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Catalogs, registers, and directories

 Record Group
Identifier: RG 10

Scope and Contents

Catalogs, Registers and Directories date from 1837 to the present. These materials are arranged in 10 series: Annual Catalogs, Courses of Instruction Booklets, Handbooks for Advisers, Handbooks for New Students, Summer Session Catalogs, Course Evaluations, Class Schedules, Calendars, Registers of Teachers and Students, and Directories.

Annual catalogues published from the academic years 1837/1838-2010/2011 are the primary source of information about Mount Holyoke's requirements and academic program. These volumes document the steady expansion of the curriculum through the addition of new courses and programs, the emergence of opportunities for majoring or completing honors work in particular disciplines, and the option for graduate study. Catalogues have also included a statement of the College's mission; details about the campus, buildings, and the history of the school; information about tuition, fees, financial aid, and on-campus employment; enrollment statistics; details about residential life; and the calendar for each year. In addition, catalogues often list the names and terms of service of members of the Board of Trustees; the names and academic background of Mount Holyoke faculty and administrators; the names and home towns of students; and the names of Alumnae Association officers and Alumnae Club presidents. Catalogues for 1965/1966-1989/1990 are illustrated with photographs of students, faculty, and views of the campus. Supplements containing updates and corrections to the annual catalogue are available for 1888/1889, 1896/1897, circa 1900/1901, 1977-1981, 1985-1986, 1989-1992. The earliest supplement describes the new College Department developed when Mount Holyoke became a degree-granting institution in 1888. Since 2006, Mount Holyoke has prepared an online version of the annual catalogue. Catalogues for 1837/1838-1900/1901 are also available online.

Courses of Instruction booklets (1908-1934, 1940-1942, 1959-1964) provide additional information about the curriculum. Those issued through 1918 contain descriptions of and requirements for courses offered by the College. Beginning in the 1918/1919 academic year, the booklets include information about requirements for degrees, major and minor work, the required course for freshmen, and elective courses. Subsequent editions discuss opportunities for summer study, study abroad, and honors work, interdepartmental majors, the grading system, and requirements for a Master's degree. Those for 1923-1934 and 1940-1942 also include an overview of Mount Holyoke's curriculum.

Handbooks for Advisers (1994, 1997-2001, 2004) contain guidelines for faculty members and administrators responsible for advising students about their academic programs. Topics discussed in these handbooks include orientation events for new student and requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree. There are also sections discussing issues particular to serving as an adviser of first-year students, African American, Latina, Asian American, and Native American students, international students, transfer students, students enrolled in the Frances Perkins Program for women of non-traditional age, and students with physical disabilities.

Handbooks for New Students (1930, 1933-1936, 1940, 1947, 1955, 1959-1975, 1977-2003) were primarily intended to help students select and register for courses during their first semester at Mount Holyoke. The bulk of these publications consists of descriptions of degree requirements, courses of study, registration procedures, and orientation programs. The handbooks also contain information about options for tutoring and summer study, questionnaires for students' placement in language and mathematics courses, details about tuition and fees for each academic year, and lists of clothing and equipment needed for required physical education classes. Handbooks for 1930, 1933-1936, and 1940 include forms for collecting information about courses in hygiene, physiology, biology, home nursing, first aid, or home economics that new students may have taken prior to coming to Mount Holyoke; this data was used to assign students to proper sections in the required Hygiene course. Handbooks for 1955, 1959, and 1960 include information about permissions and tests for horseback riding, flying airplanes, canoeing, sailing, swimming. Aspects of residential life are also discussed in the handbooks, including, transportation to and from Mount Holyoke, room arrangements, room furnishings, and religious services and requirements.

