Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections
Extant official records of M. Carey Thomass administration as president of Bryn Mawr College are microfilmed on Reels 89-209. Series II is divided into four subseries as follows:
Presidential Letterpress Copybooks (Reels 89-147)
Correspondence in Thomass presidential letterpress copybooks begins with letters dated December 1897 and concludes with her relinquishment of the office in September 1922. The run of college-year letterbooks (Reels 89-114) is followed by two reels consisting of scrapbooks of official correspondence produced by Thomas while on vacation and of copybooks of her handwritten letters.
Each letterbook is preceded by an index of its contents, which has been incorporated into the index published in the Guide. Unfortunately, time did not permit checking these indexes to assure their accuracy.
The quality of the letterpress (later carbon) copies varies greatly from volume to volume and even from page to page. Conditions affecting legibility, such as blurred or exceptionally faint originals, have been noted on target cards. However such problems as foxing and water damage have not been targetted. As a matter of policy, information appearing on the original (for example, "better copy follows") has not been repeated on target cards whenever the existing note is considered to be fully self-explanatory and adequate. Slight variations in the chronological sequence of the letters, which occur fairly frequently, have not been targetted. Causal inserts discovered in the letterbooks were microfilmed where they were found.
Reel 89: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 13. December 23, 1897 - May 12, 1898
Extant school-term letterbooks of M. Carey Thomas as president of Bryn Mawr College begin with volume number thirteen. There is no clue in existing records as to the exact nature of the twelve missing letterbooks. Certainly some of them must have contained Thomas's earlier presidential correspondence beginning in the fall of 1894 when she assumed office. It is most probable that the series began with James C. Rhoads' presidential records, although it is also possible that it was comprised of Thomas's correspondence from her term as dean of the college.
With the first letter dated December 12, 1897, the volume encompasses slightly less than six months' correspondence. Thomas's letters are addressed to, among others, trustees, parents of BMC students, administrators of girls' preparatory schools, Bryn Mawr faculty members, the architectural firm of Cope & Stewardson (then engaged in the planning and construction of Pembroke dormitories), and members and officers of the Naples Table Association. This Association, created by several Eastern women's colleges, supported a research institute for women scholars at the Naples Zoological Station and was instrumental in developing and important group of women scientists through its other programs.
Among the topics covered in the letterbook are faculty salaries, the organization and staffing of various academic departments, the search for a gymnasium director, the college budget, establishment of a program of BMC scholarships for Philadelphia public school graduates, the possible purchase by the college of the Bryn Mawr Hotel as an investment, efforts by the college and community to prevent a local tea house, the Red Rose Inn, from acquiring a liquor license, and the finances and policies of the Japanese Scholarship Committee, which supported Japanese students at BMC, and the Association for Maintaining the American Women's Table at the Zoological Station at Naples (usually shortened to the Naples Table Association).
Reel 90: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 14. May 12, 1898 - September 5, 1898
M. Carey Thomas's presidential correspondence in Letterbook no. 14 concerns the summer business of the college. There are letters to trustees, particularly Henry Tatnall, David Scull, and Howard Comfort; letters to faculty members about curriculum changes and their courses; and letters about appropriations for library acquisitions. There is correspondence with Cope and Stewardson about plans for an apartment house for unmarried members of the faculty, an idea which was first broached by Thomas in a letter of May 13 to John G. Johnson, the college's legal counsel. On August 13, Thomas wrote to Ume Tsuda, a Japanese alumna, regarding Japanese students at Bryn Mawr.
Reel 91: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 15. September 5, 1898 - December 14, 1898
Thomas's letters during the fall of 1898 are characterized by frequent references to her concern about budgetary and financial matters. Accounts of various college funds, as well as letters to trustees and faculty members regarding the extremely tight budget under which the college was operating are present. In addition the varied problems and duties the president handled are reflected in her correspondence. A letter of October 11 related an unpleasant situation which developed as result of the anti-Semitism of a student who had been assigned to room with a Jewish girl. On November 19, Thomas wrote to the college physician expressing her displeasure in learning that a reporter from the New York Times had copied records of student measurements, including height, weight, and other statistics which were kept on file. The opening of Low Buildings (an apartment house for unmarried women faculty), entrance examinations (discussed in letters to faculty and parents), and concern for preventing students from being over-worked were other topics of correspondence.
Reel 92: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 16. December 15, 1898 - April 6, 1899
Along with routine correspondence about the day-today administration of the college, there are a number of letters on Reel 92 which manifest Thomas's activities and attitudes in respect to the broader concerns of women's education and educated women. In a letter of January 6 to Lucy Davis, Thomas declined to support a plan to raise money for a National University because, among other reasons, she was convinced that women would not be admitted to such an institution on equal grounds with men. Thomas wrote several letters to Kate Holladay Claghorn and Alice Upton Pearmain about the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (A.C.A.) affairs, including her own undertaking of the preparation of a statistical study intended to show that the health of college educated women was equal or superior to that of non-college women. On March 24, she promised Nicholas Murray Butler to write a monograph on women's education for a multi-volume study of education in America under his editorship. Thomas summarized what she believed to be the attitude of BMC faculty toward teaching women in a letter of March 17 to Elmer P. Kohler.
Reel 93: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 17. April 6, 1899 - October 26, 1899
Routine correspondence in Letterbook no. 17 includes letters pertaining to the following: announcements of re-appointments of faculty and staff for the following year, scholarships available at Bryn Mawr College, discussion of Naples Table affairs, recommendations and evaluation of students and alumnae for employment, mostly as teachers. The letters of evaluation and recommendation which Thomas wrote were carefully done, containing specific relevant information about the academic record and character of the applicant. In an interesting letter of May 4, Thomas sent Caroline Bullock her assessment of the potential of women as college professors.
Reel 94: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 18. October 26, 1899 - January 26, 1900
Letters reflecting M. Carey Thomas's interest in the national and international opportunities for, and attitudes toward, the higher education and employment of women highlight correspondence on Reel 94. There are letters to the presidents of other colleges and universities soliciting information and statistical data for her monograph on the higher education of women, correspondence regarding the Naples Table, and letters concerning plans for an exhibit on women's education at the Paris Exposition of 1900. In a letter to Mary A. Jordan written on November 4, Thomas urged that the Association of Collegiate Alumnae should continue to emphasize the health of college women, stating that charges of the debilitating effect of higher education on women were by no means dead. Concerning conditions and opportunities of employment, Thomas wrote to Jacob J. Seeds that women and men on the BMC faculty were paid equally for equal work. In her letter of December 19 to James Wood, she thanked him for an announcement of an opening at the New York State Reformatory for Women, expressing the hope that college women would begin to enter other professions than teaching.
Reel 95: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 19. January 26, 1900 - May 9, 1900
Among President Thomas's routine administrative correspondence on Reel 95 are frequent letters to the trustees regarding faculty recruitment and salaries, college financial accounts, and building construction and upkeep. In addition, there are letters to Nicholas Murray Butler and others about the publication of Thomas's monograph on the higher education of women and to Alice U. Pearmain and others regarding her efforts to collect and collate statistics on the health of college women. The first Bryn Mawr College May Day fete was held in 1900, and on May 2 Thomas recorded the reaction of several members of the board of trustees to the celebration, including the express disapproval of John B. Garrett. In the spring of 1900, as at the times of other local elections in which issues important to the college were under consideration, Thomas wrote to male faculty members urging them to vote for candidates who favored the interests of the college. Among other items of special note are the following: a letter to Mrs. Gerard Fountain providing information about the plans for the library -- size, space utilization, costs, etc. -- to be used in soliciting a contribution from Andrew Carnegie; a letter of April 4 to Hugo Munsterberg acknowledging Bryn Mawr College's debt to German graduate study organization; and a letter to Evangeline W. Andrews (Mrs. Charles McLean Andrew) stating that as a mother of young children, she would not be eligible for a teaching position at Bryn Mawr College because her reliability could not be counted on.
Reel 96: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 20. May 10, 1900 - December 11, 1900
There is heavy and substantive correspondence about the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, treating its publications, leadership, budget, and internal conflicts, in Letterbook no. 20. Correspondence about college affairs includes a letter to David Scull written on May 22 in which Thomas stated that as a matter of policy the college did not permit any Quaker minister to address the student body if he or she claimed to have felt a "concern" (a term used to denote a direct instruction from God). A pamphlet of Rules of the Faculty, printed in 1899 and bearing handwritten corrections updating it to January 28, 1901, which was tucked into the front of the volume, has been microfilmed where it was found.
Reel 97: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 21. December 11, 1900 - February 27, 1901
Prompted by the first student death since the opening of the college, there is informative correspondence in this letterbook regarding the health care provided to the Bryn Mawr College student body. In reassuring frightened parents, Thomas listed anti-epidemic measures routinely taken at the college and described the nursing care given to sick students. Loss of faculty to larger and better endowed institutions was a recurring problem at Bryn Mawr. On January 21 Thomas announced to the Board of Trustees that Herbert Weir Smyth had been called to a Greek professorship at Harvard, a resignation which she deeply regretted. As a member of the College Entrance Examination Board, Thomas corresponded with Nicholas Murray Butler, Lucy P. Salmon, Herbert Weir Smyth and others about meetings and policies of the Board.
Reel 98: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 22. February 27, 1901 - June 13, 1901
Among the topics of general correspondence on Reel 98 are faculty recruitment, fund raising, secondary education, and students' preparation for college. Thomas's correspondence about College Entrance Examination Board continues. In late February and March Thomas wrote accounts of a fire at the house of Professor Charlotte Angas Scott, with praise for the efficient and effective action of the student fire brigade and criticism of the poor response of the Ardmore Fire Company. A problem arising out of faculty housing resulted in considerable correspondence: the Board of Trustees maintained that $12,000 which had been expended from the college endowment for construction of faculty houses must be repaid to the invested endowment fund of the College. Thomas argued that the money was safely and wisely invested and that to require its repayment out of the operating budget of the college would seriously and unnecessarily unbalance the budget.
Reel 99: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 23. June 13, 1901 - January 6, 1902
The consequences, good and bad, arising from the growth in Bryn Mawr College's enrollment and physical plant are reflected in Thomas's correspondence in this letterbook. Preparations for the opening of the school year including student registration, assignments of students to faculty advisors, and arrangements for overflow housing are discussed in September and October correspondence. Thomas communicated with John D. Rockefeller and others about his pledge of a matching gift of $250,000 if she could raise an equal amount for construction of a dormitory, library, and heating plant. She continued to protest to the Trustees against their requirement of the repayment of a $12,000 "loan" to principal. This, she argued, would prevent necessary redecoration and upkeep of the dormitories from being undertaken and the faculty from being enlarged.
Among other matters of interest was a proposed visit to the college by Susan B. Anthony, about which Thomas wrote to Ida Husted Harper and Carrie Chapman Catt. Letters to and about Constance Applebee reflect Thomas's enthusiasm for introducing field hockey into the United States. Crises in the president's office were created by an outbreak of small pox among the grounds crew and by a student suicide. There are also letters about provision by Thomas -- and others whose aid she had enlisted -- for the payment of the tuition at Cornell University of Jessie Fauset, a Negro. This step apparently was taken in order to forestall an application by Fauset for admission to Bryn Mawr College.
Reel 100: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 24. January 7, 1902 - April 7, 1902
M. Carey Thomas's responsibilities as president of a growing college and her attitudes as a feminist educator are recurrent themes in her correspondence in the first months of 1902. In a letter of January 9 to John G. Johnson, Thomas disclosed her plans for raising $250,000 for the college building program. Accompanying this letter is a report of the college income and expenditures for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1901, a rare instance of comprehensive financial data in the letterbooks. A letter of March 18 contains an account of the burning of a dormitory, Denbigh Hall. Recurring correspondence includes: letters about college buildings and construction addressed to Cope & Stewardson, A.D. Houghton, and others; replies to requests for the loan of her portrait by Sargent for exhibit in Philadelphia and other cities; and responses to requests that she speak to alumnae and other groups. As a feminist, she raised vigorous and cogent objections to the use of only masculine pronouns in communications of the college Entrance Examinations Board. To a fellow college president, James M. Taylor, she expounded the advantages of regular exercise and gymnasium courses for women students. She argued in a letter of February 7 to David Scull, that Bryn Mawr college faculty should not be permitted to accept outside part-time teaching offers because the experience of teaching men sometimes had an adverse effect on the morale of male faculty members when they returned to the teaching of women.
Reel 101: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 25. April 9, 1902 - September 15, 1902
Correspondence about the college physical plant is unusually heavy in Letterbook no. 25. It includes letters about the insurance settlement and reconstruction of Denbigh Hall, which had been heavily damaged by fire, and about plans for and construction of several buildings including a power plant and a double dormitory. Along with letters concerning the $250,000 construction fund drive, there is a list on pages 211-214 of pledges to the Library Building Fund. Thomas's letters to John D. Rockefeller's engineer, AD Houghton, reveal a lack of precise understanding about the exact terms and amount to Rockefeller's pledge to the building program. Both Thomas and Houghton shared the hope that Rockefeller might be willing to underwrite cost overruns occurring in the construction of the power plant and dormitories.
Revealing an aspect of her attitude toward student social life, Thomas protested to Haverford president Isaac Sharpless against the serenading of Bryn Mawr women by Haverfordians.
Reel 102: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 26. September 15, 1902 - December 15, 1902
In the final months of 1902 the construction, furnishing, and upkeep of college buildings continued as the dominant subjects of President Thomas's official correspondence. She wrote numerous and detailed letters about these matters to Lockwood deForest, AD Houghton, and Cope and Stewardson. On November 24, she proposed to J.D. Rockefeller, Jr. that Houghton, an engineer in his employ, be engaged to oversee the construction of the buildings underwritten by Rockefeller with the understanding that the college would pay him a commission for his services. Following the death of Walter Cope, who had been the college's primary architect, Thomas wrote eloquently of her sense of loss and dismay.
Thomas wrote intermittently to various addressees about the activities, policies, and personalities of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae and the Public Education Association of Philadelphia, two organizations in which she played an active role. She repeatedly urged her own election to the college Board of Trustees, continuing a campaign which she had embarked upon even prior to her elevation to the presidency. In a letter of September 25 to Ida Porter-Boyer, President Thomas declined to write a paragraph for a woman's suffrage leaflet on the ground that conservative parents of students and potential students might object to her stand.
Reel 103: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 27. December 16, 1902 - April 7, 1903
Publications and other activities of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae emerge as important topics of President Thomas's correspondence on Reel 103. Also included are responses to speaking invitations, which she usually declined, and correspondence about her travel arrangements for a trip to San Francisco as well as for passage to Europe in the summer. Letters about building plans and construction, principally to Cope and Stewardson and AD Houghton, continue. Thomas offered Samuel Arthur King a position teaching elocution at the college and engaged him to give her private lessons. She wrote to the faculty about examination schedules, curriculum requirements, and other academic matters, and to male members asking them to support the interests of the college with their votes on a local referendum. In another rare political action, she wrote to Representative C.A. Ambler urging passage of a Pennsylvania Civil Service Reform Bill and a Ballot Reform Bill.
Reel 104: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 28. April 7, 1903 - January 9, 1904
The heaviest correspondence on Reel 104 concerns work on Rockefeller dormitory, plans for the library, and other building construction matters. In her letters to individual trustees, Thomas reveals a growing conflict of opinion between herself and certain members of the Board about the location, materials, and decoration of the library. In a letter of September 25 to Henry Tatnall, Thomas reported that JD Rockefeller had erroneously sent the college a check for $50,000 more than he had pledged, a mistake which was eventually corrected. There are a number of letters renewing staff and faculty appointments and announcing the recipients of scholarships and fellowships. Scattered data on college finances include a faculty salary list (p. 229). The first letters regarding the design of the college seal, commissioned and approved by President Thomas, appear in this letterbook.
Reel 105: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 29. January 11, 1904 - May 20, 1904
Among a number of letters recruiting faculty replacements and additions in Letterbook no. 29 is President Thomas's letter to Constance Applebee offering her a post as director of out-of-door sports at Bryn Mawr College, contingent upon her learning to teach basketball. On April 12, Thomas wrote to Trustee Howard Comfort reporting that Woodrow Wilson had offered Latin professor Arthur H. Wheeler a position at Princeton if he would break his contract with Bryn Mawr. This action of Wilson's, Thomas commented, recalled his previous base conduct toward the college. In a later letter to Comfort, Thomas strongly urged that faculty salaries must be raised. Other correspondence covers such additional topics as preparations for a BMC exhibit at the St. Louis World's Fair; health data regarding college women which she was collecting for publication by the Association of Collegiate Alumnae; and opportunities for women physicians in the United States (January 27 letter to Dr. W.E. Thompson). In a letter to Nicholas M. Butler on April 1, Thomas declined to answer Dr. Vander Walder's "Women's Fitness for Higher Education," characterizing it an unworthy of notice.
Reel 106: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 30. May 27, 1904 - November 11, 1904
In addition to routine administrative correspondence, M. Carey Thomas's letters from the summer and fall of 1904 deal with a number of vexing problems which emerged as the campus was expanded and the student body enlarged. Unexpected bills for construction of Rockefeller dormitory and other financial difficulties of the college created recurring crises. Tedious negotiations were undertaken with the township in an effort to modify plans for installation of a drainage system which would cut across the campus in an unsatisfactory way. With a new merit system in effect, President Thomas was obliged to notify the parents of some rising seniors that their daughters were not likely to have sufficient credits to graduate. Thomas's conservative attitude toward curriculum is evidenced by several early August letters in which she wrote that she wished to encourage students to elect the classics rather than what they regarded as more modern subjects such as history, economics, and modern languages. There are also letters about faculty housing, administrative staff recruitment, and Thomas's speech at the Congress of Arts and Sciences at St. Louis. President Thomas routinely responded to parents' inquiries about the college's entrance requirements and recommended private schools which had successfully prepared students for Bryn Mawr's entrance examinations. On August 3, in a matter-of-fact letter addressed to Howard Comfort and the Board of Trustees Carey Thomas announced the resignation as English professor and marriage of her long-time roommate and friend Mamie Gwinn.
