseph Emerson died in 1833 in Wethersfield, Connecticut.


1 Linear Feet (2 full Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



Emerson, Joseph, 1777-1833; Clergyman. Founder of Byfield Seminary. Papers consist of correspondence, published works, and biographical material. Primarily containing letters to his friends and former pupils. Also contains letters by his daughter, Nancy Emerson.

Emerson papers, 1803-1844.
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
© 2003
Language of description
Script of description
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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