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Speech Department records

 Series — Container: Spanish Department - Speech Department
Identifier: RG 18-39

Scope and Contents

The Mount Holyoke College Speech Department Records consist of newspaper clippings; memoranda; reports; student papers; programs; press releases; and photographs. Information about the remedial speech program at the College can be found in the records in addition to information about the role of the study of speech and World War II. A tentative program of courses, including a major program, can also be found in the records. The annual reports of the department to the President of the College are held in the records. The annual reports contain information pertaining to department events, curriculum changes, major students, honor work, speech correction, needs of the department, faculty activities, student work, the effects of World War II on the department and the study of speech, course content, personnel changes, and enrollment trends. Advertising materials found in the records are relate to department performances and lectures. Also contained in the records are photographs of student performances and radio broadcasts.


  • 1915-

Conditions Governing Access


Historical Note

Although elocution was emphasized in various courses since the founding of the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, it was not directly mentioned in the Seminary's catalogue until 1869. At this time, it was connected with courses in rhetoric. In 1888, at the time of transition from Seminary to College, courses in elocution were required for various courses of study. By 1893, elocution was required for all degrees. By 1895, however, elocution was no longer required, and was not required until 1908 when it appeared as a component of the first year English course. After ten years of being taught within the first year English course, an independent course in speech was established. By 1922, the College had established an entrance examination in speech. Students generally were required to take one course in speech but could be exempt if excellent speech was demonstrated on the entrance examination. If a speech deficiency was demonstrated, a student was required to do corrective work in speech without credit. By 1927, three more courses in speech had been added, including Forms, Public Speaking, and Dramatic Interpretation. In 1930, the number of courses offered increased to seven, and these courses were now given under the Department of English Literature. In the following year, the requirement in speech was abandoned. In 1932, the speech courses were transferred from the Department of English Literature to the Department of English. Within the next ten years, the course of study in speech expanded to include ten courses, including Remedial Speech, First Principles of Speech, Speech Improvement, American Pronunciation, Choral Speaking, Reading, Speaking, and Broadcasting, Public Speaking, Debating, Oral Interpretation, and Scientific Aspects of Speech Problems. In 1941, the Speech Department was established as an independent department. In the 1943/1944 academic year, students were given the option of choosing an interdepartmental major in Speech and Drama. In the 1950/1951 academic year, students could choose an interdepartmental major in Speech and Psychology called Scientific Aspects of Speech. In the 1964/1965 academic year, the major in Speech and Drama became Speech and Theater Arts, and in the following year, the Speech Department became a part of the Department of Theater Arts and Speech. Although courses in speech were still taught, the department became the Department of Theater Arts in the 1973/1974 academic year.


0.21 Linear Feet (5 folders)

Language of Materials



The Mount Holyoke College Speech Department Records consist of newspaper clippings; memoranda; reports; student papers; programs; press releases; and photographs.

Speech Department
Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by Archives and Special Collections Staff.
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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