Reel 107: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 31. November 12, 1904 - April 5, 1905
Apart from a number of interesting letters regarding the College Entrance Examination Board, of which she was a member, and the Association of Collegiate Alumnae's study of college women's health statistics, which she had undertaken to compile and prepare for publication, M. Carey Thomas's correspondence in Letterbook no. 31 for most part concerns administrative matters -- great and small -- of Bryn Mawr College.
In a long letter of December 2 to David Scull, Thomas summarized recent developments at the college and recounted transactions of the Board of Trustees. As part of her ongoing effort to have Bryn Mawr included in the Carnegie Foundation faculty pension program, she requested of college legal counsel John G. Johnson clarification of requirements governing the selection of trustees under the will Joseph Taylor and the charter of the college. An unsuccessful effort to persuade Andrew Carnegie to contribute to the college building program was related in detail to Henry Tatnall in a letter of February 15.
Thomas's letters to faculty members proffering contract renewals reflect the stringent budget under which the college was operating. Subsequent correspondence shows that some of the original offers were increased. Rental of college property to faculty and the general public as a source of income is a persistent subject.
The development of the college sports program is indicated in Thomas's letters to Constance Applebee directing that lacrosse and water polo should be added to those sports offered by the college. Regulations concerning the basketball program appear on page 419.
Thomas wrote a revealing letter on January 18 to Ella Gordon Stuart in which she stated that an ideal BMC student was one whose traditions of culture and previous opportunities made her excellent material for the college to work on. Writing to Helen Rutgers Sturgis on March 16, Thomas analyzed the benefits of the May Day fete, a major feature of Bryn Mawr's cultural traditions. Another aspect of student life was discussed in her letter of December 2, 1904, to George A. Coe summarizing religious activities at the college.
Reel 108: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 32. April 5, 1905 - October 5, 1905
President Thomas's correspondence in Letterbook no. 32 foreshadows serious problems for her administration that would grow out of her ambitious building program which included the construction of a double dormitory, a power plant, and a library. On May 1, apparently as result of pressure from the Trustees, she wrote that she planned to economize as much as possible in the construction of the library, specifically stating that ornamental features would be omitted. However, her subsequent letters to Lockwood deforest reveal that she had by no means renounced plans for expensive interior decorations. Various financial difficulties encountered in the construction of Rockefeller dormitory and the library are outlined and explained in a long letter of June 13 to Justus Strawbridge.
Other topics of importance in this letterbook include the management of Low Buildings, the organization of essay sections in the English Department, Henry James's visit to the campus, fire and other casualty insurance, and the college sports and physical education program. Thomas's disappointment with the academic performance of the student body is suggested in her complaint that a new wave of materialism among the students had resulted in a lack of strenuousness in their study habits.
In addition to Bryn Mawr matters, there is also significant correspondence regarding feminist concerns. Thomas's letters indicate that she was serving as president of the Naples Table Association at this time. Writing on April 7 to Alice Stone Blackwell, she denounced Stanley Hall's misuse of statistical data regarding the health of college women. At the same time she alluded to the findings of her own longstanding effort to collect health statistics and prepare them for publication by the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, an undertaking which she was apparently unable to bring to a timely completion or to share with a coauthor. On May 26, she wrote to Susan B. Anthony evaluating the quality of, and opportunities for, women candidates seeking teaching positions at the college level.
Reel 109: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 33. October 5, 1905 - February 20, 1906
Correspondence on Reel 109 is highlighted by substantive and illuminating letters regarding the women's suffrage movement. In an exceptional letter of December 21 to Mary Woolley and other women college presidents, M. Carey Thomas related a history of her encounters with Susan B. Anthony and expressed deep admiration for her leadership and accomplishments. She went on to suggest that college women should sponsor a program honoring Anthony at the 1906 Convention of the National Women's Suffrage Association in Baltimore. In the same letter, she listed both the persons she believed would support and assist in the undertaking and those she anticipated would be hostile or unhelpful. In later letters she reported her plans for a College Evening at the convention to Anna H. Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt. Earlier she had written to Mrs. Charles M. Andrews confirming her ardent support for Bryn Mawr College's affiliation with the College Equal Suffrage League.
College matters were dominated by the problem of cost overruns in the construction of the library. On October 17, she sent a handwritten letter to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. providing additional explanations of figures she had previously submitted to him. A full account of the expenditure of Rockefeller's donations appears on pages 139-142. Thomas's efforts to convince Rockefeller that the college should be given further help was rewarded, for on December 30 she wrote thanking him for a gift of $80,000 to cover the construction deficit.
Along with the other functions of her office, Thomas undertook compilation of faculty statistics, including age, term of service, etc. These were prepared for the Carnegie Foundation pension program, although Bryn Mawr College was excluded from participation therein on the ground that it was a sectarian college. Partly to overcome this disqualification, Thomas advocated the addition to the Board of Directors of alumnae members chosen without reference to religious affiliation and urged the election of Mary E. Garrett, a non-Quaker, to the Board. Thomas's difficulty in keeping accurate books and a smoothly functioning administration at this critical time is reflected in numerous letters apologizing for slip-ups, delays, and little mistakes.
Harbingers of future problems with the faculty appear in two letters. On November 14, Thomas wrote to L.P. Wood stating that it was Bryn Mawr's policy to permit faculty communications with the Board of Trustees only through the president and recommending this practice as necessary to sound college administration. Writing to Gonzalez Lodge on February 19, she stated that she had heard reports from Columbia University that Richard T. Holbrook, a candidate for a position at Bryn Mawr, was "always in hot water, always quarreling" and that his teaching was unsatisfactory. She added that the quarrelsomeness would not bar him from a position at Bryn Mawr, but that the reservations about his teaching were serious. Both of these judgments were important in the faculty dispute of 1916.
Reel 110: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 34. February 6, 1906 - June 5, 1906
Informative letters on diverse subjects appear in Letterbook no. 34. Although there are no substantive letters regarding proceedings at the Women's Suffrage Convention in Baltimore, Thomas wrote to May A. Bookstaver and others about publishing a report of the convention and other suffrage matters. Numerous letters concerning the construction of the library include one of February 27 to Lockwood deforest describing problems with the teak wood which was being used for interior paneling. Misunderstandings relating to his salary, courses, etc. are reflected in Thomas's letters to Richard T. Holbrook prior to his coming to Bryn Mawr.
In a lengthy letter written on May 26 to Howard Comfort, Thomas expounded the reasons Bryn Mawr College had been so singularly successful in attracting a highly qualified faculty. In the same letter she acknowledged that hostility had developed among some faculty members whose contracts had not been renewed. President Thomas addressed a form letter to women on the faculty and staff in March announcing a college policy of not employing women who smoked.
There are several letters regarding plans for the May day fete, including one of March 18 to Mrs. Charles M. Andrews listing women who should be asked to serve as patronesses because of their social prominence. On May 2, Thomas wrote to Georgianna R. Simpson asserting that Bryn Mawr College had no policy regarding the admission of Negro students, but adding that she felt they would not find the atmosphere at the college congenial.
Reel 111: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 35. June 8, 1906 - December 30, 1906
The second half of 1906 was a stormy period in M. Carey Thomas's presidency at Bryn Mawr College. Controversies which had germinated as result of her extensive building program grew to a climax, testing her ability to retain her office in the face of intense opposition from some members of the Board of Trustees. Although her problems with the Trustees cannot be reconstructed completely from this correspondence, certain aspects of the difficulties are illuminated by her letters. Her serious misunderstandings and disagreements with Henry Tatnall about many aspects of the construction of the library, including its very location, are reflected in scattered letters. In a letter of June 11 to Edward Bettle, Thomas acknowledged that teak wood had been purchased for interior paneling under authority of an order she had signed; she had previously denied to the Board that she was personally responsible for the purchase of teak, instead of oak, in defiance of their instructions. More fully documented is the controversy with Cope and Stewardson over their fees. This imbroglio arose in part as result of the employment of AD Houghton to oversee the construction of the library, normally the responsibility of the architects.
Thomas sent Bettle an interesting statistical breakdown of Bryn Mawr College graduates by occupation (November 9). She continued to supply letters of recommendation for former students, with an increasing number being addressed to foreign universities. There are also letters about individual students' courses, dissertations, etc. Letters written by President Thomas on September 26 and 27 are enlightening in that they serve to reveal the degree of anti-Semitism in faculty recruitment. In one of them she wrote, "I have written to Dr. Barnett to find out if he (Editorial note: a candidate for a faculty position) is a Jew, because this would greatly interfere with his influence among the students -- although of course it ought not to be the case." References to the problems of smoking by women faculty and staff members in Low Buildings appear in several letters.
There are letters to Maud M. Park, Mary E. Woolley, and Jane Addams regarding plans for suffrage lectures at Eastern women's colleges and about the Bryn Mawr chapter of the College Equal Suffrage League.
Reel 112: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 36. December 21, 1906 - May 4, 1907
Although correspondence about the controversy with Cope and Stewardson over their fees continues, letters about construction problems yield their former preponderance in M. Carey Thomas's official correspondence in this letterbook. Her time was spent instead in writing about a variety of transitory and routine administrative matters.
She wrote to parents about their daughters' health, grades, etc. In order, she said, that she might squelch a current rumor, she asked Elizabeth Blanchard to specifically deny that she had organized a secret socialist society at Bryn Mawr College. In January she oversaw funeral arrangements for David Irons, a Scottish professor without relatives in America, who had died at the college. Thomas's letters show that she was seeking professors for the philosophy, economics, and history departments during this time. On April 16, she wrote to Regina Crandall hoping that the latter would not carry out her intention to resign because she had been passed over for promotion. Writing on March 22, President Thomas complained to Ira Remsen about excessive pirating of the Bryn Mawr faculty by the Johns Hopkins University.
Although Thomas generally gave little of her time to off-campus causes, she was active in defending traditional spelling against spokesmen for modernization and simplification. In addition, in a letter of January 17 to Helen W. Cadbury, she urged the organization of a protest against militarism at the Jamestown exhibition.
Reel 113: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 37. May 4, 1907 - November 21, 1907
M. Carey Thomas's 1907 letters illuminate certain aspects of the reorganization of the college administration which had been instituted as result of the 1906 crisis. Marion Reilly was appointed dean, the first incumbent since Thomas vacated the office when she became president. There is considerable correspondence with two other new officers, the comptroller and the business manager. Perhaps reflecting a further delegation of responsibility by President Thomas, this letterbook incorporates a number of letters written and signed by her secretary, Elizabeth McKeen.
An interesting letter of October 17 to Edward Bettle provides a history of Bryn Mawr College's Student Self-Government. Demonstrating her popularity as a speaker, Thomas continued to respond to numerous invitations to address various groups and meetings. The college's relations with the township was the subject of correspondence with Trustees and the college counsel. Thomas wrote to Jane Addams several times trying to work out arrangements for Addams's tour of women's colleges in the East to speak on women's suffrage.
Reel 114: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 38. November 21, 1907 - April 8, 1908
In addition to mirroring the routine administrative responsibilities of her office, President Thomas's letters also document her active interest in problems affecting the higher education of women beyond the limits of the Bryn Mawr campus during the opening months of 1908. Writing on January 7 to president James M. Taylor, she renewed her plea that he permit Jane Addams to speak at Vassar College on women's suffrage. On the following day, she wrote to United States Education Commissioner Elmer Ellsworth Brown criticizing the classification of women's colleges in the Commission's annual report and adding her recommendations for improvement. Various letters express her concern that the alumni trustees of Cornell University should be individuals who strongly favored the principle of coeducation.
An important item of Bryn Mawr College business is covered in her letters to individual trustees explaining the legal implications of the establishment of a Board of Directors which would assume many of the functions and responsibilities of the Trustees.
Reel 115: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 39. April 8, 1908 - July 13, 1908
President Thomas's correspondence in the spring and early summer of 1908 covers a variety of college business. Campus planning and expansion reappear as topics of correspondence. Her letters to Frederick Law Olmsted, engaging him to come to Bryn Mawr to consult about grading and plantings, and to Lockwood deforest and George Archer, regarding plans for rebuilding the gymnasium and constructing additional faculty housing and a residence for Dean Marion Reilly, indicate that the campus was not to remain static.
Thomas recommended that the comptroller appointed as result of the 1906 reorganization of the administration should be fired for incompetence. The Board overruled her in this matter.
In faculty recruitment endeavors, Thomas wrote to John Dewey (April 20) seeking advice for appointments in philosophy and education, and to Charles A. Beard (June 25) asking if he would be a candidate for a position in history. There is continuing correspondence demonstrating Thomas's efforts to qualify the Bryn Mawr faculty for Carnegie Foundation pensions.
Writing to Mary Vaux in May, President Thomas attempted to mollify the Vaux family's hostility toward Bryn Mawr College students which had been provoked by unauthorized daisy picking on their property. In addition, there is correspondence concerning a suit brought against the college by William Goode, a Negro who had been arrested in 1906 for trespassing on the campus.
Thomas was compelled to request of Laura D. Gill additional time to organize health data, which she had been working on for several years, into final form for publication by the Association of Collegiate Alumnae.
Reel 116: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 40. July 13, 1908 - October 29, 1908
President Thomas's correspondence in Letterbook no. 40 is for most part routine in subject matter. She wrote to architects, contractors, trustees, and others regarding the new gymnasium, the dean's house, and the decoration of the ceiling of the great hall in the library. She searched for a geologist, a historian, and a philosopher to fill faculty openings. She notified students of their appointments to such campus jobs as delivering mail, serving as dormitory fire captains, and checking to assure that lights were not left needlessly burning. Marianne C. Moore was among those receiving appointments as a "light lieutenant," a position that paid $10 per semester. In addition, there are scattered letters addressed to Kate Gordon regarding suffrage matters.
M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 41.
Letterbook no. 41 does not exist. Since Letterbook no. 42 begins with the date of the final entry in Letterbook no. 40, it appears that this is the result of misnumbering and does not indicate a lost volume.
Reel 117: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 42. October 29, 1908 - March 4, 1909
Letter providing summations of M. Carey Thomas's views on a number of topics of ongoing interest appear on Reel 117.
Writing to Asa S. Wing on October 30, she recounted the provisions of the settlement with Cope and Stewardson of a long controversy over their fees for architectural services. She demonstrated the benefits of women's votes by analyzing legislation protecting women and children in equal suffrage states and extolled the importance of the College Equal Suffrage League in a letter to Norman Hapgood the following month. On November 18 she congratulated Joseph Swain on the decision of the Swarthmore College Board of Managers to end its denominational requirements, thereby reflecting her strong preference for nonsectarian education. Her letters to Grace H. Dodge and others explain the standing of the YWCA and other religious organizations on campus. For the information of Anton H. Classen, she evaluated college architects with whom she had had direct experience. In February 1909, she wrote several letters detailing her proposals for revision of the Pennsylvania State School Code. On March 1, in a letter to Lillian M. Hollister, she listed and rated women speakers who might be available to address the National Council of Women in the United States. In addition to these items, there is the usual mix of letters to trustees, faculty, parents, students, and staff.
Reel 118: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 43. March 5 - June 16, 1909
Several subjects introduced in earlier correspondence continue to run through M. Carey Thomas's letters on Reel 118. She vigorously pursued her campaign to persuade the Carnegie Foundation to extend coverage under its retirement program to the Bryn Mawr College faculty. Numerous letters about the organization and staffing of the English Department reconfirm President Thomas's particular interest in that area. Her vigilance in protecting its reputation is demonstrated by a letter to Mrs. Charles M. Andrews insisting that Professor Richard Holbrook's article espousing the Baconian theory of Shakespearean authorship, which was to be published in the Alumnae Quarterly, be prefaced by a notice that he was not a member of the English faculty. Standard announcements to faculty and staff of their reappointments, sent out annually in the spring, are frequently followed by letters clarifying misunderstandings about the terms of their contracts. As do earlier volumes, this letterbook contains President Thomas's replies to an influx of invitations to speak before college groups, suffrage organizations, women's clubs, etc. On May 25, Thomas protested at length to President Isaac Sharpless against the increase in social intercourse between Bryn Mawr and Haverford students.
Among the new topics of presidential correspondence are her plans for the construction of an infirmary, her ambition to establish a practice school as an adjunct to the Department of Education (see letter of April 14 to Charles E. Pugh), and her interest in the National Council of Women's Club's Department of Education which occasioned letters to Lillian M. Hollister. On April 6, she appealed to State Senator Thomas B. Harper to support a child labor bill protecting girls under eighteen years of age. She exhorted Mary Coes on May 10 to insist upon being appointed dean of Radcliffe under threat of resignation. Thomas promised Coes employment at Bryn Mawr should the deanship be denied her.
Reel 119: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 44. September 24, 1909 - January 6, 1910
The preponderance of letters on Reel 119 deal with fund raising and with internal college administration. President M. Carey Thomas, in a host of letters, recorded her efforts to raise $500,000 for the endowment fund in order to qualify for a matching grant of $250,000 from the General Education Board. Her letter to Mrs. Russell Sage soliciting a contribution to the drive embodies a carefully worded and thoughtful statement of Bryn Mawr College's special claims for support. Other letters treat such subjects as student health, scholarships, the organization of the English Department, construction of the gymnasium, and acquisition of books on marriage, social disease, and sex for the library (letter of January 3 to Mary L. Jones). Much of the correspondence is in the form of letters and notices to college personnel: the deans, the comptroller, the college engineer, the librarian, the wardens, etc.
Reel 120: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 45. January 7 - April 25, 1910
A striking example of Carey Thomas's progressive attitude toward sex education is recorded in her correspondence on Reel 120. Writing to the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Social Disease, she requested that its literature be sent to members of the Bryn Mawr College senior class. She added the caveat that her name should not be linked with the mailing, explaining that she was employed by a very conservative institution.
