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Philosophy Department records

 Series — Box: 1, Folder: Philosophy Department
Identifier: RG 18-25

Scope and Contents

The Mount Holyoke College Philosophy Department Records contain articles; drafts; reports; examinations; syllabi; press releases; biographical sketches; flyers; and photographs. The records also contain a description of a phone call from Roger Holmes, a professor at Mount Holyoke, regarding cryptography courses taught at Mount Holyoke during and after World War II. An article pertaining to the study of philosophy and war written during World War II can also be found in the records in addition to an article about a major in philosophy in general. Drafts of curriculum reviews in the Department are included in the records. Course records include examinations, syllabi, and outlines from various courses. Flyers and press releases found in the records pertain to lectures given by the Department. A biographical sketch of Morton Gabriel White is also included in the records. The annual reports of the Philosophy Department to the President of the College are contained in the records. These reports date from 1939 and contain information regarding changes in personnel; department activities; needs of the department; the Philosophy Club; examinations; lectures series; functions of the Department; curriculum; College requirements; organization of the Department; course recommendations; and enrollment trends. The photographs contained in the records depict faculty and students in classroom scenes.


  • Creation: 1939-

Conditions Governing Access

Records restricted to use by office/department of origin for 25 years from date of record creation.

Historical Note

Philosophy has been taught at Mount Holyoke since the early days of the Seminary. A requirement for graduation, work in mental and moral science was given by the principal of the Seminary until 1882. In 1883, a permanent instructor in mental and moral science joined the faculty. Mental and moral science was listed as a course of study until the 1889/1890 academic year. Beginning in 1887/1888, Logic was listed as a course of study and was taught concurrent with mental and moral science. In the 1890/1891 academic year, however, Logic and Philosophy was the only course of study listed in this area. The following year, it was simply called Philosophy. In 1901, the Philosophy Department expanded to include two instructors and a new psychological laboratory. Another instructor and a laboratory assistant joined the department in 1904. At this time, the study of philosophy was divided into seven areas: the history of philosophy, logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, the philosophy of religion, and psychology. The development of a significant number of courses in psychology led to a renaming o the department to the Philosophy and Psychology Department in the 1904/1905 academic year. The aim of the department was to cultivate the habit of clear and independent thinking and to give the student an acquaintance with philosophical problems in order to enable her to understand better the aims of science, the spirit of literature and other forms of art, the meaning of larger social and political movements, and the significance of moral and religious life. After years of discussion about the separation of philosophy and psychology, the department divided in the 1939/1940 academic year to form the Philosophy Department and the Psychology Department.


0.46 Linear Feet (11 folders)

Language of Materials



The Mount Holyoke College Philosophy Department Records contain articles; drafts; reports; examinations; syllabi; press releases; biographical sketches; flyers; and photographs.

Philosophy 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