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Barbara J. White papers

Identifier: MS 0849

Scope and Contents

The Barbara J. White Papers consist of correspondence, course records, a scrapbook, teaching records, a published article, biographical information, and photographs. These documents chiefly date from her years as an undergraduate student, graduate student and instructor at Mount Holyoke College, 1935-1944. The correspondence forms the bulk of the collection and consists of letters to her parents and her brother, dating from February 26, 1935-March 22, 1949. Topics include descriptions of her involvement in the Glee Club and other choirs, Dance Club, the Mount Holyoke News and her social activities such as listening to the radio, visiting the theatre, and going to the movies and dances. Some of these activities reflect her relationship with her future husband, James P. White. She discusses her financial concerns and campus jobs such as table waiting and working in a laboratory. She describes her studies, especially her work in zoology with Ann Haven Morgan and Christianna Smith. She also mentions the controversy over Roswell Gray Ham's selection as President of Mount Holyoke after the retirement of Mary Emma Woolley, and the 1938 hurricane that struck New England. As a graduate student and assistant in the Mount Holyoke Zoology Department from 1939-1941, she describes laboratory work, classes, and teaching. She frequently mentions grading blue books and collecting animals for dissection. Course Records (1935-1941) include notes and essays from several undergraduate and graduate zoology courses. These records include a copy of White's Master's examination as well as notes by Ann H. Morgan concerning her Master's thesis. The scrapbook (1935-1941) includes sheet music, programs, clippings from the Mount Holyoke News, and other memorabilia from White's student years. Teaching Records (ca. 1939-1932) include a copy of descriptions of courses that she taught from the Mount Holyoke College Bulletin 1941-1942 as well as a teaching schedule. The article in this collection, written by White and Morgan, is entitled Seasonal conditions and effects of low temperature in the thyroid glands of amphibians and was published in 1942. Biographical Information consists of articles relating to White receiving her M.A. in 1941 and the Distinguished Teaching Award that she received in 1971 while teaching at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The photographs (1935-1944) include several pictures of Mount Holyoke College buildings and classmates. There are also photographs from a Zoology Department trip to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in October 1939.


  • Creation: 1935 - 2011
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1935 - 1971

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

Barbara Jeanne Johnson White, student and teacher, was born on August 24, 1918 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her parents were Paul Hendricks Johnson, a consulting engineer, and Fern Frances Chambers Johnson. She graduated in 1935 from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, then attended Mount Holyoke College from 1935-1939. After graduating in 1939 with a B.A. in zoology, she worked as a graduate student and assistant at Mount Holyoke, earning an M.A. in zoology in 1941. She served as a zoology instructor at Mount Holyoke from 1941-1944, then taught in the Zoology Department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts from 1961-1978. 1961. She married James P. White in 1942 and they had one child. She died in South Hadley, Massachusetts on January 5, 2011 at the age of ninety-two.


2.09 Linear Feet (5 full Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



White, Barbara Jeanne Johnson, 1918-; student and college teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1939 (M.A. 1941). Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1939-1944. Papers consist of correspondence, course records, a scrapbook, teaching records, a published article, biographical information, and photographs, primarily documenting her academic and social life as a Mount Holyoke College student and instructor.


This collection is organized into seven series:

  1. Correspondence 1935-1949
  2. Course Records 1935-1941
  3. Scrapbook 1935-1941
  4. Teaching Records 1939-1942
  5. Article 1942
  6. Biographical Information 1941-1971
  7. Photographs 1935-1944

Processing Information

Processed by Autumn S. Winslow, 2006

Barbara J. White Papers, 1935-1971.
Finding aid prepared by Autumn S. Winslow
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

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