In the early months of 1910 she was engaged in efforts to recruit a new business manager, conflicting with the Committee on Buildings and Grounds in her preference to fill the post with a woman. She referred frequently to a "begging" campaign to add to the college's endowment, occasionally acknowledging that the results were discouraging. Several letters reveal that Thomas was experiencing strained relations with the important New York Alumnae Club, and her letters to members and officers of that group are tactful and conciliatory.
The increasingly structured nature of the relationship between faculty and administration is manifested in a letter of February 21 to Latinist Tenney Frank, in which Thomas quoted a newly adopted Trustees' resolution regarding sabbatical leave. Some of her own concepts regarding the professorial profession emerge in several January letters documenting her perception that while scholarship and teaching are compatible and indeed mutually beneficial, administrative responsibilities assigned to the faculty hamper the development of both.
In a letter of March 19, President Carey Thomas invited President William Howard Taft to speak at commencement.
Reel 121: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 46. April 25 - November 21, 1910
Bryn Mawr College celebrated its Twenty-fifth Anniversary on October 22, 1910. The first reference to the occasion is the invitation to attend and/or participate sent to presidents of leading Eastern colleges on April 26. As part of the celebration, the college sponsored debates on the effects of college entrance examinations on secondary schools, liberal arts education vs. specialized college training, and lay criticism vs. college teaching. A copy of a nine page handwritten letter to Anna Rhoads (inserted in the letterbook following page 385) marks the end of material regarding the anniversary observation. In it, Carey Thomas apologized for her speech at the ceremony which overemphasized her own role in the foundation of the college and failed to give due recognition to the part played by President James E. Rhoads. She omitted her intended tribute to her predecessor, Thomas explained, because time limitations forced her to delete a portion of her address.
Entries regarding a year and a half long fund raising campaign conclude with a partial list of donors and a form letter to Philadelphia newspapers thanking them for their contributions to its success. Dissension within the leadership of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae is alluded to in a number of letters, but the details of the divergent positions do not emerge.
Carey Thomas wrote to William Howard Taft on June 3 expressing her gratitude for his appropriate address at the Bryn Mawr College commencement.
Reel 122: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 47. November 21, 1910 - October 18, 1911
Plans for the Phebe Anna Thorne Model School, established at Bryn Mawr College through a memorial gift from Samuel and Jonathan Thorne, took shape during the period covered by Letterbook no. 47. Casting about for a project which would interest the Thornes, President Thomas sent them a prospectus for an experimental practice school to be operated as a laboratory for the Department of Education (letter of November 28). Shortly thereafter she announced the Thornes's gift of $150,000 to endow such a school. In May of the following year she requested John Dewey to recommend candidates for the positions of professor in the Department of Education and principal of the model school.
Other items of college business include arranging (November 28, 1910 letter) for Dr. Lilian Welsh to give a lecture on hygiene, specifically covering adolescence and sex, at the college; construction of the infirmary; reorganization of the Business Office; and appointment of Marion Park to serve as acting dean during Marion Reilly's leave of absence. Correspondence on non-BMC matters encompasses Thomas's recommendation that Ellen Pendleton be appointed president of Wellesley College (letters to Bishop William Lawrence); Naples Table business; Carey Thomas's plans to attend conventions of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. At the latter meeting she proposed to introduce and champion a reorganization plan which she had been instrumental in developing (see her letter of June 9 to Mary Woolley).
Incorporating material from an eleven month period, Letterbook no. 47 covers an exceptionally long time span. Thomas took a four month leave of absence from her official duties to travel to Egypt with Mary Garrett in the winter months of 1911. A few of her letters from Egypt appear in this volume, as do some letters written by Isabel Maddison on her behalf during her absence.
Reel 123: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 48. October 18, 1911 - April 1, 1912
Two major controversies appear as subjects of correspondence in Letterbook no. 48. The first was a tempest within the Association of Collegiate Alumnae; the second, merely foreshadowed at this time, eventually resulted in the 1916 faculty rebellion. An A.C.A. committee, on which Carey Thomas served, was charged with developing a scheme to reorganize the association with a view toward making it a more effective force. The committee adopted a plan which Thomas had apparently authored and strongly advocated (letter of December 22 to W.W. Schermerhorn). When it was introduced to the organization as a whole, opposition, spearheaded by Laura Gill, developed. The conflict became deeply personal, with Gill accusing Thomas of deception and "sharp practices." Thomas countered with a flurry of letters. Some, directed to Gill, are threatening and hostile; others addressed to Mrs. Alexander F. Morrison, Alice Pearmain, Sophonisba Breckinridge, Mary Coes, and Lucy Salmon, are defensive and self-serving. The bitterness and spleen of this correspondence exceed that exhibited by Thomas anywhere else in her official papers.
Carola Woerishoffer's munificent legacy to the college is mentioned in correspondence scattered throughout the letterbook, with Thomas consistently implying that the income derived from it would be used to increase faculty salaries and for the general operation of the college. Her subsequent departure from this position undoubtedly exacerbated faculty discontent. Another 1916 grievance was presaged in a February 29 letter to Howard Comfort in which President Thomas expressed her judgment that the contract of Richard Holbrook should not be renewed. In addition, correspondence about dissension within the English Department persists through the Reel.
Thomas rarely had occasion to expound her philosophy of education in her correspondence. A letter to Abraham Flexner written on November 23 is a noteworthy exception, expressing Thomas's belief in the continuing viability of a classical curriculum in the face of developing trends toward modernization. Her essential pragmatism as an educator, on the other hand, is illustrated by an excerpt from a letter to Dr. George Barnett: "... we in common with all other colleges at present have a number of students who are very much interested in socialism, trades unionism and (are) very radical in their views. Our thought is that if we can have such courses given from a liberal but wisely conservative point of view we shall be able to guide our students and not have them fall prey to the first agitator after they have graduated from college.".
Reel 124: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 49. April 1 - July 17, 1912
Fundamental differences of opinion and petty feuds, festering between individuals and within organizations both on and off campus, are exposed in M. Carey Thomas's letters from April through July of 1912. As she informed Dean Marion Reilly (letter of March 19), the New York Alumnae were espousing an increasing alumnae involvement in the management of the college, in accordance with what they perceived to be the modern trend in administration. Thomas's letters to Regina Crandall are replete with criticisms of the latter's management of the essay work of the English Department, reflecting the President's mode of dealing with a situation in which her judgment was at odds with that of an experienced faculty member. Divisive personal conflicts and internal political factions within the National American Woman Suffrage Association were discussed in letters to Anna Howard Shaw and Mesdames McCormick, Laidlow, and Park. In her exasperation, Thomas went so far as to characterize the behavior of a member of the organization as unbalanced. Vestiges of a very old resentment emerged in a letter of May 3 to James Wood, in which Thomas charged that Francis Gummere remained hostile to her because she had been appointed to a position (i.e. professor of literature) at Bryn Mawr College which he had believed was being held for him.
In most of the disputes in which she was involved at this time, Thomas's positions seem to have been personal and pragmatic rather than ideological. However she was clearly more liberal than many contemporaries in her appeal to Mary Woolley (letter of May 14) not to join with those who wanted, because of an unsubstantiated rumor accusing Madame Marie Curie of having been implicated in the break-up of a colleague's marriage, to withdraw a collective invitation to her to visit American women's colleges. There is useful subsequent correspondence on this subject, notably a letter to Dr. Albert Schinz asking him to investigate the matter during his visit to Paris.
Reel 125: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 50. July 17, 1912 - January 18, 1913
Correspondence on Reel 125 is, for the most part, diverse in content and moderate in tone. Although there are a few noteworthy letters on national political matters, college business is clearly the predominant concern. During this time, President Thomas was engaged in a search for an economist and an archaeologist, generating as faculty recruitment always did, letters to college presidents, placement bureaus, and candidates. She was occupied, in addition, with staff appointments, faculty housing, the construction of the infirmary, plans for the model school, student health and work loads, and building repairs. On October 22 she wrote that she would welcome an opportunity to have lectures on eugenics presented at the college if a well qualified speaker could be found.
As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Thomas recorded her efforts to pay off the deficits of its operating budget and of the Woman's Journal. She wrote to Jane Addams on November 4 that she wished to confer with her before the National Convention, adding in the same letter that she had been stirred by the Progressive campaign. In the following January, however, she declined with regret the invitation of Samuel McCune Lindsay to associate herself formally with the Progressive Party.
Writing to Bishop William Lawrence about Wellesley's presidential search, Thomas pleaded the case for selecting a woman, using as an argument the students' need to have women in positions of authority to serve as models.
Reel 126: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 51. January 20 - April 24, 1913
Although President M. Carey Thomas's correspondence during the first months of 1913 is heavy, it is not characterized by references to subjects of lasting consequence or general relevance. Among the topics discussed were the College Inn Association (which was organized to operate a boarding house and tea room on campus); plans to revise and upgrade Ph.D. requirements; the Olmsted Brothers' plans for an outdoor theater on campus; the organization, staffing and budget of the model school; and completion of the infirmary. In February Thomas was alarmed by the prospect of an increase of tax liability on college property from $1,000 to $5,000 annually and took steps to forestall the threatened reassessment. On January 29, she informed Talcott Williams that, because scholarship was not the sole criterion for selection, Bryn Mawr College would not apply for a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Scattered letters to Regina Crandall charging that she was attempting to obstruct Thomas's decision to effect a minor reorganization of the essay department presage a very long and difficult conflict over this issue.
Reel 127: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 52. April 24 - September 19, 1913
Although all of the correspondence in this Series is informative about the complexities of the responsibilities of college administration, little that is critical to the history of Bryn Mawr College or exceptional in the span of M. Carey Thomas's career is to be found in Letterbook no. 52. In a joint letter with four other presidents of women's colleges, Thomas protested to James B. Wheeler over the failure of the American School of Classical Study at Athens to make suitable provision for women students, although it received annual contributions from the five institutions. Writing to Charles A. Terry on May 26, she defended the college's requirement of German and French oral examinations, which had come under attack from several sources. On April 24 and again on June 19, President Thomas discussed the support of Japanese scholars at Bryn Mawr College, a subject which surfaced intermittently throughout her administration.
Reel 128: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 53. September 18, 1913 - February 20, 1914
The absence of crucial issues and controversial topics which characterizes President Thomas's official correspondence during the first years of the 1910s continues in Letterbook no. 53.
From late October through mid-December Thomas was a patient at Johns Hopkins Hospital for surgery to repair the scar tissue on her leg. From there she addressed to attorney John G. Johnson the question of whether the Pennsylvania Labor Law for Women Act would apply to Bryn Mawr College, protesting that if the hours of work of dormitory maids were limited to fifty-four per week, the college would have to increase its staff of domestic employees by twenty-five per cent.
On January 10, 1914, she disputed the conclusion of Walter Heape that college education decreased the fertility rate of women, asserting that the health of the husband was the most important factor in the trend he had reported.
Faculty recruitment focused on filling positions in archaeology, English literature, and French. In addition, Thomas corresponded with Placido de Montoliu arranging for the introduction of his Dalcroze system at the Phebe Anna Thorne School. On October 7, she addressed a form letter to unmarried faculty men apprising them of a Student Self-Government rule which forbade them to extend invitations of any sort to students.
In response to his inquiry, Thomas wrote Murray McGuire that she would recommend that the state of Virginia establish an affiliated women's college at the University of Virginia rather than construct a separate women's college.
Reel 129: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 54. February 23 - May 16, 1914
During the winter of 1914, Carey Thomas looked forward to entertaining her relatives, Bernard and Mary Berenson, at the Deanery. At the same time, she made clear her unwillingness to welcome her cousin Alys Russell's ex-husband, Bertrand, to the campus, explicitly directing Lucy Donnelly not to go forward with arrangements for him to meet students.
Thomas was actively interested in the Association of Collegiate Alumnae presidential election, but her attention was even more forcefully captured by the activities of the suffrage movement. Writing of the post of executive secretary of the National College Equal Suffrage League (letter of May 9 to Mrs. B.H. Howes), she averred: "If I were not tied hand and foot in Bryn Mawr College there is nothing that I personally should more enjoy doing and I can think of nothing that would bring a greater reward in immediate and important results." Earlier she had complimented Alice Stone Blackwell on her article in the Woman's Journal analyzing the case for a suffrage amendment to the Constitution.
Reel 130: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 55. May 18 - September 13, 1914
Letters which typify and illuminate M. Carey Thomas's active, and sometimes autocratic, involvement in educational institutions and policy at all levels are microfilmed on Reel 130. In a letter of May 20 to Edith Hamilton, headmistress of the Bryn Mawr School, she vetoed the idea of adding a "baby class" to the school's elementary and secondary programs. Writing to her sister, Margaret Thomas Carey, three days later, she expressed a lack of confidence in Miss Hamilton's leadership.
Inserted at the beginning of the volume is a copy of a Bryn Mawr College Board of Directors' resolution adopted on March 20, 1914, changing the college's fiscal year and revising the payment schedule of the faculty and staff. This modification, regarded by some of the faculty as disadvantageous to their interests, provoked a run of explanatory correspondence as Thomas tried to induce them to acquiesce to the change. In a May 18 letter to James W. Bright, Thomas justified another administration policy which was unpopular with the faculty, that of not permitting them to give courses at other colleges and universities. She contended that outside appointments resulted in faculty overwork, thereby damaging a scholar's career. She cited the Harvard faculty and those of English universities as examples of this deleterious effect. In another college matter, Thomas notified Charlotte A. Scott that it would be necessary for the faculty to tighten the examination proctoring system.
Thomas wrote a number of strongly worded letters at this time protesting the discrimination against women practiced by the American schools for classical studies in Athens and Rome. She notified recipients of Bryn Mawr's European fellowships that their awards would be held for them until after the war.
On June 25, apparently in response to his request, Thomas sent Frederic H. Strawbridge suggestions for replying to an anti-suffrage form letter addressed to trustees of women's colleges.
Carey Thomas repeatedly alluded to Mary Garrett's illness in her correspondence in this letterbook. Perhaps because of this distraction, there appear to be more than the usual number of apologies for correspondence answered late or incorrectly. Letters written by Thomas's secretary, Ellen Hill, are sprinkled through the volume.
Reel 131: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 56. September 15, 1914 - January 2, 1915
The first semester of the 1914-1915 academic year is marked by the focus of M. Carey Thomas's attention on matters directly concerning student academic programs. Beginning with letters about student registration, Thomas went on to discuss efforts to move doctoral candidates more quickly into work on their dissertations, the need to stiffen the morale of the student body in general, and the necessity to formulate a method of eliminating non-studious types. A new cut rule adopted by the faculty provoked a storm of protest from the student body. To clarify the issue and garner support for the authority of the faculty to control class attendance, President Thomas wrote to members of the influential Alumnae Academic Committee (November 23), to other college presidents, and to the Philadelphia newspapers, to whom the aggrieved students had already presented their side of the issue.
Thomas's opinions about the relative value of coeducation and single sex colleges are to be found on pages 440 and 441 and in a letter of November 17 to Murray M. McGuire. On December 7, she informed Virginia Gildersleeve that Bryn Mawr College intended to take a stand against separation of men and women scholars at the annual meetings of learned societies.
Thomas commented briefly on the Nashville Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which she attended in November. There are, in addition, continuing references to the National College Equal Suffrage League, of which she was president.
Reel 132: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 57. January 2 - March 19, 1915
Although the volume of President Thomas's correspondence in the first months of 1915 remained heavy, the terminal illness of her friend and housemate, Mary E. Garrett, caused her to withdraw from many outside activities, including suffrage work. A higher than usual percentage of letters in this volume is addressed to faculty members regarding such subjects as curriculum, course schedules, examination procedures, etc. A distinguished addition to the faculty was made with the appointment of Susan M. Kingsbury to head the Carola Woerishoffer Department of Social Research. Routine office matters crop up in every letterbook: at this time, for example, Thomas was engaged in hiring a stenographer and an assistant business manager for the college.
In February, Carey Thomas wrote to Jane Addams and Thomas Raeburn White criticizing as "very foolish" a peace plan developed by the Emergency Federation of Peace Forces, of which Miss Addams was chairman. Both letters, however, are endorsed "not sent.".
Reel 133: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 58. April 1 - October 19, 1915
Mary Garrett died on April 3, 1915, in the midst of the spring college term. Carey Thomas's official correspondence bears little evidence of the loss of her longtime friend and companion; she continued to conduct business as usual from the presidential office in the spring and fall of 1915. Throughout the period, however, Thomas observed deep mourning, declining all social invitations. Immediately after her inheritance of Garrett's estate was publicized, there appear letters refusing charitable contributions to individual and institutional solicitors.
Partly as result of the European war, several important changes occurred in the Bryn Mawr College faculty at this time. Karl Jessen, a German professor, was granted a year's leave of absence. Thomas personally wrote to Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan on behalf of another professor of German extraction, Agatha Lasch, who wanted to spend the summer in Berlin. Throughout the succeeding years, when Lasch proved to be ambivalent about her own future, Thomas remained solicitous and supportive in her letters, encouraging Lasch to return to Bryn Mawr whenever she chose to do so. At the same time Thomas was preparing to make a highly significant addition to the English Department. On April 5, she wrote to Howard J. Savage setting forth the secret terms of his appointment which would eventually lead to a professorship with authority to reorganize the department's essay work.
The College Entrance Examination Board is the subject of fairly heavy correspondence, with Thomas acknowledging in a letter of May 21 that Bryn Mawr College would have to accept the Board's examinations as an alternative to its own.
Foreshadowing a major future interest, Thomas accepted in mid-October appointment as a Vice President of the League to Enforce Peace.
