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Mary McLean Hardy papers

Identifier: MS 0755

Scope and Contents

The Mary McLean Hardy Papers contain notebooks, writings by her, an autograph album, a biographical note, and a photograph of her. Most of the collection consists of notebooks (1848-1905, n.d.) that reflect Hardy's studies at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, the University of Chicago and the University of California at Berkeley as well as her other interests. Notebooks from her years at Mount Holyoke (1850-1852) contain notes for her study of the Bible, botany, chemistry, and English composition, detailed descriptions of calisthenics that students were required to perform, lists of regulations at the school, notes on her readings, information relating to the Class of 1852, and original essays and poems (collectively known as Seminary Literature) written by students Two other notebooks concerning her study of Biblical history at the University of Chicago (1893-1894) and Chinese and Japanese history at the University of California at Berkeley (1898-1900). A "Worlds' Fair Note Book" from 1893 records her experiences and observations while visiting the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Additional notebooks concern books that Hardy read, lectures that she attended, sermons that she heard, her study of the German language, and the genealogy of the McLean family. Writings (1915-circa 1924) consist of an autobiographical account of her life (1915, with a 1921 addendum), a description of her visit to Mills College in 1917, and recollections (circa 1924) about her life as a student at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Her recollections include a description of her journey to the school from her home in Connecticut and information about her domestic work, the Seminary Building, the furnishings of her room, teachers, religious life at the school, and the 1852 commencement ceremony. She also discusses the genealogies of the Gregory and Talcott families. Hardy's autograph album (circa 1852-1863) chiefly contains verses and signatures by her friends, including many Mount Holyoke classmates. Rounding out the collection is a leaflet (circa 1863) describing the Young Ladies' Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with Hardly listed as an Associate Teacher, a biographical note her (circa 1911) and a photograph of her taken in 1869.

Material from this collection is available in an online digital format.


  • Creation: 1848 - 1924

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Mary McLean Hardy was born in Vernon Center, Connecticut on January 27, 1831 to Francis McLean, a businessman and Sarah Berry Childs McLean. She attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary from 1850-1852 then taught Latin and mathematics in Easton, Pennsylvania. Two years later, she went to Danville, Kentucky and taught at private academy. Soon after she returned to Vernon, Connecticut where she cared for father and gave music, drawing and English lessons to private pupils. From 1861-1862 she was an assistant at the English Classical Institute in Springfield, Massachusetts. She then moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to become an associate teacher at the Young Ladies' Institute. From 1864-1866 she was Head of the Latin Department at the Western Female Seminary in Oxford, Ohio and she spent 1866-1868 as the principal of the Young Ladies Female Seminary in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1869, she married Jacob Hardy, a judge and in 1870 they had a daughter. Hardy later studied French, German, English and Chinese and Japanese history at the University of California at Berkeley (1890-1893, 1898-1900) and Old Testament history the University of Chicago (1893-1894). She was also actively involved in temperance and suffrage work. She died at the age of ninety-six on November 22, 1927 in Berkeley, California.


2 boxes (1852 McLean)

Language of Materials



Hardy, Mary McLean, 1831-1927; Student and teacher. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1852. Papers contain notebooks, writings, an autograph album, biographical information and a photograph. Primarily document her studies at Mount Holyoke (1850-1852), the University of Chicago (1893-1894) and the University of California (1898-1900), her experiences at the World's Columbian Exposition (1893), and her research into the genealogies of the Gregory, McLean and Talcott families.

Processing Information

Processed by Patricia J. Albright, 2007

Mary McLean Hardy Papers, 1848-ca.1924
Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by Patricia J. Albright.
© 2007
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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