In 1942-1944, Mount Holyoke offered students the option of pursuing a course of summer study at the College. The intent of the program was to support the national World War II effort by enabling students to accelerate their course of study (thereby graduating in less than the usual four years) and provide them with the option to complete courses emphasized by government and industry as directly preparatory to war work. These catalogues describe admission requirements, courses of instruction, registration procedures, expenses, and living arrangements for each year. They also include calendars for the program, lists of members of the Board of Trustees, and lists of administrators and teachers supporting the summer sessions.

Course evaluations by students were collected for the academic years 1970/1971-1972/1973 in a publication called Mount Holyoke Prerogative. These volumes were compiled by members of the Committee for Action on Academic Issues, a unit of the Mount Holyoke College Student Government Association. The Committee prepared, distributed, collected, and summarized data recorded on questionnaires completed by students in an effort to document their reactions to their academic environment. Topics discussed in the evaluations include the number of examinations and papers required in each course and the teaching styles of different faculty members.

Class Schedules (1893, 1895-1980, 1983-1995) list the meeting dates, time and location of classes and (from 1905-1995) the last name of the instructor of each course. These schedules document the expansion of the curriculum, shifts in the days on which classes have been held, and the addition of new academic facilities to the campus. There is also a schedule of mid-year examinations held from January 24-February 2, 1934. No schedules are on file for: fall 1892, 1893/1894, 1894/1895, spring 1896, spring 1899, spring 1903, fall 1905, spring 1942, 1943/1944, fall 1945, fall 1949, spring 1952, spring 1953, fall 1965, spring 1967, spring 1980, spring 1981, 1982/1983, fall 1984, spring 1989, spring 1991, spring 1995, and spring 1996.

Mount Holyoke began publishing a weekly summary of events and activities at the College in November, 1905. Through the fall 1982, this publication listed the days and times of a wide range of events, including sermons, concerts and lectures (with names of speakers or performers), meetings of faculty, administrators, and students, athletic competitions, celebrations such as Founder's Day and May Day, conferences, films, art exhibitions, and dances. The first and last day of each semester, schedules of examinations, and hours of offices and departments were also included. In January, 1983 this publication began to include somewhat more detailed descriptions of many events as well as information about recruiters visiting the campus to interview students for internships and post-graduation jobs. Members of many student organizations also began submitting descriptions of their activities. In the fall of 1984, the College began publishing Dateline: Mount Holyoke. In addition to information contained in its predecessors, the new publication featured articles (often illustrated with photographs) about events, speakers, renovations to the campus, recently hired faculty and staff, honors awarded to students, faculty, and administrators, and many other subjects. Dateline was replaced by the College Street Journal in the fall of 1987. The new publication further expanded articles about events and members of the Mount Holyoke community. In August, 2005 Mount Holyoke began publishing online news pages which superseded the College Street Journal. A bi-weekly publication called MHC Happenings which contained calendar listings and official College notices continued to be issued through the end of the 2005/2006 academic year.

Published registers of Teachers and Pupils of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary were issued covering the years 1837-1867. They were prepared for the school's Memorandum Society, which was established in 1837 to obtain and perpetuate facts relative to the members of the Institution and their future history, and also to increase the facilities for improvement of its members while connected with the Seminary. Registers were issued in 1845, 1847, 1857, and 1867, ultimately including members of the classes of 1837-1867. Each one lists the names of teachers and the names and place of residence of each student( by class year). The total number of students in each class is also recorded. From 1886-1902, the Memorandum Society compiled an unpublished register of teachers and students. This volume lists the names of teachers, resident graduates, and students. Entries for each student include the length of time she remained at the school, her birth place and date, the names of her parents, her class, how many years she taught before coming to Mount Holyoke (if any), and the date of her public profession of religion. In 1898, information about each student's religion began to include an indication of the denomination to which she belonged. The designation for each person's class initially indicated whether she was a member of the Senior, Senior Middle, Junior Middle, or Junior Class. Entries in this category for 1888-1900 show Mount Holyoke's transition to a degree-granting institution by indicating whether each student was pursuing a Classical, Literary, Scientific, or Seminary course of study. In 1900, this information was replaced by an indication of a student's major field of study.