Reel 134: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 59. October 23, 1915 - March 8, 1916
The most notorious crisis of M. Carey Thomas's career at Bryn Mawr College occurred in the spring of 1916 when faculty dissatisfaction over its lack of authority in staffing decisions and work rules combined with the failure to renew the contract of an assertive professor and the reorganization of the English Department erupted in a personal attack on Thomas in the Philadelphia press. Although the outburst in the press did not occur during the period covered by Letterbook no. 59, it is rife with documentation of the antecedents of the crisis.
Thomas's letters to presidents of other colleges as well as those addressed to Bryn Mawr professors indicate that she was fully aware of the implications of the movement to expand the faculty role in college administration then under discussion in the American Association of University Professors. She was prepared, moreover, to accommodate many of the new directions (see for example her letter of January 11 to George A. Barton). At the same time, however, she was putting into effect policy and personnel changes which enflamed faculty resentment toward her administration. In a letter of November 26 to Arthur Wheeler, she reaffirmed the Trustees' decision that daughters of faculty members would not be granted a tuition reduction. More ominously, she notified Richard Holbrook that his repeated demands to be promoted to full professor would not be granted. Thereafter, acting on his ultimatum that he would resign unless promoted, she began to correspond with possible replacements for his position as professor of Italian and French literature.
She proceeded at the same time to plan with Howard Savage the reorganization of the essay, or composition, work in the English Department, although this implied a technical demotion of the head of the unit, Regina Crandall. Thomas anticipated a storm of protest against this move (December 13 letter to Rufus Jones) and on December 11, she wrote a conciliatory letter to Crandall. As she had foreseen, the alumnae rallied to Crandall's defense; Thomas responded to their importunities with a form letter. In a long letter of January 29 to Lucy Donnelly, who was on sabbatical leave, she recapitulated the whole episode.
Other letters relate to college finances and departmental responsibility for placing Ph.Ds (letters to de Laguna and Leuba). Apparently responding to a request from Irving Fisher to allow her name to be used to support a national prohibition amendment, Thomas stated that she sympathized with the cause but could not allow herself to be identified with it because of her prominence in the suffrage movement. She added that women's suffrage already had provoked underground opposition from the liquor interests.
Reel 135: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 60. March 7 - June 22, 1916
A number of M. Carey Thomas's letters on this reel help to clarify her public response and private reaction to the attack on her administration carried out in the columns of the Philadelphia Public Ledger. Writing to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant on March 7, Thomas disclosed her anticipation that an appeal might be made in the local press to influence her to renew Richard Holbrook's contract. On April 18, Thomas informed Anna Bell Lawther that she had been warned of the Ledger attack in advance and also assured that it would be called off if Holbrook were appointed a full professor. On May 17, she summarized in a letter to James Wood the expressions of support she had received from alumnae and the administrative staff. Near the end of May, Thomas forwarded to Nicholas Murray Butler and six other college presidents a copy of the so-called New Plan of Government, a scheme of reorganization adopted by the Trustees to give the faculty a much expanded role in the government of the college. She added that the reporter who conducted the "investigation" of her administration in the Ledger had earlier been involved in a similar attack on Woodrow Wilson at Princeton.
Other correspondence in this letterbook pertains to the John Masefield literary prize, modification of Bryn Mawr College entrance examinations, the College Entrance Examination Board, and the applications of former readers in the English department for positions elsewhere.
Reel 136: M. Carey. M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 61. February 3, 1916 - February 17, 1917
As indicated by a note inside the front cover, more than 250 letters have been removed from Letterbook no. 61. This was done by Mary Louise Terrien in 1950 when she was employed to organize the records of M. Carey Thomas's administration. As Miss Terrien states, letters "bearing directly on the History of Bryn Mawr College" were stripped from the volume and interfiled with other materials in a subject file she had created. Working with the index to the letterbook, an effort has been made to restore these missing items. Unfortunately, Terrien often cropped off page numbers as she cut out the letters, and she almost certainly destroyed letters mounted on the backs of items "bearing directly on the history of the college" but not themselves considered pertinent to the record. The reader will therefore find Letterbook no. 61 seriously mutilated and incomplete. Because of the great number of pages missing, individual targets have not been provided as has been done in other volumes in this series.
It should be pointed out that Terrien's selection of material bearing directly on the history of the college was, in this context, limited to items pertaining to the faculty uprising in the spring of 1916. Happily her search for relevant documents did not extend backward into Letterbook no. 60, which contains a sizable number of letters on this subject.
In addition to the correspondence on the faculty crisis and the Public Ledger attack on M. Carey Thomas which has been restored to this letterbook, it includes material on a number of subjects pertaining to more routine college business. On July 20, 1916, Thomas mentioned in a letter to Susan M. Kingsbury that her office had been flooded with applications from German professors who were out of work. Thanking Ida H. Hyde for an offer to bequeath a fellowship to Bryn Mawr College, Thomas stressed that the support of women who care for scholarship and pure science was vital to the college. The desire of the student body to hold mock elections with guest speakers representing Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, and Labor was communicated to Thomas Raeburn White on October 23. Letters about the Alumnae Quarterly, the election of a member-at-large to the Board of Directors, faculty committee appointments and business, and fund raising for the college endowment occur throughout. In a letter of January 15, 1917, to Edith M. Alden, Thomas indicated that she was searching for documents from President James E. Rhoads's administration. "Whereever they are," she added, "they are probably all together in a pile." In numerous letters, President Thomas referred to the success of the "New Plan of Government" (which had been adopted as result of the faculty uprising) and her own satisfaction with it. There is little in this volume that is not directly pertinent to Bryn Mawr College perhaps because, as Thomas informed Margaret T. Corwin on January 2, 1917, she found her work so exacting that she was not accepting any speaking engagements and was giving up all suffrage and other outside work.
Reel 137: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 62. February 17, 1917 - January 3, 1918
Indications of the successful implementation of the New Plan of Government, which gave the faculty a voice in appointments and representation on the Board of Directors, permeate this letterbook. (On page 338 there is a printed copy of the new plan.) On February 17, M. Carey Thomas wrote to Carleton F. Brown acclaiming the success of the reorganization. She announced to Pauline Goldmark on May 4 that the faculty had voted to discontinue oral language examinations, a requirement which students had long objected to. The resolution of another lingering problem from previous years is suggested in a letter of April 27 to Margaret Haskell concerning her plan to endow a chair in the English Department -- a chair which was to be expressly reserved by the terms of the gift for Regina Crandall. Most noteworthy of all, perhaps, is the beginning of heavier correspondence regarding meetings, actions, decisions, etc. of various faculty committees.
A more dramatic topic than the New Plan of Government was the impact of the European War on the college. The presidents of the Seven Sisters colleges sent a joint letter to President Woodrow Wilson on March 28, 1917, offering support in the war effort; Thomas added that Bryn Mawr undergraduates had voted to mobilize for preparedness work. Effects on the college apparently were most immediately felt in the pressures of inflation on personal and institutional budgets. A second direct impact on the college resulted from the enlistment of faculty members in the armed services, requiring the establishment of policies regarding their salaries and benefits, and the recruitment of temporary substitutes. The increased demand for qualified women affected both the recruitment of staff and the placement of graduates. Other war related topics include the activities of the BMC War Council made up of faculty, staff, alumnae, and students; President Thomas's patriotic speeches; her efforts to assure that German propaganda be banned from the campus; the investigation of Karl D. Jessen, head of the German Department, by the Secret Service; and a patriotic farm operated by Martha G. Thomas and other Bryn Mawr staff members and students.
Important internal college matters continued to demand a share of president Thomas's attention. She explicated her policy regarding censorship of Tipyn o'Bob, a college periodical, and defined the limits of its editorial freedom in a letter to Janet Randolph Grace. She wrote to Helen H. Taft asking if she would be a candidate for the deanship. In a letter to Asa S. Wing, she listed the benefits and expenses of the Carola Woerishoffer Department, and in March she complained to several correspondents about the financial difficulties being experienced by the Model School.
Reel 138: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 63. January 2 - October 7, 1918
Correspondence in the first ten months of 1918 predictably is dominated by the effects of the war. The central subjects are those introduced in the preceding letterbook: a plethora of patriotic speeches by President M. Carey Thomas and others; civil defense work; the operation of a patriotic farm by members of the college community; and the induction of faculty and staff into the armed forces. The war emergency fostered the introduction of a new, short course in the Carola Woerishoffer Department to prepare women to fill supervisory positions. Apparently in response to questions from concerned patriots, Thomas offered assurances that German had been dropped as a requirement for admission to or graduation from Bryn Mawr College. Using arguments drawn in part from the experiences of the war emergency, Thomas petitioned Congressman Henry W. Watson to vote for the suffrage amendment.
Letters about the financial problems of the college, particularly the critical situation of the Model School, persist (see for example Thomas's letter of February 18 to Asa S. Wing). Thomas solicited a contribution to Bryn Mawr's endowment from the General Education Board in a January 29 letter to Abraham Flexner. In a long letter to Henry S. Pritchett of the Carnegie Foundation, she renewed an application for coverage of the BMC faculty under its pension program, emphasizing that the college had been nondenominational in policy and practice from the outset.
Various letters suggest that students' attitudes and mores were in transition, modifying both academic standards and social behavior. Thomas refers to continuing student opposition to the cut rule and to new complaints against the lecture format of classroom instruction. Faced with the largest enrollment in the college's history, with resulting dormitory overcrowding, Thomas queried other college presidents to ascertain if they selected among qualified applicants on any other grounds than priority of application. Students provoked the outrage of the Vaux family, owners of property adjacent to the campus, by allegedly trespassing on their family cemetery. On July 6, President Thomas reported to Dean Helen H. Taft rumors that BMC students had been spending nights with servicemen lovers. A victory for student civil rights is marked by a letter to Louise Watson limiting the methods which students and staff could employ in entrapping suspected thieves.
Reel 139: . M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 64. October 7, 1918 - June 22, 1919
There is a cluster of letters at the beginning of Letterbook no. 64 bearing upon the effects of the influenza epidemic on Bryn Mawr College; quarantine policy, care of ill students, and emergency preparations for operation of the college with a reduced staff are covered. The medical history of an individual case of influenza is to be found in President Carey Thomas's letters to William Howard Taft which provide a running account of the symptoms, treatment, and recovery of his daughter Helen (October 1919).
Thomas's correspondence documents her appreciation of the necessity of increasing salaries of faculty and staff to offset the effects of inflation and to counter more lucrative offers from government and business. Other college business involved such matters as pensions, renewals of faculty contracts, and appointments of substitutes for professors on sabbatical leave. Plans for a student building and an outdoor theater were discussed in letters to Lockwood Deforest and others. On November 1, Thomas invited Carrie Chapman Catt to address the student body on the subject of the federal suffrage amendment. However, President Thomas's attention was not entirely absorbed in immediate college business. She must have been thinking in part of her own retirement when, in writing to Asa S. Wing, she strongly supported the college policy of compulsory retirement at age sixty-five. In March and April she was away from her office undergoing an operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital to repair the scar tissue on her leg. Looking forward to an even longer absence from the campus, she formulated plans for a trip around the world during the 1919-1920 academic year; it would be the first sabbatical leave of her career.
Reel 140: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 65. (May 26, 1917) June 23, 1919 - April 29, 1920
As she completed arrangements for a sabbatical year of foreign travel, M. Carey Thomas apparently viewed her trip as an opportunity to act as an ambassador to women's educational institutions and organizations abroad. She apprised Mrs. Henry W. Peabody in a letter written on June 26 of her intention to visit foreign schools and colleges "to try to envision" what American colleges could do to help women's education on an international scale. On the same day she requested of Ada Wing Mead that she be furnished with credentials from the Naples Table Association authorizing her to invite Madame Marie Curie to give a series of lectures in the United States.
Beginning in August, Thomas's letters are replaced by those of Acting President Helen H. Taft; scattered letters written by Dorothy Macdonald, the secretary to the president, occur throughout. On September 5, Taft extended through Mrs. Woodrow Wilson an invitation to the Queen of Belgium to visit Bryn Mawr College during her goodwill tour in the United States. This is followed by a spate of agitated letters preparatory to the visit. A more important and persisting topic of correspondence was the major endowment fund raising campaign on which Helen Taft worked strenuously and successfully. A number of letters to her father, William Howard Taft, demonstrate that she enlisted the ex-President's help in this college drive. In periodic, lengthy letters to Thomas, Taft summarized the administrative operations of the college providing valuable records of the workings of the president's office during Carey Thomas's absence.
Conflicts between Edith Hamilton and Carey Thomas over the operations of the Bryn Mawr School resurface in this letterbook. Beginning with a copy of a letter from Hamilton to Thomas (filed out of sequence on page 108), there are numerous items about this confrontation. At one point Thomas, as Mary E. Garrett's executor, threatened to revoke Garrett's legacy to the school if Hamilton persisted in instituting unilateral policy changes.
In letters copied on pages 416-419, Thomas discussed at length the college's building program, including a description of comprehensive plans for "completion" of the campus.
(Note: the first fifteen pages of this letterbook consist of stray 1917 items.).
Reel 141: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 66. April 11 - November 4, 1920
Letterbook no. 66 incorporates letters written by Acting President Helen H. Taft, President M. Carey Thomas, and the president's secretary, Dorothy Macdonald.
Helen Taft's correspondence is concentrated at the front of the volume. Along with routine college business, her letters chiefly concern the fund raising campaign. On May 31, Helen Taft sent an announcement to the Associated Press of her engagement to Frederick J. Manning. Thereafter her letters are spiced occasionally by ebullient references to her imminent wedding.
In a letter of June 24 to Elizabeth Upham Yates, Taft stated that Bryn Mawr College would be honored to receive a portrait of Susan B. Anthony. A letter to Sarah J. Eddy of September 24 (copied out of sequence on page 367) acknowledges receipt of the portrait and requests additional information about its history.
M. Carey Thomas's letters supersede Taft's in mid-September. A highly informative discussion of her vision of the potential and orientation of the Carola Woerishoffer Department of Social Research occurs at the beginning of the volume. In her letter of April 10 to Susan Kingsbury (pp. 51-52) Thomas insisted that an opening in the department must be filled by a woman and that the department should concentrate on the study of women's problems. She continued by outlining her ideas about the qualifications for the position and her evaluation of prospective candidates. Later letters, notably one to Frances Hand written on October 9, refer to the development and policies of the department. Other letters to Mrs. Hand, to whom Thomas wrote unusually full and confidential accounts of college policy matters at this time, have a high level of interest.
Thomas's pro-League of Nations activities are reflected in her October correspondence which includes letters to the editors of several newspapers asserting that women should vote against Warren G. Harding because he represented the opponents of the League.
A letter to Hilda W. Smith at the beginning of November, detailing arrangements for an address to the student body by Mary McLeod Bethume, is pregnant with implications regarding Thomas's persisting racism and the more liberal attitudes which appear to have been emerging among other members of the administration. Stating that she would not attend, Thomas stipulated that Bethume should be taken directly to the chapel from the train and depart the campus immediately after the conclusion of her talk.
Reel 142: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 67. November 3, 1920 - April 26, 1921
Old attitudes and fresh ideas, the continuation of earlier projects and the initiation of new directions are interwoven in the letters on Reel 142.
In a letter of November 15 to Helen Taft Manning, President Thomas voiced her concern about having courses in political science given by two Catholics; the following month in a letter to Asa S. Wing, she reviewed her perception of the history of the college's difficulties in dealing with Jews. At the same time Thomas was working out her plans to create a summer school for women industrial workers, perhaps the most strikingly innovative accomplishment of her career. She invited Mary Anderson and Margaret Dreier Robins to participate in an organizational meeting and expressed her solicitude about the possible reaction of the American Federation of Labor (see letter of April 4 to Pauline Goldmark).
More routinely, Thomas was writing about faculty appointments, salary increases for the college staff personnel, the need to economize on campus costs, efforts to recruit a dean, and plans to establish a Department of Music. Marie Curie and Emmeline Pankhurst were invited to speak at the college. Difficulties within the Association of Collegiate Alumnae regarding its club house in Washington were aired, and a disagreement with Edith Hamilton about the composition of the Bryn Mawr School Board of Managers emerged (December 23 letter to Edith Hamilton). Thomas retained the services of an efficiency expert to survey campus operations and recommend a new plan of organizing the administration. There is a multitude of letters regarding committee meetings -- joint, standing, special, etc. -- of the Board of Directors and the faculty.
In the surge of old and new represented on this reel, Thomas demonstrated the steadfastness of her central feminist theme; in a letter of March 1 to Asa S. Wing, she vigorously asserted the reasons that the presidency of Bryn Mawr College should be kept in the hands of women.
Reel 143: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 68. April 26 - November 5, 1921
Judging from her official correspondence, nothing so much engaged M. Carey Thomas's attention during the final year of her presidency as the Summer School for Women Workers in Industry. On April 29 she invited the following to serve on its Advisory Committee: Mary Van Kleeck, Grace Abbot, Mary McDowell, Edith Campbell, Victor A. Olander, Mary Gilson, Charles B. Stillman, Maude Schwartz, Mary Dreier, Alice Hamilton, and Margaret Dreier Robins. On May 26, she added Alvin E. Dodd, W.H. Hamilton, and Frances Perkins. Writing to Rose Schneiderman on May 25, Thomas promised that the summer school faculty would have complete academic freedom in choosing both subject matter and methodology. She added that she personally hoped that subjects would be treated academically and not confined to matters relating directly to industrial work. To raise money for the support of the school, Thomas personally undertook a letter campaign.
President Thomas played an active role in preparing a tribute to Madame Marie Curie and in raising money for the Marie Curie Radium Fund. In a letter on this subject to Frances Hand (April 30), she cited the work of American women in science, mentioning Alice Hamilton, Florence Sabin, Anna Johnson Pell, Ada Hart Arlitt, Rebecca Laird, and Florence Bascom.
