Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 16:01:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Peter Nelson <>
Subject: UPDATE on 5 College Archives Digital Access Project

I am pleased to report the completion of another archival collection on the project web site: Mount Holyoke annual catalogs for the years 1837-1900.  This collection comprises 64 printed issues or 1,890 total pages.  This collection is available for viewing and research at:

Most of the scanning and HTML markup were done by project assistants Lauren Cunniffe and Melissa Watterworth, who came on board in November. They have done excellent work, and we are two weeks ahead of schedule.  I enourage you to point your browser to this section of the web site and send me comments and suggestions.

19th century annual catalogs of the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (later College) include lists of faculty, trustees and students, and information about requirements for admission and promotion; curriculum and text books; travel and lodging arrangements; tuition and other costs; and domestic duties.  In my opinion, the catalogs make for interesting reading particularly in Mary Lyon's conception of the seminary "family" and her justifications for the domestic responsibilities of the young women making up that family.

Illustrations in the catalogs first appeared in 1863: several engravings (and later photographs) appeared in succeeding issues throughout the mid-1890s.  Issues increased in size from twelve pages in 1837 to 96 pages in 1900.

On a technical note, pages were scanned as bitonal TIFF images (to create the archival masters) and converted to bitonal GIF images for viewing on the web.  Most illustrations were captured as grayscale images and have
been rendered quite well.  Pages should be quite readable and yet still take very little time to download.  Please inform me if this is not the case!

The project staff has moved on to the next Mount Holyoke collection, the 19th century "Journal Letters."  Many of these are already completed.  See the web site for more details; as precursors to the today's college alumnae newsletters, they too can be fascinating even for casual reading.

Happy Holidays.

Peter Nelson 
Five College Archives Digital Access Project 
c/o Mount Holyoke College Archives 
(413) 538-3020