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Thyra Jane Foster papers

Identifier: MS 0836

Scope and Contents

The Thyra Jane Foster Papers are comprised of course records, a scrapbook, writings by Foster, correspondence, memorabilia and photographs. Most of the material in the collection relates to her years as a Mount Holyoke College student, 1917-1921. Course records consist of a notebook, examinations, and papers for a zoology course on chick embryology and compositions written for her freshman English course. Her scrapbook contains photographs of Mount Holyoke students, faculty and buildings as well as programs to several college events such as Faculty Show, Junior Show and Debating Society events. Writings by Foster consist of copies of three of her publications: Rhode Island Quakers in the American Revolution 1775-1790 (1976), A Tribute to Elizabeth Foster, Member of an Uncommon Family (ca.1980), and Growing Up in a Friends Family in Iowa 1902-1907 and Growing Up in a Friends Family on an Ohio Farm 1907-1915 (1983). Correspondence includes letters from Mount Holyoke administrators concerning her scholarships and remunerative work and letters from friends, 1918-1983, as well as Christmas cards and notes from Marion Kendall Parsons, ca.1940-1967, a member of the Mount Holyoke College Class of 1923. Most of these cards are illustrated with photographs of Parsons' children. Memorabilia includes notes and greeting cards from friends and copies of College songs. Biographical information consists of newspaper articles about Foster and a copy of her obituary, 1968-1984. Photographs in the collection include one of Foster taken at a Mount Holyoke reunion in about 1971, slides taken at reunions, 1958-1981, and photographs of several Mount Holyoke classmates.


  • Creation: 1917-1984

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Use of the collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.).

Biographical Note

Thyra Jane Meyers Foster, a secondary school teacher, author, archivist and Mount Holyoke College graduate, was born on March 12, 1898 in West Branch, Iowa to Joseph E. Meyers, a dairy farmer, and Mary Meyers. She attended Westtown Preparatory School in Westtown, Pennsylvania and went to Mount Holyoke College from 1917-1921, graduating with a B.A. in chemistry and minors in zoology and physiology. She married Henry C. Foster, a farmer, on September 5, 1924 and had three children. She taught high school chemistry, physics and Latin for seventeen years. She worked at the Barnesville Friends Boarding School in Barnesville, Iowa from 1921-1924 and at Coventry High School in Coventry Rhode Island from about 1945-1960. She subsequently founded the New England Friends Archives (housed at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library) and worked there from 1960-1980. She was very active in the Quaker religion and held numerous state and local offices in the American Friends Association. She died in Warwick, Rhode Island on June 29, 1984 at the age of eighty-six.


1 boxes (1921 Meyers)

Language of Materials



Foster, Thyra Jane Meyers, 1898-1984; secondary school teacher, author, and archivist. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1921. Papers contain course records, a scrapbook, writings by Foster, correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information, and photographs. Primarily concern her friends and social activities as a Mount Holyoke student and alumna as well as her childhood, family members, and Quaker history. Include Christmas cards, notes, and photographs from Marion Kendall Parsons, Mount Holyoke College Class of 1923.


Materials are chronologically arranged within each series.

Processing Information

These papers were processed by Danielle M. Ryan, 2005.

Thyra Jane Foster Papers, 1917-1984
Finding aid prepared by Danielle M. Ryan.
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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