Writing about the selection of her successor, Thomas stated that she did not consider Marion Park the candidate best qualified for the position. In several confidential letters, she seems to have tried to promote the selection of Lucy Donnelly. Other college matters discussed include her efforts to assure the donation of a telescope by the construction of an observatory to house it on the campus; the recruitment of "new style" wardens (i.e. those qualified to carry academic responsibilities rather than housekeeping duties) and implementation of other recommendations of an efficiency expert; plans for the Anna Howard Shaw Foundation lectures at BMC (see letter of September 21 to Carrie Chapman Catt); and the threat of the Self-government Board to resign if the faculty and/or administration attempted to regulate students' weekend absences.
Thomas's continuing interest in the peace movement is reflected in her letters to Hamilton Holt agreeing to serve on a committee to organize support for the League of Nations and to Samuel Gompers accepting membership on an advisory disarmament committee.
Reel 144: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 69. November 5, 1921 - June 2, 1922
Carey Thomas's concern about the selection of her successor peaked in the final months of 1921. At different times she asserted that her first choice was Caroline Spurgeon (letter of December 21 to Isabel Maddison) and Ada Comstock (December 9 letter to Asa S. Wing), but in the latter case she added that Marion E. Park would be acceptable to her. On January 7 she confided to Marion Reilly her belief that "all except the most liberal men on the faculty feel that with a man in the presidency they can get rid of the hated competition of women and especially of women full professors and heads of departments."
Letters regarding the summer school for industrial workers and the departments of Economics and of Social Research attest to Thomas's defense of their curricula against the criticism of such organizations as the Chamber of Commerce (January 31 letter to G.W.B. Hicks) and her pride in the confidence organized labor had shown in their programs (February 6 letter to Helen Bartlett).
Other interests emerging at this time include the following: support of the Smith-Towner bill to create a federal Department of Education (December 12 letter to Representative Caleb R. Layton); promotion of international education (for example, the Institute of International Education and women's education in England); advocacy of the admission of women to architectural schools (letter of February 18 to Josiah Penniman) and the inclusion of women on national student committees (letter of January 16 to John Rothchild).
In planning for the commencement of 1922, Thomas participated in the preparations for the ceremony commemorating her retirement and celebrating her career. On May 27, in the first of a pair of remarkable letters to keynote speaker William Welch, Thomas listed distinguished scholars, scientists, and administrators who had begun their careers at Bryn Mawr College. The continuation of this letter is contained in Letterbook no. 70.
Reel 145: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook no. 70. May 29 - September 6, (December) 1922
Combined in Letterbook no. 70 are the final pieces of M. Carey Thomas's presidential correspondence and the first of her successor, Marion Edwards Park. For the purpose of this publication, only letters written by, to, or on behalf of Thomas have been microfilmed. Included are all of the first 195 1/2 pages (items dated May 29-September 6) and twenty-six additional letters scattered throughout the remainder of the volume.
The second of a two-part letter to Dr. William Welch, in which President Thomas summarized her perception of the highlights of both Bryn Mawr College's history and her own career, is located near the beginning of this reel . (Its complement, dated May 27, is in the preceding letterbook.) In it Thomas cited the following as the college's contributions to the higher education of women: graduate fellowships, fellowships to foreign students, the group system of course requirements, entrance examination requirements, and knowledge of French and German as a requisite for graduation. She added that Bryn Mawr was the first college to recognize the importance of residence as an element of education, the first to employ only college graduates as wardens, the first to treat men and women on the faculty equally, the first to have women as heads of departments in which men also taught, and the leader in employing married women in its faculty. In summary she concluded that Bryn Mawr had always emphasized not only scholarship but the same scholarship for men and women.
Thomas's other correspondence on this reel treats such topics as staff and faculty appointments, fund raising for the International Federation of University Women and the Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, and notices to students of their appointments to campus jobs, and to students and their parents of academic failures.
Reel 146: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Outgoing Correspondence: Vacation Scrapbooks A, B and C.
Microfilmed on Reel 146 are three scrapbooks made up of mounted copies of M. Carey Thomas's official letters written during several vacations. The datesof entries are as follows:
Subjects covered are similar to those focused upon in Thomas's academic term correspondence, with certain predictable variations: remodeling of the Deanery; upkeep, staffing, opening, and closing of campus buildings; the Bryn Mawr School (including the appointment of Edith Hamilton as headmistress in 1896); the Naples Table; faculty selection and appointments; college monies (notably the expenditures of Mary Garrett's annual gift of $10,000). Additionally, Thomas wrote numerous letters of instruction to staff members remaining on campus during the vacation periods regarding their general duties and special problems.
Reel 147: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Outgoing Correspondence: Vacation Scrapbooks D, E, F and Copybooks G, H, I
Reel 147 is made up of three vacation scrapbooks containing M. Carey Thomas'sofficial correspondence and three official copybooks dated as follows:
(Copybooks H and I are not in chronological order; the latter surfaced after processing and indexing of the former had been completed.)The subject matter of M. Carey Thomas's vacation scrapbooks on this reel , as on the preceding reel , is general college business in its sundry aspects. In addition, there is a concentration in 1902 of material pertaining to the construction of a power house on campus.
The copybooks, which are not limited to vacation letters, are comprised of carbon copies of President Thomas's handwritten official correspondence. Because of this process, the technical quality tends to be very poor; many are so faint as to be partially or virtually illegible. These letters, handwritten by Thomas because of the importance of the addressees or the personal or confidential nature of the subject matter, are a select group. Included are such recipients and respective topics as John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (his family's gifts to the college); David Scull and Henry Tatnall (confidential Trustees' business); Anna Woerishoffer (a memorial to Carola Woerishoffer); Sophonisba Breckinridge (suffrage finances); and Josephine Thomas (Thomas's estrangement from Mamie Gwinn Hodder).
Unbound Correspondence (Reels 148-163)
For the purpose of this microfilm publication, unbound official correspondence was removed from the Office Files (see explanation of Subseries 3 below) and reorganized to form Subseries 2 (Reels 148-163). Outgoing and incoming letters have been filed into separate chronological sequences, with undated items and fragments appearing at the end of each. These have been microfilmed on Reels 148-151 and 152-163, respectively. Correspondence in Subseries 2 is indexed in the Guide and also in the subject folder where it was filed.
Because of the imbalance in volume between Thomass Incoming and Outgoing (the official letterbooks plus unbound outgoing letters) Correspondence, it must be assumed that a sizable quantity of her incoming mail has been lost. It is reasonable to conclude, however, that important letters would have been handled more carefully than relatively routine items and are likely to have survived.
The unbound archival records from M. Careys Thomass presidential files are organized topically and filed alphabetically by subject heading. This consists of such materials as copies of Thomass speeches, minutes of meetings, reports, memoranda, third party correspondence, clippings, notes, ephemera, etc. Prior to microfilming, President Thomass correspondence (except for rough drafts) was removed from these files to create Subseries 2. An inventory of letters found in each folder has been microfilmed as the first item in each subject file. A list of subjects microfilmed on each reel follows the reel note. Except for the temporary removal of Thomass correspondence, the structure of this file was not modified for microfilm publication. In some cases duplications have been found; in others overlaps of topics seem to occur. Following the alphabetical sequence of the office files are two reels of personnel records of faculty and staff who served during Thomass administration. The bulk of the material in these files consists of contracts and letters of agreement.
The letterpress copybooks of Thomass longtime assistant, Isabel Maddison, (Reels 189-207) and two of her secretaries (Reels 208-209) conclude the Official Papers. The duties and responsibilities of Maddison, which were manifold, are reflected in her letters. Most of her incoming correspondence apparently has been lost. The letterbooks of the secretaries complement those of President Thomas during the periods which they cover.
Reel 148: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Outgoing Correspondence. 1878-1907
Reel 148 is comprised of M. Carey Thomas's outgoing unbound correspondence from a twenty-five year period preceding the establishment of Bryn Mawr College and covering its early history. Although the reel begins with Thomas's letter withdrawing from enrollment at the Johns Hopkins University because of the restrictions against her full participation in its programs, most of this correspondence pertains directly to the operations of Bryn Mawr College. Included are a number of Dean Thomas's letters to President James E. Rhoads, notably her seminal letter of August 14, 1883, setting forth her ideas and aspirations for the college. In addition, there are letters to members of the Board of Trustees about college finances, construction of Pembroke dormitory and other campus buildings, and the religious life of the college community; letters to members of the faculty about housing, contracts, courses, and curriculum; and letters to various addressees about college publications, fund raising, the Naples Table Association, the appointment of Marion Reilly as dean in 1907, etc.
(Note: Microfilmed on Reels 148-151 is President Thomas's extant unbound official correspondence from the Bryn Mawr College Archives. Consisting of drafts, carbon copies, and recipient copies, these letters have been removed from a subject file of records from Thomas's administration, and filed chronologically for the purpose of this microfilm publication. Undoubtedly a number of the carbon copies duplicate items in the presidential letterbooks. However spot checks have confirmed that the preponderance of this correspondence does not replicate items present elsewhere in the collection. The researcher should use this material in conjunction with the letterbooks in order to have access to the entire run of Thomas's outgoing official mail.).
Reel 149: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Outgoing Correspondence. 1908-1913
M. Carey Thomas's official correspondence from 1908 to 1913 pertains to college business and policy, her involvement in educational matters not directly related to Bryn Mawr College, and the women's suffrage movement. Among the principal topics concerning the college are its operating budget, Student Self-government, the endowment fund, May Day, faculty housing, the ornamentation of campus buildings and grounds, and staff appointments. In addition, President Thomas manifested considerable interest in the United States Commissioner of Education's report on colleges for women (January 8, 1908 letter to Elmer Ellsworth Brown); the College Entrance Examination Board; and the reform of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Code (January 1909). Thomas's active involvement in the suffrage movement is documented in her copious correspondence with Anna Howard Shaw, Caroline Lexow, and others.
Reel 150: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Outgoing Correspondence. 1914-1918
Letters about the 1916 faculty uprising predominate on Reel 150. Much information may be gleaned from these letters relevant to the following: the background of accumulating misunderstanding and distrust; the charges of abuses leveled against President Thomas in the Philadelphia Public Ledger; her item by item rebuttal of these criticisms; and the resolution of the crisis with the adoption and implementation of the New Plan of Government. (Correspondence in this file from the year 1916 is unusually heavy. When the college records from M. Carey Thomas's administration were reorganized in 1950 to provide access to unbound materials through a topical arrangement, letters relating to the faculty crisis were excised from one of Thomas's official letterbooks (no. 61) and incorporated into this file. Whenever identifiable, these errant documents have been restored to the letterbook, with Xerox copies being retained in this series.)
Other topics of considerable correspondence on Reel 150 are the Phebe Anna Thorne Model School, the institution of a cut rule regulating undergraduate class attendance together with student protest against it, and the American School for Classical Studies at Athens.
Reel 151: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Outgoing Correspondence. 1919-1935 and undated
Up to the time of her retirement, President Thomas's correspondence remained germane to the general operations of Bryn Mawr College. However, her presidential correspondence on this reel (approximately 850 frames) was interrupted by her absence from the campus on sabbatical leave in 1919-1920. Two years later in the spring of 1922, she retired. During her sabbatical leave she wrote frequent, substantive letters to acting president Helen H. Taft. Prior to her leave and after her return to her official duties, her mail treated familiar subjects: faculty salaries, assignments, and appointments; reorganization of the administration to achieve greater efficiency; gifts to the college treasury, etc. She also assisted in the preparations for her own retirement celebration, and her letters of May 27 and 29, 1922 to the principal speaker William Welch, encapsulating the college's academic innovations and listing its leading scholars, embody her personal evaluation of her most important contributions to Bryn Mawr College and to American higher education.
Correspondence from Thomas's retirement years is sparse. Among the topics are the Deanery, the Athens Hostel, the Equal Rights Amendment, the Anna Howard Shaw Memorial Fund, the Bryn Mawr School, the college's Fiftieth Anniversary celebration in 1935, and her support for prohibition and a minimum wage.
(Note: To preserve the integrity of their provenance, M. Carey Thomas's Personal Papers have not been merged with the official records of her administration as president of Bryn Mawr College. Among the official papers there are small lots of both incoming and outgoing correspondence from the years after her retirement. How they became a part of the college archives is not clear. Thomas did not vacate the Deanery until 1933 and it may be that these items derive from her intermittent periods of residence on campus during her years as president emeritus. In any case, students of her activities in retirement should not overlook this material. On the other hand, those interested in her continued involvement in educational institutions (Bryn Mawr College, the Bryn Mawr School, the Athens Hostel, etc.) and social reform (the Equal Rights Amendment, prohibition, etc.) should also consult the considerable body of papers relating to these subjects among Thomas's Personal Papers.).
Reel 152: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1880-1894
The richest concentration of documents from the first decade of Bryn Mawr College's history to be found in the M. Carey Thomas Papers is microfilmed on this reel. It is preceded by approximately seventy frames of letters deriving from the years immediately prior to the opening of the college (1880-1884). Letters of application for positions on the college faculty and staff, letters of inquiry from prospective students, and letters of congratulations from well-wishers form the bulk of this material. Included are such noteworthy items as Hannah Whitall Smith's letter congratulating her niece on her doctorate and H.B. Adam's recommendation of Woodrow Wilson for a position on the BMC faculty. In addition, there are a few pieces about the Association of Collegiate Alumnae activities and membership.
With the opening of the college in 1885, the influx of correspondence accelerated. A dozen letters of President James E. Rhoads bearing his observations, instructions, and counsel about the general operations of the college survive from the first year. Other 1885 letters -- letters of application, recommendation, and appointment of faculty, staff, and fellows -- afford a glimpse of the nature of the group that assembled on campus for the college's first term. Among these are two Woodrow Wilson letters evaluating candidates for history fellowships.
Administrative correspondence regarding students and faculty continue through the remainder of the reel. It is enriched by substantive and illuminating letters from college trustees. Carey Thomas's uncle, James Whitall, periodically sent her letters remarkable for the information they provide about Trustees' business, particularly the financial interests of the college, and for the wisdom, practicality, and caution of his advice to his ambitious niece. Whitall's letters are amplified and complemented by those of other trustees: David Scull, Philip C. Garrett, Albert Smiley, Edward Bettle, James Carey Thomas, and James E. Rhoads.
The academic program in the early years of the college's operation produced a rich and varied correspondence: Josiah Royce's recommendations of philosophers are striking in content and expression; Charlotte A. Scott's plans for joining the faculty and developing a new department, to be found in her 1885 letters, are reprised in an 1894 letter of Florence Bascom. Carolyn C. Ladd recorded the inception of the physical education program and revealed her disillusionment with her status and treatment; Professor Lindley Keasbey's Free Silver beliefs provoked an 1890 letter of protest. James Rhoad's letters provide some access to his views about faculty matters. In June 1888 he commented in several letters about Woodrow Wilson's failure to honor the terms of his contract with the college. On August 22, 1891, Rhoads informed Dean Thomas that he felt the appointment of Jews to the faculty would be a violation of the college's charter, adding that their presence on campus would make the preaching and teaching of Christianity exceedingly difficult.
A non-BMC subject covered by a small but rich run of correspondence is the establishment of the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. Mary E. Garrett's interest in the medical education of women in Baltimore as early as January 1885 is documented. Substantive letters on fund raising and policy decisions ultimately resulting in the endowment of the Medical School continue from that early date into the first months of 1893, including among others, letters from James Carey Thomas, Elizabeth T. King, Francis King, Mary Garrett, William Welch, and Dr. Emily Blackwell.
Reel 153: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1895 - May 1898
Letters to President M. Carey Thomas surviving from the period, 1895-May 1898, suggest that beneath the surface of routine business a critical struggle was being waged to determine the college's destiny. Apparently the president was intent on modifying the program and policies of the college in the direction of greater academic freedom and intellectual excellence, while the Board of Trustees was equally determined to assure that the primary goal of the college remain the commitment to Christian education and principles. Following the deaths of James E. Rhoads and James Carey Thomas in 1895 and 1897 respectively, Thomas received letters of condolence. These were followed in each case by warnings from the trustees that her hope to be named to the trusteeships vacated by the demise of these loyal supporters would not be realized. David Scull's letters on this subject are noteworthy in both instances. In fact, Scull, who was Thomas's cousin and personal friend, seems often to have served as spokesman for the Board in communicating its displeasure with her policies, perhaps softening some of its criticisms in the process. In October 1896 and again in January 1897, he catalogued her perceived shortcomings. Other trustees' letters, particularly in early 1895 and at the end of 1896, convey similar messages of conservative, even rigid, policies. Some literally advocated book burning. Of the extant trustees' letters, only Albert K. Smiley's are uniformly supportive.
Although specific incidents that distressed or outraged the Trustees rarely appear, one outstanding example may be traced within the span of this reel. Early in 1896 Alys Russell wrote to her cousin Carey proposing that she and Bertrand give a series of lectures at Bryn Mawr College. Other letters from Alys and Bertrand preparatory to their visit follow; none suggest the controversial nature of the topics they were to examine. Following their visit Alys wrote that she hoped they had not caused trouble for Thomas with the trustees and specifically denied that she or Bertrand had mentioned religion, neo-Malthusianism, or free love to the students. However Alys Russell's disclaimers did not save Carey Thomas from the Board's criticism, and the Russell lectures were cited in Scull's list of grievances in the January 1897 letter.
Restrictions on free discussion came not only from Trustees and were not limited to moral issues. Thomas received letters protesting reported vivisection in the biology laboratories (fall of 1895) and proscribing proposed lectures on socialism and Free Silver (letters of Alexander C. Wood and David Scull).
An April 25, 1897, letter from Ida Hyde proposed the formation of a committee to support a woman at the Naples biological research station and invited Thomas to chair the committee. Subsequent correspondence from Hyde and others treats the early history of the Naples Table Association.
Faculty correspondence continues, including a suggestion from Joseph W. Warren that, because of the anxiety they produced among students, senior oral examinations should be restructured. Complaining of sexist attitudes which she perceived to be generally held, Charlotte A. Scott, in a letter of January 12, 1898, charged that male professors at BMC believed education had to be watered down for women. Other professors grumbled about the inadequacy of their salaries, failure of promotions to be granted as promised, etc.
