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Gertrude L. Didcoct papers

Identifier: MS 0837

Scope and Contents

The Gertrude L. Didcoct Papers contain correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information and photographs. Most of the collection consists of letters that she wrote twice each week to her brother and mother while she was a student at Mount Holyoke College, 1901-1905. She discusses dormitory life, her friends, classes and professors, and College president Mary Emma Woolley. She frequently mentions difficulties with her studies. She also discusses Sunday services; visiting lecturers; parties and preparing food with a chafing dish; College regulations; clothing and shopping; visits to nearby towns in Massachusetts as well as Boston and New York City; minstrel shows with students in black face; her expenses; sports books that she is reading; her domestic work; and College traditions such as Junior Lunch, Junior Prom, Mountain Day and Faculty Show. The collection contains several letters to Didcoct as well, dating from 1890-1900 and written by relatives and friends. Three of these letters are from a cousin who describes his activities while training in Georgia with members of Company C of the Illinois Volunteer Calvary in the summer of 1898 during the Spanish-American War. Memorabilia consists of invitations, programs, brochures, announcements and a class of 1905 letter, 1895-1905, n.d. Biographical information consists of two biographical notes concerning Didcoct, ca.1911 and ca.1927, an obituary for her husband, 1927, and her obituary, 1979. Photographs date from ca.1901-1905 and include one of a dormitory room interior at Mount Holyoke and two of students at parties.


  • 1890-1979
  • Majority of material found within 1901 - 1905

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Gertrude Ruth Lukins Didcoct, a teacher, librarian and Mount Holyoke College graduate, was born on April 2, 1882 in Streator, Illinois to William Lukins and Dora Ramsey Lukins. She attended Streator Township High School, then went to Mount Holyoke College from 1901-1906, graduating with a B.A. in biology and mathematics (she remained affiliated with the Class of 1905). She married John Joseph Didcoct, a professor of secondary education at George Peabody College for Teachers, on August 22, 1911 and had two children. She was a high school teacher of mathematics at Streator Township High School from 1906-1911 and a librarian at George Peabody College from 1929 until about 1944. She died in Washington, D.C. on April 9, 1979 at the age of ninety-seven.


1.67 Linear Feet (4 full Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



Didcoct, Gertrude Ruth Lukins, 1882-1979; secondary school teacher and librarian. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1906 (affiliated with the Class of 1905). Papers contain correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information and photographs. Primarily concerning her social life as a student at Mount Holyoke College from 1901-1905. Also include three letters from a cousin training with the United States Army in 1898 during the Spanish-American War


This collection is organized into four series:

  1. Correspondence (1890-1905, n.d.)
  2. Memorabilia (1895-1905, n.d.)
  3. Biographical Information (ca.1911, 1927, 1979)
  4. Photographs (ca.1901-1905)


The correspondence, memorabilia, biographical information and photographs are arranged chronologically.

Processing Information

Processed by Danielle M. Ryan, 2005.

Gertrude L. Didcoct Papers, 1890-1979, n.d.
Finding aid prepared by Danielle M. Ryan.
Language of description
Script of description
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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