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Beal papers

Identifier: MS 0630

Scope and Contents

The Helen Brugger Beal Papers contain correspondence, photographs, clippings, and Mount Holyoke memorabilia, including a herbia she made for Botany classes. Among the memorabilia are notes she received on Senior Mountain Day and programs of events such as Commencement and music recitals. The correspondence contains letters written to Beal by alumnae members of the secret society Psi Omega when Beal became a member. Beal was an antique collector of pieces of glass and silver, paintings, and furniture. Included in her papers is correspondence with various antique dealers, information on and clippings about her collections, and photographs. There is also information regarding a piece of furniture she donated to the college. Beal and her sister, Florence Brugger, traveled together to various destinations across the globe. As a result, there are many postcards related to their destinations, as well as a scrapbook collection of postcards she received while she was at Mount Holyoke. Also included in this collection is a scrapbook that contains programs, receipts, schedules, tickets, and notes from when she was a student at Oberlin and Mount Holyoke, and her diploma.


  • Creation: 1905-1984

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Helen Frances Brugger was born on April 15, 1890 in Columbus, Nebraska. She attended Oberlin College from 1908-1909. She graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1912 with a double major in English Literature and Botany. After graduating, she taught botany, zoology, hygiene, and violin at Brownell Hall in Omaha, Nebraska. On November 27, 1915 she married Daniel M. Beal. She was an avid collector of antiques and works of art and traveled extensively with her sister Florence Brugger in Europe, South America, the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, China, and elsewhere. She died on September 12, 1984 in the same house where she was born in Columbus, Nebraska.


3 boxes (1912 Brugger)

Language of Materials



Beal, Helen Brugger, 1890-1984; Secondary school teacher and art collector. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1912. Papers consist of correspondence, clippings and memorabilia including a herbarium made in botany class. Chiefly documents her experience at Mount Holyoke including her letters to alumnae members of the Psi Omega secret society and later, her letters to antique dealers. Researchers should note that the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections also has the papers of Beal's younger sister, Florence Brugger, who graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1922. This material contains items relating to Helen Brugger Beal, including joint letters that the sisters wrote concerning their world travels.


Arranged in seven series, Series 1. Correspondence, Series 2. Herbia, Series 3. Art and Antique Collecting Records, Series 4. Postcards, Series 5. Memorabilia, Series 6. Biographical Material, and Series 7. Photographs.

Beal Papers. 1905-1984.
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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