Reel 154: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. June 1898 - 1900
Letters bracketing the turn of the century, though heavier in volume, are less consequential in subject matter than those of the preceding years. Trustees' letters continue to be numerous, but the topics discussed have shifted from fundamental educational principles to such relatively mundane matters as faculty appointments and salaries, building upkeep and repairs, and budget and finances. By the end of 1899, Henry Tatnall, Chairman of the Finance Committee, was inundating Thomas with queries and directions about the overall budget of the college and its day to day financial transactions. As the number of his letters grew, his tone became increasingly rigid and testy.
Faculty letters form a second major body of correspondence. Protest against senior oral language examinations continued (Gonzalez Lodge, December 4, 1898). Clarence D. Ashley offered to teach a legal course to Bryn Mawr College students without compensation and added that women needed to be trained to be intellectually more aggressive in questioning the content of lectures presented in classroom situations. William A. Neilson's letters in the spring of 1899 reflect his willingness to accept criticism and his openness to advice and guidance in his teaching. In spite of this apparent malleability, his work at BMC did not earn Thomas's confidence and he resigned the following April.
The Naples Table, library acquisitions, Ume Tsuda's plans to open a private school in her native Japan (August 9, 1900 letter), the Olmsted Brothers' plan for landscaping the campus (October 22, 1898), Librarian Isabel E. Lord's objections to Cope's library design (December 5, 1900), faculty housing, the Bryn Mawr school, and Student Self-government are other subjects of correspondence.
Reel 155: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1901-1903
The topics that dominated M. Carey Thomas's incoming correspondence during 1901-1903 were a major building program and the fund drive launched to support the new construction. Letters from Cope and Stewardson, the architects in charge of the program, first appear in the spring of 1901, marking the beginning of one of the heaviest and apparently most complete runs of correspondence in this series. There is, in addition, a number of letters from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. about the Rockefeller pledge to the construction fund. By the second half of 1903, serious disagreements arising out of the expansion of the college plant were apparent as the trustees opposed the president's wishes concerning numerous architectural and decorative features, partly in an effort to check spiraling costs.
Faculty letters include some annual departmental reports (occurring for the first time here and at the end of subsequent years), reports of faculty committees, and communications from and about the Faculty Senate (see the letters of Joseph W. Warren).
Documentation of the interest of suffrage leaders in reaching college audiences begins to appear at this time. Carrie Chapman Catt, in December 1901, offered to recommend lectures for the college. The following year on February 1, Susan B. Anthony disclosed her plans to visit Bryn Mawr and recommended Anna Howard Shaw as a speaker.
Items of special import include Trustee Philip G. Garrett's February 1902 letter supporting strict adherence to the policy of denying faculty applications to offer courses on other campuses; Nettie Stevens' 1903 letter accepting a BMC research fellowship because she was unable to find a suitable position elsewhere; and letters in May and June of 1902 from the president of the Student Self- Government Association regarding the procedures and limitations to be observed in investigating students suspected of criminal acts.
Reel 156: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1904-1905
A variety of subjects-building construction, the design of the college seal, Naples Table Association matters, decoration of the library, the deficit in the construction budget, and College Entrance Examination Board matters -- is discussed in M. Carey Thomas's correspondence on Reel 156.
Officials of other colleges frequently sought President Thomas's advice, based upon the Bryn Mawr experience, about such matters as rules of student conduct, dormitory design and construction, table costs, and, most particularly, the operation of the student self-government.
In February 1904, Alice Rand Eldridge offered the college an important mineral collection for its geology department. Writing on May 10, 1905, Susan B. Anthony voiced her concern about the difficulties qualified women experienced in finding college teaching positions.
In the spring of 1905, John G. Johnson, an eminent Philadelphia attorney who provided the college with free legal services, sent Thomas his opinion regarding the Carnegie Foundation pension plan for college and university professors and the measures that should be taken in seeking admission to the program. The following fall Thomas collected statistical data from the Bryn Mawr faculty preparatory to submitting an application to the Foundation.
In May and June of 1905 there was an influx of letters from parents whose daughters' prospects for graduation were adversely affected by the newly adopted merit rules.
Reel 157: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1906-1907
Two great controversies erupted on the Bryn Mawr College campus in 1906. The first, charges of highhandedness in dealing with faculty and staff and cost overruns in the building construction program combined to provoke a Trustees' inquiry into President M. Carey Thomas's integrity and fitness for her office. Very little documentation concerning the investigations is to be found in this material. The most important piece of evidence in the case against Thomas preserved here is a letter of November 29, 1906, from E.W. Bowles in which he attempts to explain a discrepancy in Thomas's account of how teak wood came to be ordered for library paneling in opposition to the Trustees' directions. A few letters of support from Thomas's friends and well-wishers are present. Of these the most eloquent and illuminating is that of alumna Abby Kirk (December 4, 1906) reporting public opinion: "It is true that many people distrust you, that you have a reputation for acting on principles of policy rather than of honour -- that more than once you have been said to have broken a promise -- and that these things are said openly and widely believed in other colleges..." and expressing her own complete loyalty: "To tell the truth -- you, rather than the college, are my alma mater"..."
The other controversy is more amply documented. Although its background is sketchy, it is clear that objections were raised, probably by the Student Self- Government Association, against smoking by women staff and faculty members. Beginning in May 1906 and continuing through the year there are a great many letters about the smoking imbroglio, including a host of denials that they smoked from women in the college community. Apparently women employees were expected to forswear smoking in private as well as in public, off campus as well as on the grounds of the college, and on vacation as well as during the school year.
Other subjects of importance appear in isolated letters. Anna Howard Shaw, writing on March 10, 1906, related Susan B. Anthony's sick bed wish that her estate should be added to the fund Carey Thomas was collecting to support suffrage work. On June 8 of that year, David Starr Jordan reported to President Thomas the extent of earthquake damage suffered by Stanford University. Vernon Howe Bailey wrote about the series of drawings of the campus he had been commissioned to produce. Ira Remsen of Johns Hopkins University, replying in March 1907 to Thomas's charge that he had raided the Bryn Mawr faculty, acknowledged the validity of her grievance and promised to seek elsewhere for qualified candidates before calling any other Bryn Mawr men. Ume Tsuda wrote on May 22, 1907, about the progress of her plans for establishing a school in Japan.
Mail from faculty, trustees, and parents persists; the latter most often regards students' academic shortcomings.
Reel 158: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1908-1909
The years 1908-1909 appear, based on the content of President M. Carey Thomas's incoming mail, to have been a relatively serene time on the Bryn Mawr College campus. The mix of subjects is heavily weighted in the direction of the day to day college operations. Trustees' letters emphasize organizational and financial matters. Very heavy faculty correspondence reveals that this otherwise quiet period saw the introduction of a number of new courses and innovative classroom methods as the faculty and administration experimented with ways to capture the interest of a seemingly under-motivated generation of students. On April 27, 1909, Tenney Frank protested that the contract Thomas had offered him failed to fulfill promises she had made to him earlier. As revealed in Thomas's correspondence, Lucien Foulet stunned the 1909 commencement audience with a public outburst against what he interpreted as anti-Gallic remarks of the commencement speaker, David Starr Jordan.
The dispute with Cope and Stewardson over their fees, which was finally settled in the fall of 1908, generated considerable correspondence, the most instructive part being the communications of college counsel John G. Johnson. John Olmstead and Lockwood deforest letters about the landscaping of college grounds and decorations of buildings are present, along with letters from several sources about the design of the college seal and the erection of a memorial sun dial on the campus.
There is a slight amount of correspondence about the suffrage movement, the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, the YWCA, and the College Entrance Examination Board.
Reel 158: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1910 - June 1912
Faculty and trustees letters regarding routine college business form the bulk of correspondence on Reel 159. In general good news seems to have outweighed the bad. In June of 1910 President Thomas received congratulations upon the successful completion of the one-half million dollar endowment drive from, among others, William H. Taft. Taft, in the same letter accepted an invitation to visit the college. In the fall, many friends of the college sent their felicitations on the celebration of its twenty-fifth anniversary. Announcement of a major gift from Jonathan and Samuel Thome also generated correspondence at the end of 1910. The following fall the legacy to the college of a large share of Carola Woerishoffer's estate occasioned another influx of congratulations.
Complaints about the heating system and the threat of a scarlet fever epidemic, which closed the college briefly in the spring of 1911, were the only college-wide problems which surface in this correspondence. In May of 1910 Marion Reilly reported that a number of students had attended a Eugene V. Debs political meeting without permission. Richard Holbrook protested in the spring of 1912 against the decision that he would not receive a promotion which he considered due to him. Thomas, in correspondence clustered between November 1911 and February 1912, personally received a good deal of criticism (as well as support) for her role in an Association of Collegiate Alumnae controversy over reorganization. Outstanding among these is the evenly balanced analysis of Sophonisba Breckinridge.
There is a flurry of suffrage letters in May 1910 including notable letters from Anna Howard Shaw and Lucy Salmon. In the spring of 1912 Mary Thayer Scudder requested permission for her daughter to march in a suffrage parade.
Several noteworthy individual items include the following: Soliciting information about Nettie Stevens for an article in the journal Science, T.H. Morgan lauded the accomplishments of her brief career. In October 1911 Abraham Flexner asserted that women's colleges should follow the lead of the most prestigious men's colleges in liberalizing their entrance requirements. On May 18, 1912, Mary Coes informed President Thomas that Mary Woolley, James Taylor, Ellen Pendleton, and others were unwilling to invite Madame Marie Curie to lecture on their campuses because of scandal involving her. Coes suggested that the Naples Table Association might want to reconsider its decision to offer a prize to Curie during her American tour.
Reel 160: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. July 1912 - 1914
Extant M. Carey Thomas incoming correspondence from this period is largely made up of faculty correspondence, staff memoranda (from the librarian, the business manager, presidential assistants, etc.) and other types of intra-campus mail. The perennial theme of inadequate faculty salaries is varied by reports of parents' contributions to a special fund for alleviating this situation (October-December 1912) and by protests against a change in the salary payment schedule (March and April 1914). Other faculty correspondence regards the organization of departments, especially English (see particularly Lucy Donnelly's letters) and psychology; classes and schedules; academic policy; etc. (Note: Drafts of Arthur Wheeler's letters to President Thomas have been placed in the college archives. When present, these have been filed and microfilmed along with the recipient copies. In some cases only the draft survives.)
Preparatory to the opening of the Phebe Anna Thome Model School, Principal-elect, Mathilde Castro, and professor of education, Kate Gordon, both traveled extensively visiting schools in the United States and Europe in search of new and useful ideas regarding programs and administration. Letters reporting their travels are present.
Facilities for women at the American School for Classical Studies in Athens and the women's suffrage movement are also subjects of discussion in this correspondence. Regarding the latter, there are substantive letters from Anna Howard Shaw and Katherine D. McCormick.
Trustees' letters, which earlier composed a sizable and informative portion of President Thomas's mail, by the end of 1912 had dwindled to a very few, most of which were from the Treasurer of the Board, Asa S. Wing.
Reel 161: M. Carey. M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1915 - September 1918
Long-smoldering faculty unrest provoked chiefly by the concentration of power in the hands of President M. Carey Thomas gathered heat, exploded dramatically, and was resolved to the satisfaction of most of the college community in the course of time covered by correspondence on this reel. By the end of the period, the campus crisis had been superseded as a focus of interest by international events.
Dissatisfaction with changes in the organization and personnel of the English Department, one of the most volatile sources of the discontent which erupted in the Faculty Uprising during the spring of 1916, is amply documented. In the last half of 1915, for example, Thomas received a sizable influx of alumnae letters protesting the demotion of Regina Crandall, who had formerly headed the department's essay work. Particularly useful in elucidating the faculty's position in this confrontation is a December 4, 1915, letter of Arthur H. Wheeler's rejecting a plan offered by President Thomas for modifying the Bryn Mawr College faculty-trustee relationship and insisting that the American Association of University Professors's model of faculty involvement in college administration be adhered to. Letters from Trustees, the Public Ledger's editor, and alumnae (especially Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant and Evangeline Andrews) help to further clarify this matter.
By the spring of 1917 letters pertaining to war relief, possible military service of faculty and staff, restrictions on travel, etc. had begun to appear. There are small lots of correspondence regarding student defense work and Emmeline Pankhurst's patriotic efforts. Several letters reporting student hijinks - trespassing on neighboring property, spying on faculty meetings, etc.- survive from 1918.
Reel 162: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. October 1918 - 1922
Incoming correspondence deriving from President M. Carey Thomas's last years in office is microfilmed on Reel 162. Subjects of discussion include faculty pensions; women smoking on campus; the Summer School for Women Workers in Industry; the possible gift of a telescope to the college (Isabel R. Hewitt's letters); college monies and fund raising; the Bryn Mawr School (Edith Hamilton's letters); the Athens Hostel; establishment of the Music Department; staff salaries; and gifts to the college. During Thomas's sabbatical leave in the academic year 1919-1920, Acting President Helen H. Taft recapitulated in lengthy, newsy letters events and changes on the campus, especially her own activities. Among the distinguished correspondents represented are Herbert Hoover (letter of October 21, 1918) commenting on the college's response to the Federal Food program, Felix Frankfurter (February 7, 1919) praising the work of Bryn Mawr College trained industrial counselors, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Carrie Chapman Catt. The reel concludes with letters of congratulations and best wishes to Carey Thomas upon her retirement.
Reel 163: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Incoming Correspondence. 1923-1935 and undated
The first approximately two hundred frames on Reel 163 are letters from M. Carey Thomas's official papers deriving from her retirement years. Most pertain to college matters in which she had an ongoing interest: the Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, the Anna Howard Shaw lectures, Board of Trustees business, and her gift of the Deanery's furnishings and decorative objects to the college alumnae association. Other topics include the Athens Hostel, Thomas's speaking engagements, the Bryn Mawr School, and the Equal Rights Amendment.
The reel concludes with about nine hundred frames of undated correspondence filed alphabetically by author. Included, among others, are Katherine Loring's and Elizabeth King Ellicott's letters regarding the Women's Fund for the Johns Hopkins University Medical School; a Helen Taft Manning letter concerning the visit of the Queen of the Belgians to Bryn Mawr College; an Edith Wharton thank you note; and several letters each of Alys Russell and Susan M. Kingsbury.
Office Files (non-correspondence) (Reels 164-188)
Miscellaneous papers from the M. Carey Thomass administration as president of Bryn Mawr College are microfilmed on Reels 164-186. Included are such types of materials as reports, speeches, memoranda, third party correspondence, articles, ephemera, announcements, resource materials, minutes, clippings, etc., filed topically. President Thomass unbound incoming and outgoing official correspondence, which was integrated into the files as it was originally constituted, has been removed, filed chronologically, and microfilmed on Reels 148-163. To provide a reference to the correspondence which was filed under each subject heading and to facilitate full reconstruction of the files after the microfilm has been completed, an inventory has been made of the letters removed from each folder. This inventory is microfilmed as the first item under each heading.
This file was created in 1950 when President Katharine E. McBride retained Mary Louise Terrien to organize the unbound archival records of her predecessors as president of Bryn Mawr College. Miss Terrien brought to this task a first hand knowledge of much of Bryn Mawrs history. A former graduate student in the college, she served on the library staff from 1915 until 1948. Inevitably Miss Terriens selection of papers for retention and her choice of topic headings reflect her perception of which subjects and which documents were vital to the permanent record of the college. In fact, "The History of the College" was her title for the file which she created in organizing and preserving the records of M. Carey Thomass administration.
If time had permitted, Miss Terriens files would have been subjected to a rigorous review prior to microfilming. A cursory examination reveals categories which could be consolidated and others which should be restructured. However, neither the library nor the microfilm project could afford to allot staff time to the reorganization of an existing, workable file. It is probable, moreover, that no significant, over-all improvement could have been devised for the management of these miscellaneous materials.
Reel 164: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, A - Alumnae Association: Endowment Fund.
Highlights of Reel 164 include papers (agenda, reports, a copy of the constitution, etc.) of the Affiliated Summer Schools for Women Workers in Industry, 1926-1934, and several folders regarding the Alumnae Association and its activities.
Reel 165: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Alumnae Associations: Loans and Gifts - Association of Collegiate Alumnae: Foreign Universities
Papers pertaining to the Alumnae Association, begun on Reel 164, continue on Reel 165. Of note are folders of memorabilia from the college's 25th and 50th Anniversaries. The reel concludes with eight folders of reports, lists, statistics, etc. regarding the Association of Collegiate Alumnae.
Reel 166: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Athens Hostel - Bryn Mawr College: Seal, Use of
Material concerning the history of the Athens Hostel (including blueprints) is microfilmed at the beginning of Reel 166. Much of the remainder of the reel is comprised of topics directly related to the college. In addition to such subjects as "Athletic Association," "Bookplate," and "Bookshop," there are sixteen subtopics under "Bryn Mawr College." In particular, the folders on "Organization" are rich in documents concerning the founding of the college, including Carey Thomas's confidential journals reporting her travels to other women's colleges on a fact-finding tour prior to the opening of Bryn Mawr.
Reel 167: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Bryn Mawr College: Staffing - College Inn: Tea Room
Topics listed under "Bryn Mawr" are concluded on Reel 167. Among the subjects on which there are sizable holdings are the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, the Charter and By-laws of the college, and the Christian Association.
Reel 168: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, College Inn Association: Finance - Departments: English.
Papers regarding the College Inn, begun on Reel 167, are concluded on Reel 168. There is documentation concerning two significant controversies in President Thomas's administration in the folders entitled "Cope and Stewardson" and "Crandall, Regina." Papers relating to campus buildings are filed in the Cope and Stewardson folders and under the names Denbigh Hall, Dalton Hall, and the Deanery. Surviving records of academic departments from Biblical Literature through English are microfilmed on this reel.