Mount Holyoke administrators prepared unpublished directories of where students lived in the Seminary Building in 1892 and at the start of the 1896 school year. After the building was destroyed by fire at the end of September, 1896 three more unpublished directories were compiled. Those for October, 1896 and the 1896/1897 academic year indicate whether displaced students lived in other buildings on campus, a hotel in South Hadley Center, or with residents of South Hadley and nearby towns. The 1896/1897 directory also includes two lists of furniture and bedding given to students, to be returned to the College on demand. An unpublished directory for 1902/1903 lists the place where each student lived on campus, most often in one of seven new dormitories. In 1903, the College began publishing annual directories listing this information as well as the on-campus (and sometimes home) addresses of faculty and staff. These volumes began listing the home towns of each student in 1907. Telephone numbers for faculty and staff were first listed in 1937 (along with instructions about how to use the College's telephone system), while contact information for offices, buildings, departments, and representatives of student organizations first appears in the 1938 edition. Subsequent directories include the names of juniors studying abroad, members of the Board of Trustees, heads of faculty organizations, department chairs, members of standing committees of the faculty, class officers, and officers of student organizations. Telephone numbers for students were added in 1970 and email addresses for faculty, staff, and students in 2000. Limited quantities of the directory for the 2009/2010 academic year were published, after which the directory became an electronic publication.

Other directories were published by the Mount Holyoke College Debating Society from 1917-1928, 1929-1935. These volumes initially listed names, addresses, and home towns of students and names and addresses of faculty and staff. In 1922, the directories began listing officers of student organizations and class officers.


  • Creation: 1837-2011

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use


Historical Note

The first official publication of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary was a catalogue issued in 1837 containing information about trustees, teachers, terms of admission, the course of study, the schedule for the year, "Family Accommodations", and the "Moral and Religious Influence" at the school. Subsequent catalogues (with periodic updates) trace the growth of the institution and provide detailed information about the academic program and residential life for students at the College. These publications have been supplemented by courses of instruction booklets,, catalogues for summer sessions held during World War II, course evaluations, and handbooks providing guidance for new students as well as teachers and administrators serving as academic advisers. Class schedules were first issued in 1893 showing meeting times and locations and instructors of individual courses. Beginning in 1845, Mount Holyoke administrators compiled registers and directories listing names and addresses of teachers and students. Weekly calendars first issued in November 1905 initially listed events at the College. In 1983, these lists began including more detailed information about lectures, special programs, renovations to buildings, and other subjects of interest to members of the Mount Holyoke community.


37.285 Linear Feet (3 boxes, 3 folders, 280 volumes, electronic records)

Language of Materials



Mount Holyoke College Catalogs, Registers, and Directories are comprised of annual and supplementary catalogues, courses of instruction booklets, handbooks for advisers and new students, summer session catalogues, course evaluations, class schedules, calendars, registers of teachers and students, and directories. These materials describe academic requirements and the curriculum, document events at the school, and provide information about students, faculty, and administrators.


This collection is organized into ten series:

  1. Annual Catalogues (1837-2010)
  2. Courses of Instruction Booklets (1908-1934, 1940-1942, 1959-1964
  3. Handbooks for Advisers (1994, 1997-2001, 2004)
  4. Handbooks for New Students (1930, 1933-1936, 1940, 1947, 1955, 1959-1975, 1977-2003)
  5. Summer Session Catalogues (1942-1944)
  6. Course Evaluations (1970-1973)
  7. Class Schedules (1893, 1895-1980, 1983-1995)
  8. Calendars (1905-2006)
  9. Registers of Teachers and Students (1845, 1847,1857, 1867)
  10. Directories (1892, 1896-1897, 1902-2009)

Processing Information

Processed by Patricia J. Albright, 2011

Catalogs, Registers, and Directories, 1837-2010
Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by Patricia J. Albright.
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