Reel 169: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Departments: French - Exclusion of Students
Papers of academic departments from French through Spanish are microfilmed on Reel 169. Other noteworthy subjects are Endowment, the Equal Rights Amendment, European Fellowships, Examinations, and Exclusion of Students.
Reel 170: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, F - Finances. 1901
Papers pertaining to the faculty, its rules, salaries, pensions, etc. make up the bulk of the material microfilmed on Reel 170. Also of note are applications, lists, announcements, etc. regarding fellowships.
Reel 171: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Findlay, J.J. - Hallowell, Anna
Items of substance pertaining to the history of the college are to be found on Reel 171 under the headings "Fires and Fire Rules," "Friends at Bryn Mawr College" (notably a protest in Mamie Gwinn's handwriting against a statement in the college Program regarding Bryn Mawr College's association with the Society of Friends), "Mary Elizabeth Garrett" (including a holograph copy of Garrett's letter to the BMC Board of Trustees offering the college an annual gift of $10,000 during her lifetime contingent on Carey Thomas's holding the office of president), "General Education Board," "Gymnasium," and several listings applicable to the graduate school program.
Reel 172: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Halls - League of Nations
An unusually large number of topics are microfilmed on Reel 172. Although many of the folders have single or a very few items, there are interesting runs of papers in several categories. Of note are records filed under "Health" and "Infirmary," papers regarding Richard T. Holbrook (whose termination was one of the precipitating factors in the faculty uprising in 1916), "Landscape Architects" (Vaux and Olmsted plans for the campus), and several folders regarding the Johns Hopkins University Medical School.
Reel 173: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Lectures and Lecturers - Merion Hall
Three long runs of papers are microfilmed on Reel 173. These pertain to the Library (book lists, appropriations data, fund drive and construction information), the Low Buildings (legal, financial, and construction records), and May Day (clippings, programs, photographs, etc.). In addition, there are lesser lots of materials regarding such topics as "Lectures and Lecturers," "Legal Cases," and "Memorial Funds.".
Reel 174: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Merit Law - Phebe Anna Thorne Model School
Several topics appearing on Reel 174 relate to organizations or individuals of national or international importance. These include the Naples Table Association (constitution, minutes, reports, etc.), the National College Equal Suffrage League (constitution, financial records, minutes, etc.), the Paris Club House (reports, minutes, financial records, etc.), and Emmeline Pankhurst. Of significance to the college's history are the annual reports made to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction and papers regarding Orals and the Phebe Anna Thorne Model School.
Reel 175: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Phelps, William Lyon - President's Reports, Source Material. 1901-1902
Microfilmed on Reel 175 under the heading "Plan of Government" are, among other things, college bylaws, extracts from the minutes of the Board of Directors meetings, and President Thomas's 1916 commencement address hailing the adoption of a new form of college government. More than half the reel is comprised of source material for the President's Reports, 1898-1902. This includes rough drafts, reports of various administrative offices, departmental notes, etc.
Reel 176: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, President's Reports, Source Material. 1902-1906
Microfilmed on Reel 176 is source material for M. Carey Thomas's President's Reports, 1902-1906. This provides a wealth of information about the college's operations during those years in the form of statistics, clippings, lists, course schedules and faculty and administrative office reports (irregularly present).
Reel 177: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, President's Reports, Source Material: Reorganization Committee. 1906-1907
Source material for Carey Thomas's President's Reports (1906-1922) is concluded on Reel 177. Comprised of such materials as statistics regarding the student body, departmental and faculty reports, administrative records, etc., this provides considerable raw data on the history of the college. Also on this reel are folders pertaining to the Public Education Association of Philadelphia, Religion, and the Reorganization Committee (1922 reorganization).
Reel 178: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Requirements: Entrance - Scott, Charlotte A.
Under the headings "Requirements - Entrance and Graduate" and "Scholarships - Chinese, Graduate, Japanese, and Undergraduate" papers concerning vital academic policies are microfilmed on Reel 178. Among the individuals whose files appear on this reel, the following are of particular note: James E. Rhoads, Alys Russel, Howard Savage, and Charlotte A. Scott.
Reel 179: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Scripture, Elsa - Summer School for Women Workers in Industry: Contributions. 1921-1922
Papers under four general headings - Self- Government (documenting the record of student government), Students, Suffrage, and the Summer School for Women Workers in Industry -- provide most of the bulk on Reel 179. In addition, there are memorials and other items regarding David Scull, Anna Howard Shaw, and Nettie Maria Stevens. Filed under her name is Hannah Whitall Smith's letter to the Bryn Mawr College Board of Trustees supporting her niece's candidacy to be president of the college.
Reel 180: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Summer School for Women Workers in Industry: Curricula - Taylor, Joseph Wright: Will
Approximately one half of Reel 180 is comprised of papers regarding the Summer School for Women Workers in Industry filed under such subtopics as "Curricula," "Directors," "Executive Committee," "Finance," "Publications," "Scholarships," "Staff," and "Students." Among the papers making up the remainder of the reel, folders pertaining to Helen Herron Taft (Helen Taft Manning) and Joseph Wright Taylor are noteworthy.
Reel 181: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Taylor, Lily Ross - Thomas, President M. Carey: Speeches -- Am-At.
Reel 181 is dominated by papers pertaining directly to M. Carey Thomas. Under her father's name (James Carey Thomas) is a copy of his letter to the Board of Trustees recommending that she be named president of the college. Following that are eighteen folders under President Thomas's name housing papers relating to such topics as "Appreciations," "Attacks on," "Family Tree," "Health," "Leaves of Absence," "Publications," "Retirement," etc. Her speeches, filed alphabetically, begin at the end of the reel.
Reel 182: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Thomas, President M. Carey: Speeches -- B-Bro - Chapel. February - June 1915
Reel 182 is made up entirely of M. Carey Thomas's speeches filed alphabetically, beginning with B and concluding with her 1915 Chapel talks. These include her public addresses delivered on and off campus. Although some of the most important of them were printed for distribution, most are present only in the form of notes from which she spoke. Thomas's speeches are begun on Reel 181 and continued on Reels 183-185; other speeches appear on Reels 77 and 78 of the Personal Papers.
Reel 183: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Thomas, President M. Carey: Speeches -- Chapel, - Chi-Colonial. September-December 1915
Reel 183 is made up entirely of M. Carey Thomas's speeches filed alphabetically, beginning with Chapel talks from the fall of 1915 and concluding with "Colonial." These include her public addresses delivered on and off campus. Although some of the most important of them were printed for distribution, most are present only in the form of notes from which she spoke. Thomas's speeches are begun on Reel 181 and continue through 185; other speeches appear on Reels 77 and 78 in the Personal Papers.
Reel 184: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Thomas, President M. Carey: Speeches -- Commencement, Opening of College. 1893-1899 - 1900-1905
Reel 184 is made up entirely of M. Carey Thomas's speeches filed alphabetically, beginning with Commencement and concluding with Opening of College, 1905. These include her public addresses delivered on and off campus. Although some of the most important of them were printed for distribution, most are present only in the form of notes from which she spoke. Thomas's speeches are begun on Reel 181 and continue through 185; other speeches appear on Reel 77 and 78 of the Personal Papers.
Reel 185: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Thomas, President M. Carey: Speeches -- Opening of College, - Trustees: Scattergood, Thomas. 1906-1910
The conclusion of M. Carey Thomas's speeches (Opening of College, 1906 - Y) is microfilmed on Reel 185. Thomas's speeches, which are filed alphabetically, begin on Reel 181. They are followed by six additional topical folders regarding Thomas's travels, college trusteeship, 70th birthday, death, and will. The reel is concluded with files regarding the Trustees of the college as a group and individually.
Reel 186: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Office Files, Trustees: Scull, David - Z.
Reel 186 begins with the remainder of individual Trustee's files (continued from Reel 185) followed by a folder of Trustees' reports. Other important topics on this concluding reel of the Office Files are the Tsuda School in Japan, Arthur L. Wheeler, Woodrow Wilson, and the Young Women's Christian Temperance Union.
Reel 187-188: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Faculty Files
Faculty files (1884-1922) from President Thomas's administration and that of her predecessor, James E. Rhoads, have been microfilmed on Reels 187 and 188. The files are arranged alphabetically, with A - K on Reel 187 and L - Z on Reel 188.
Record copies of contracts with professors, instructors, demonstrators, wardens, librarians, and other faculty and staff form the bulk of the material in these files. In many cases, a contract or series of contracts constitutes the entire contents of a folder. Other files, however, are enriched by correspondence, skeletal biographic data, etc.
The correspondence, which includes letters of appointment and agreement supplementing the contracts, mainly covers salaries and benefits arrangements (e.g. faculty housing, sabbatical leave, etc.). Consequently, this material provides considerable detail regarding the financial transactions between the college and its faculty and staff. There is much less information to be gleaned about other aspects of faculty-administration relations.
Carey Thomas's letters predominate, but there are also a sprinkling of letters from the faculty and staff and occasional third party letters. A fair number of James E. Rhoads's letters and contracts in his handwriting survive. A few folders include credentials and letters of recommendation, either by Thomas or by professors and administrators of other colleges and universities. The unusual preservation of six letters of evaluation (three by William James, two by Josiah Royce, and one by George Palmer) concerning Alfred J. Hodder suggests that other files may at one time have contained similar letters which were subsequently discarded.
Some information about the faculty crisis of 1916 appears in the folders of Regina Crandall, Howard Savage, and Richard Holbrook. Various effects of World War I are reflected in the files of Rhys Carpenter, Fonger DeHaan, and Howard R. Patch.
(Note: The letters on these two reels have not been included in the index of M. Carey Thomas's correspondence.).
Letterpress Copybooks of the Assistant and the Secretaries to the President (Reels 189-209)
Microfilmed on Reels 189 through 207 are the office letterbooks of Isabel Maddison, 1905-1922. Miss Maddisons title was Assistant to the President during these years; she served as Recording Dean as well after 1910. Maddison was responsible for much of the routine administrative business of the college. Her correspondence, therefore, is a useful adjunct to Thomass presidential records. Maddisons letterbooks dating from the period after Thomass retirement (1922-1926) have not been microfilmed.
Despite the span of years covered in this correspondence, the material in the letterbooks is remarkably similar in content. Appearing most frequently are the following types of communications: memos to Miss Thomas on a variety of college-related matters; memos to faculty concerning course schedules, classroom assignments, committee work and student illnesses; memos to students concerning registration, academic and gym requirements and tutoring; summons issued to members of the college community to see M. Carey Thomas; letters involving the scheduling of guests to lecture or theater troupes to perform at the college; student transcripts; information to prospective students and others who desire to know particulars of Bryn Mawr College procedure; and many miscellaneous items including tea menus, replies to job applicants, and letters to the printer of college material, Charles H. Clark. Exceptional items in each letterbook have been noted separately.
Certain technical problems occur repeatedly throughout the letterbooks. Due to the limitations of letterpress copying as a method of reproduction, some letters are totally or partially illegible because they are blurred or very faint. Letters were occasionally copied slightly out of chronological order. In some cases letters appear to be superimposed on one another. This may be the result of bleed-through or faulty copying technique. In general, these conditions have been noted by use of target cards; however, oversights may be found.
Reel 208 and Reel 209 contain the letterbooks of Caroline Lewis (October 14, 1897-October 17, 1899) and Elizabeth F. McKeen and Caroline Lewis (January 17, 1906-June 1, 1908).
Reel 189: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letters of Isabel Madison. 1905-1922
Letterbook no. 1. October 3, 1905 - January 23, 1906
This letterbook contains a number of letters suggesting improvements for several buildings currently under construction. Correspondence dealing with telephone problems in the administrative offices and a sample tea menu (p. 71) are also included.
Letterbook no. 2. January 23, 1906 - April 20, 1906
This letterbook includes letters dealing with building construction. A letter on p. 239, apparently written in response to a query about academic rules, states that the Academic Senate, made up of the full professors of the college, deals with punishments of students for "cheating in examinations or in written work." In order to qualify for membership on the Senate, professors must have been connected with the college for a period of ten years or more. Miss Maddison adds that the Senate has held this authority since 1902. Another interesting letter on p. 343 gives the number of Southern students admitted to the College from the period of 1885-1904.
Reel 190: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 3. April 20, 1906 - August 31, 1906
Letters on pages 83 and 107 deal with Emily Greene Balch's lecture at the college on May 14. A letter on p. 163 states that of the 454 students at the College, 20 are members of the Society of Friends, while 46 of the members of the faculty profess that faith. Also included are a number of notifications to parents, informing them that their daughters' academic performance was inadequate for graduation under the college's merit law.
Letterbook no. 4. September 1, 1906 - November 19, 1906
Between pp. 351 and 352, there has been inserted a 1907 pamphlet about the American Hospital for Diseases of the Stomach, located in Philadelphia. Another sample tea menu appears on p. 352. In a letter on p. 454, Maddison remarks that, "no difference is made at Bryn Mawr College between the salaries paid to the men and the women members of the faculty.".
Reel 191: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 5. November 19, 1906 - February 22, 1907
In a letter on pp. 55-56, Maddison enumerates facts about the types and specifications of the dormitories on campus. Letters on pp. 149 and 150 are from Caroline Lewis, superintendent of grounds, to workmen. On p. 263 there is a letter from M. Carey Thomas to Lucy Martin Donnelly concerning a course description. An unsigned letter from M. Carey Thomas concerning an article on alumnae fund raising appears on p. 263. Maddison asserts that she knows of no former student of Bryn Mawr who has ever become an actress (p. 415).
Letterbook no. 6. February 25, 1907 - May 21, 1907
A letter from superintendent of grounds, Caroline Lewis, is on p. 42. On p. 49 a letter appears listing lectures and courses at Bryn Mawr relating to the Society of Friends. A letter on p. 78 notes that 13 of 450 students in the previous year were Roman Catholics. Maddison further remarks that, "Bryn Mawr is strictly non-sectarian, and attendance on all religious exercises of the college is voluntary." A letter to undergraduate Theresa Helburn concerning the Junior Class Show is copied on p. 363.
Reel 192: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 7. May 22, 1907 - December 13, 1907
In Miss Maddison's absence from the college from June 20 - July 22, letters were written on her behalf by Bertha Warren Seely, Emily L. Shields, and Josephine A. Chase. On p. 80, Maddison writes to newspapers contradicting their report of M. Carey Thomas's resignation as Bryn Mawr College President. Responding to the queries of an entering freshman's mother (pp. 97-98) Maddison described social life at Bryn Mawr: "I think that your daughter can have as much or as little social life as she pleases ... I do not think that your daughter will be in any danger of finding the life 'all grind.'" An interesting comment appears in the letter on pp. 391-392: "Directors do not very much care to dine in the halls as the students watch them with especial interest." Also of note is Maddison's letter (p. 394) stating that she wishes to publish some information in regard to the amount possible for students to earn while going on with their college course. She wants to do this in order to combat the general impression that "Bryn Mawr College is only for the rich and therefore it is impossible to do anything to help themselves through college." There is another tea menu on p. 292.
Letterbook no. 8. December 13, 1907 - April 17, 1908
Three of M. Carey Thomas's letters are copied in this letterbook (pp. 18, 19, 20). Maddison warns students with poor academic records that they should give up all engagements and entertainment not included in their college work in order to have the best possible chance of obtaining degrees. On p. 245, Maddison advises the faculty that President Thomas wishes the March faculty meeting to be postponed so that it will not interfere with the address to be given by Jane Addams on March 16.
Reel 193: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 9. April 18, 1908 - November 6, 1908
This letterbook contains several standard form letters signed by M. Carey Thomas. A letter ordering the Childs Essay Prize watch indicates that Theresa Helburn was the winner. Tea menus appear on pp. 119 and 396. Graduation events of 1908 are outlined on pp. 263-264. M. Carey Thomas urges that a student be recommended for a position in the Philadelphia school system as she fears the fact that she is Jewish might prevent her from being hired at a private school. On pp. 398-400, the function, makeup, and activities of the Alumnae Association are described.
Letterbook no. 10. November 6, 1908 - March 3, 1909
This letterbook contains letters signed by Helen E. True on behalf of Miss Maddison. Maddison writes to Harper's Weekly on pp. 1 and 2 discussing faculty publication interests. Letters on pp. 3 and 58 describe attendance regulations. Maddison accounts for the decreasing number of students from 1903 to 1908 by an increase in tuition (pp. 33-34), and explains the grading system (p. 41). The system of medical care provided at the college is described (pp. 143-144), giving the number of physicians employed and reporting cases treated by them in the 1906-1907 period. A letter of particular note written in response to a query by Dean Lewis of the University of Pennsylvania states that out of 93 Bryn Mawr alumnae only 3 are lawyers. Maddison adds: "... it is President Thomas' experience that the parents of the students usually object to Law as a profession." A letter on pp. 418-419 explains why students are not allowed to cook in their rooms. She lists the places where alumnae may eat in the area, adding that no profit is made on the meals served in the halls. The College Loan Fund is described on p. 427. Maddison outlines in a letter on p. 498 examination procedure, further stating that there has been practically no difficulty in regard to cheating.
Reel 194: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 11. March 3, 1909 - June 10, 1909
On pages 11-12, Maddison discusses course preparation, stating: "For each hour of lecture the student is expected to give 1 1/2 hours of preparation." In addition she gives the rules regarding laboratory work. The requirement of four years of residence for the A.B. degree and the "roll of honor" are explained on page 135, and the number of students studying the sciences, especially physics, is given on page 136. Recent lecturers at the college are listed on page 308 and a sample luncheon menu for the senior class is provided on page 400. On page 317 Maddison expresses her opposition to a Cooperative Bookshop, stating that it is "rare to find students who will work satisfactorily for a salary at anything which requires businesslike qualities." It should be noted that this letterbook is seriously marred by bleed-through and many pages are illegible.
Letterbook no. 12. June 10, 1909 - January 12, 1910
The dormitory system is described on page 34 and information regarding the tiling of the swimming pool is found on pages 40-41 and 44. Letters on pages 131, 146, 165, 184, and 194 deal with an article in Cosmopolitan Magazine about Bryn Mawr. A letter on page 185 has to do with an article in an unidentified magazine. Recent changes and coming events at Bryn Mawr are discussed in a letter on pages 188-189. Grades and course book procedure are described on page 281. The possibility of having a Jacobean instead of Elizabethan May Day is discussed on pages 303-306, 338 and 341. Letters on pages 330 and 370 concern an article on Bryn Mawr which appeared in Harper's Weekly in summer of 1909. President Thomas's suggestion that the Class of 1908 travel to different cities to present Romeo and Juliet for the benefit of the endowment appears on page 365. At Thomas's request, Maddison informed a correspondent that Bryn Mawr is a "woman's college and therefore no tobacco is used" (p. 396). A list of photographs sent to Century Magazine appears on pages 406-407. Information regarding the admission and classification of students is given on pages 421- 423. Per Maddison's report of the latest news of the college (p. 443), freshmen have voted to wear cap and gown to all college lectures and academic functions, and the swimming pool was officially opened. Some correspondence in this letterbook is signed by Josephine Belding on Miss Maddison's behalf.
Reel 195: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 13. January 12, 1910 - November 7, 1910
Several letters signed by Miss Josephine Belding in Miss Maddison's behalf are preserved in this letterbook. On page 39, Maddison states that because its enrollment is practically complete, the college has no need to advertise. Pages 175-176 list the graduates of the Philadelphia High School for Girls who held scholarships at Bryn Mawr. Information concerning the production of Medea given by students and alumnae is related on pages 189-190. On page 330 Maddison reveals her intention to write a little historical account of the college. The number of students who have come to Bryn Mawr from Cincinnati is given on p. 399. Maddison notes the foreign language exceptions made in the case of Japanese students at the college (p. 499) and the grading procedures at the college (pp. 502-504). Details and statistics of the foreign language study are found on pages 539-540. Maddison asserts that Bryn Mawr is not a "society finishing school" but rather that it ranks with big universities in the quality of work done (pp. 655-656). Letters on pages 682- 688 invite reporters of various newspapers to hear President William H. Taft's commencement address on June 2, 1910, which will be his first public statement about women's education. Maddison states that no courses at Bryn Mawr are defined or described as vocational (p. 729). Letters on pages 880, 887, 903, 907 and 918 deal with archaeologist Leonard C. Wooley's class lecture series at the college. The danger of typhoid is related in a letter on p. 961.
Reel 196: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 14. November 8, 1910 - February 16, 1911
M. Carey Thomas's tentative offer of a permanent position in Archaeology to Leonard Wooley is mentioned on page 40. A report giving the number of students in 1910 and the gifts for the year 1909-1910 is found on page 83. Student self-government, and M. Carey Thomas's strong approval of it, is the subject of a letter on page 367. On page 435 Bryn Mawr graduates currently or previously holding executive positions in colleges are listed. Information regarding tuition and scholarship funds for the year ending in September 1910 is found on page 487.
Letterbook no. 15. February 17, 1911 - May 6, 1911
Letters concerning an article, "College Life at Bryn Mawr" which appeared in the February 12, 1911 issue of the New York Sun are copied on page 7. Maddison explains the procedure of course registration on pages 130-131. A letter discussing private and public school preparation of Bryn Mawr students appears on page 149; Maddison states that despite the fact that three-fourths of them entered from private school or had private school or had private tutors, little difference between these students has been noticed since they entered. The quarantine of students and staff in Merion and Radnor Halls because of the threat of scarlet fever is discussed on page 177, including a description of the procedure of sterilizing letters leaving the halls. The types and numbers of scholarships at the college are enumerated on page 450. Geographical distribution by state and country of students in 1910-1911 is given on page 460.
Reel 197: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 16. May 6, 1911 - December 13, 1911
Letterbook no. 16 includes notifications to students of scholarships they have been awarded, letters about college printing, notices to the faculty, and correspondence regarding the scheduling of religious services on campus. There are letters about arrangements for commencement and to students announcing their appointments to campus jobs. Several letters of October 16, 1911, regard arrangements for Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst's lecture on campus.
Letterbook no. 17. December 13, 1911 - April 25, 1912
Alumnae statistics are given on page 32. On page 37 Maddison states that courses in Ancient History, previously taught at the college by Woodrow Wilson among others, were discontinued because they were not successful. In reply to an inquiry Maddison acknowledged that one of four hygiene lectures given to Bryn Mawr freshmen was entitled "Sex Hygiene" and that a collection of books on that subject enabled students to "inform themselves on this question." On page 233, the names of the 23 Methodist students at the college are listed. Maddison asserted that Bryn Mawr students "by virtue of the conditions of life in a women's college in the country, have more freedom from restrictions than is the case in a co-educational college or large university" (p. 234). On page 313, there is a notice to the faculty announcing that Jane Addams will speak at Chapel on March 15, 1912.
Reel 198: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 18. April 25, 1912 - November 1, 1912
Maddison requested that Jane Addams send the subjects of her forthcoming commencement addresses at Bryn Mawr College and the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore (p. 116). The completion date and cost of the gymnasium are listed on page 136. On pages 191 and 205 there are sample menus for the senior luncheon. This letterbook is particularly marred by bleed-through; when legibility is affected, the reader should look forward and backward to locate the best copy.
Reel 199: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 19. October 25, 1912 - May 21, 1913
Information concerning Woodrow Wilson's tenure at Bryn Mawr, including the courses he taught and an article he published, is found on pages 46-47. In response to an article published in the Catholic Union Times which apparently purported that there is a reduction in the number of children produced by educated mothers, Maddison provided statistics on the average number of children per family for Bryn Mawr graduates from 1890-1910 (pp. 242-243). Further information concerning this topic is given on page 564. Details of course registration are provided on pages 323-324. There is, on pages 461-462, a description of the May Day fete annually held on the Bryn Mawr campus. Maddison answers a questionnaire on Chapel attendance (p. 547), and states that Bryn Mawr has never excluded any student on account of her religious denomination (p. 673). Bryn Mawr's system of student self-government is outlined on page 678. In a letter on page 749 Maddison states that a number of Bryn Mawr students have studied at New York University Law School. On page 878, Maddison complains that the students' attitude toward examinations is far "too trivial.".
Reel 200: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 20. May 21, 1913 - March 14, 1914
In a letter to President Thomas (p. 168), Maddison cites the need for additional classrooms. An advertisement for the College Inn is found on page 191. The names of proposed speakers for the Graduate Club, including President Woolley of Mount Holyoke, are listed on page 247. Maddison gives the college colors and yell on page 294. On page 234, Maddison explains that M. Carey Thomas is away from the college "for a slight surgical operation which it is hoped will cure her lameness." Scholarship opportunities are outlined in a letter to the editor of McCall's on page 335. On page 441 Maddison states her opinion that Miss Thomas would not consider a job applicant if there was "any prospect of her stenographer career being cut short by marriage." In a letter to parents of a prospective student, Maddison asserts: "Bryn Mawr is not a society college ... the majority of the students have moderate means." Suffrage speakers approved by Miss Thomas for 1913-1914 are listed on page 532.
Reel 201: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 21. March 13, 1914 - February 25, 1915
On pages 72-73, 422-423, 428, and 430, Maddison outlines Bryn Mawr College's procedures regarding press releases. A letter to a Texas mother on pages 472-473 conveys a suggested high school schedule for a potential Bryn Mawr College student and gives the average age of the entering freshmen as 18 1/2 years. On page 501, Maddison, acknowledging the absence of a faculty club, describes the accommodations available for faculty and visitors to the campus. Maddison confirms (p. 584) the action of the Directors, in response to Faculty wishes, relieving faculty from the conduct of quizzes and examinations and instead transferring the responsibility to the college office. The names of children between the age of eight and sixteen attending the Phebe Anna Thorne Model School are listed on page 669. Statistics concerning information pertinent for the year 1913-1914 are found on page 767. A letter on pages 791-792 concerns Woodrow Wilson's teaching and activities at Bryn Mawr. The number of class hours a student, supporting herself by working, should take is discussed by Maddison in a letter on page 886. Changes in the blueprint of the Library are enumerated on pages 895 and 899. Writing on M. Carey Thomas's behalf, Maddison invited a rabbi to conduct a Sunday evening service at the college (p. 943). Letters on page 1014, 1020, and 1021 concern a woman minister, Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer, and her forthcoming visit to conduct a Sunday evening service. Statistics on page 978 show the percentage of married alumnae.
Reel 201: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 22. February 25, 1915 - January 15, 1916
A letter on page 79 compares the desirability of the different residence halls. The lending of a college seal drawing for reproduction in a window of a Wellesley College dormitory is discussed on page 131. On pages 135 and 483 Maddison states that Bryn Mawr College did not take public stands on current issues. A description of social activities, including club membership, is found on pages 141- 142. The names of some English texts used at Bryn Mawr in 1887-1888 are listed on page 153. The ratio of professors to lecturers on the college teaching staff is given on page 459. The type of high school preparation the class of 1915 received is shown on page 512; the letter on page 561 follows up this information with percentage of these students graduating with honors from their high schools. On page 524, faculty course loads are given. A copy of the questionnaire sent by the Bureau of Education in Washington concerning physical education and hygiene instruction and facilities is located on pages 594-598. The scope of Maddison's responsibility is reflected in a letter from the Assistant to the President to M. Carey Thomas found on pages 601-602 in which Maddison tells Thomas that she would be anxious if she stayed too late in England and is afraid Thomas would be anxious too. Page 720 contains information concerning the costs of dormitories, including the college's judgment that 80 students is the most satisfactory number housed per hall. The letters on pages 896 and 900 express Maddison's personal feelings about the war. In the first she regrets President Wilson had not spoken more strongly to England at the beginning of the war and is "almost ashamed to think how well everything goes with us;" in the second she states "Bryn Mawr is going on very happily. It seems an abode of peace in this horror stricken world.".
Reel 203: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 23. January 15, 1916 - December 13, 1916
A letter on page 54 to Juliette Low, head of the Girl Scout Movement, invites her to address Bryn Mawr students. Fire protection at the college is discussed on pages 90-91. A letter to the City Editor of the Public Ledger laments the inaccurate reporting of Dean Reilly's resignation and asks for the name of the informant. Salaries of professors are discussed on page 205, while the scholarships available for graduate and undergraduate students are described on page 243. An announcement to the press that Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra will play in the college gymnasium on April 1, 1916, appears on page 334. In a letter on page 510 Maddison informs Marion Edwards Park of her nomination to receive the Resident Fellowship in Latin for 1916-1917, adding "It will be very nice to have you again in the College." Maddison lists the arguments in favor of small colleges (under 400 or 500 students) on page 881. Entertainments annually given at Bryn Mawr are described on pages 943-944. Factual and statistical answers to a questionnaire on college government are recorded on pages 970-972. An explanation of the procedure in regard to the announcement of scholarships appears on page 985.
Reel 204: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 24. December 13, 1916 - November 28, 1917
Memoranda and announcements dated December 13, 1916 through May 23, 1917 are found at the beginning and end of this letterbook. On page 412, Maddison notes the number of graduate students in political science and those students taking the Post- Major course in International Law. She added that the increased interest in political science was due to the gradual extension of the suffrage and to its usefulness for women preparing for business and political life. Courses offered at Bryn Mawr relating to the war effort are mentioned on page 652 and course adaptations due to the war are noted on page 903. On page 652 Maddison writes to author Kate Douglas Wiggin who is planning to visit the college. A letter on page 765 pertaining to the freedom of students to cut classes or leave campus on the weekend states that "students themselves have entire jurisdiction over the conduct of the students." The furnishing and costs of the Low Buildings are discussed on the back of page 954. In a letter to a former Bryn Mawr professor currently in the armed forces, Maddison writes that Bryn Mawr was very crowded, indirectly due to the war, and that ex-President Taft was to speak to the college community on "What We Are Fighting For.".
Reel 205: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 25. November 28, 1917 - January 11, 1919
In a letter on page 11 to an alumna entering Radcliffe, Maddison states, "It is very satisfactory to hear that Bryn Mawr courses formed an Open Sesame to Harvard Graduate School." On page 113, Maddison proposes to President Thomas that Russian should be added to the curriculum. Maddison informs a student of Thomas's disapproval of Isadora Duncan as a college speaker on page 124. The number of graduates, former students, and teaching staff that have entered the "national service" is noted on page 295 while a letter to a colleague of Maddison's at Vassar on pages 334-335 details the faculty departmental system at Bryn Mawr. On page 359, Maddison gives characteristics of faculty housing on campus. A letter inserted after page 689 addressed to the War Department in Washington fully outlines Bryn Mawr activities in support of the war effort. Maddison expresses her disapproval of the "camp song" rage at the college in a letter to Thomas on page 885.
Reel 206: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no. 26. January 13, 1919 - March 21, 1921
M. Carey Thomas's approval of the "Grandmother of the Russian Revolution" as a speaker before the History Club is announced (p. 75). Letters on pages 90 and 99 highly recommend geographer Dr. Ellen Mary Sanders. President Thomas's rules outlining conditions under which men may attend Senior Plays are given on pages 779 and on page 322. Maddison states that because the college lecture schedule is so full, Count Tolstoy will not be able to give an address. On page 340 approved freshman activities (mild pranks) for the evening of April 25, 1919 are listed. The highest average of the junior class -- a grade of 88.24 -- is specified on page 348. The fact is noted on page 392 that 194 students are taking French at BMC. The menu for the 1919 Senior Luncheon is given on page 400. There appears on page 562 a list of faculty members who had died since the college's opening in 1885.Maddison responds to a young alumna facing sex discrimination in the business world in a very interesting letter: "The situation seems to be annoying, but it is I fear the kind of thing that a great many of women have suffered and are likely to suffer for the present when business is controlled by men. I hate to confess that there is any sex antagonism in existence, but it is almost impossible to shut your eyes to it. I regret it especially because I have always been most anxious that college women should not regard teaching as their only provision and should take part in the big business work of the world as you have been doing. Of course, it takes the physically strong, as college positions with their long vacations allow time for recuperation" (p. 592). In another letter to an alumna, Maddison states: "I think we all understand that the proper bringing up of children is one of the most engrossing occupations in the world and one of the most difficult..." (p. 606).
Siegfried Sassoon's address at Bryn Mawr is announced on page 662. Some statistics of the college for 1918-1919 appear on page 723, and BMC graduates who have taught at Mount Holyoke and Smith College since 1912 are listed on page 729.
On page 762, Maddison attempts to placate a correspondent who was outraged by the use in the endowment campaign of a photograph which showed an alumna with a Bryn Mawr lantern in front of the Liberty Bell. Maddison explained the Bryn Mawr College Foreign Scholarships for Graduate Women to Dean Boody of Radcliffe (p. 828) and described the college system for registering student absences (p. 913). Foreign students on campus in 1920-1921 are listed on page 920. On page 924, $548,279 is given as the annual operating cost of the college in 1919-1920, with a breakdown of expenditures. Maddison recounts Helen Taft Manning's association with Bryn Mawr on page 932. On page 983 an account appears of an entertainment sponsored by Chinese students for the China Famine Relief fund, which featured brief addresses by both M. Carey Thomas and Emmeline Pankhurst, the noted British suffragist.
Reel 207: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Isabel Maddison
Letterbook no.27. March 19, 1921 - September 18, 1922
Pages 92-110 in this letterbook contain letters dated the summer of 1921 and signed by Marion Parris Smith, who served as Acting Chairman of the Committee on Scholarships and Fellowships during Maddison's travels in Europe. A letter on the back of page 241 informs an alumna in Italy that Marion Park has been selected as Bryn Mawr's new president and that officials at the college have heard "that Radcliffe College is complaining bitterly that they are losing her." On page 283, there is a letter describing the annual May Day celebration.
Reel 208: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbooks of Caroline Lewis, Secretary to the President
Microfilmed on Reel 208 are two letterbooks of Caroline Lewis, secretary to President Thomas, from the last years of the nineteenth century. Letters in the first of these, dated October 14, 1897-July 12, 1898, relate to general college matters, mostly of a fairly routine nature. Included are letters written for President Thomas's signature including several to Trustees, notably David Scull. The bulk of this material consists of letters written on Thomas's behalf to faculty and staff, suppliers, contractors, etc. A few of the letters are addressed to Thomas and summarize administrative business during her absences.
Miss Lewis's second letterbook (July 13, 1898-October 17, 1899) differs from its predecessor in the uniform nature of the subject matter. Her letters in this volume are almost entirely concerned with minor business matters of the college such as campus and buildings repair and upkeep, the procurement and distribution of supplies, contracts for services, etc. It affords, therefore, the most concentrated information about the routine management of the college available in the M. Carey Thomas Collection.
Reel 209: M. Carey Thomas Official Papers; Letterbook of Elizabeth F. McKeen and Caroline Lewis, Secretaries to the President
The final volume of three extant letterbooks of M. Carey Thomas's secretaries is microfilmed on Reel 209. Covering the period January 17, 1906-June 1, 1908, this volume incorporates the letters of Elizabeth F. McKeen and Caroline Lewis. Letters of Miss Lewis begin with the date September 28, 1907. This correspondence, which mostly consists of letters written on behalf of, or ostensibly by, President Thomas, is addressed to prospective students, parents of students, faculty, staff, and businessmen. There are as well a few letters to suffrage leaders.
Note: Although this letterbook includes letters signed by and addressed to M. Carey Thomas, its index has not been incorporated into the printed index in the Guide. Readers should consult the index at the beginning of the letterbook for citations to correspondence therein.
The series of letterbooks of the secretaries to President Thomas (Reels 208 and 209) is obviously incomplete. The whereabouts of other volumes which would have been included in this series is unknown.
Reel List and Descriptions