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St. Joseph’s Normal School Collection


                              ALUMNAE LIBRARY: ARCHIVES FOLDER 120


In 1899, Rev. John McCoy and Bishop Thomas Beaven of the Springfield diocese purchased property in Chicopee. Elms College, originally founded as the Academy of Our Lady of the Elms, a girls’ preparatory academy in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on 14 September 1897, was moved to its present location. The Pittsfield site was renamed St. Joseph’s Normal College. In 1927, the Sisters of Saint Joseph petitioned the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the Springfield academy, called Our Lady of the Elms Academy, as a women’s liberal arts college. The charter was approved in 1928, and the name was changed to the College of Our Lady of the Elms. Rev. Thomas Mary O’Leary served as the college’s first president.

The St. Joseph Normal School Collection includes personal correspondence, personal memorabilia, invitations and program notes pertaining to functions, and various other documents, some of them handwritten: the alma mater, admission standards and degree requirements, recruitment material, lists of graduates of two classes and an alumni directory dated 1925-1930.



Collection: College of Our Lady of the Elms (Elms College)

Items in this collection:

Click on call numbers (on the left) to see .pdf files; Click on pictures (on the right) to open .jpg files into larger images.

EA120_0003EA120_0003
Title: Certificate to Sr. Mary Baptista

Description: This is a certificate awarded to Sr. Mary Baptista, signed by Mary B. C. Byrne, dated 25 August 1924. It states that Sr. Baptista has completed 30 hours of credits. The type of certification or what the certificate grants is unknown.

 

EA120_0005EA120_0005_1939
Title: High School Day Playbill, 1939

Description: This theatrical playbill (program) for an unnamed One Act Play is dated 17 May, 1939, designated as High School Day. Named players (actors) are Anne Carroll, Gertrude Footit, Marie Ford, Rosemary Cummings, Claire McCarthy, Josephine Albano, Mary O’Donnell, Margaret Meehan, Virginia Adams, Helene Butler, Barbara Norton, Helen Finnegan, Helen Pratt, Mary Leary, Carmen Padilla, Agnes Gully, Mary Power, Mary Cassidy, Mary Larkin, Helen Keegan, Eleanor O’Herron, Mary O’Connor, Mary O’Shea, and Mary Cassidy. The accompanist listed is Anne Gillooly and the reader listed is Loretta McCarry.

 

EA120_0050
Title: Early Example of an Alumni list

Description: This handwritten list of names titled Normal School is likely an early version of an Alumni list, containing what is possibly one of Elms College’s first lists of graduates. The names on the list are likely graduates of the normal school between the years 1925 and 1930. The list is handwritten and is not dated, with the years of each alumni listed in one column.

 

EA120_0051
Title: Early Example of an Alumni list

Description: This handwritten list of names titled Class of 1929: Normal and Academy is likely an early version of an Alumni list, containing what is possibly one of Elms College’s first lists of graduates. The list is handwritten and undated.

 

EA120_0052
Title: Early Example of an Alumni list

Description: This handwritten list of names titled Our Lady of the Elms, 1918 is likely an early version of an Alumni list, containing what is possibly one of Elms College’s first lists of graduates. The names on the list are labeled graduates of the normal school between the years 1902 and 1917. The list is handwritten and is dated 1918, with the years of each alumni listed.

 

EA120_0100
Title: Letters from Mother M. Albina, to J.M.J, 1905-1909

Description: This is a series of letters from Mother M. Albina, to J.M.J., likely a student. J.M.J. is not identified specifically. The letters are dated 24 August 1905; 24 May 1909; and 27 December 1910. They take a very personal tone and concern J.M.J.’s return to school, showing an early interest in the retention and graduation of students, and mentions the commencement ceremony. A handwritten note, likely by a later college archivist, indicates that these letters were part of a series.

 

EA120_0200
Title: “A Golden Reverie” by Madeline Quinlan

Description: This handwritten poem, written in 1967, by Madeline Quinlan, a graduate of Our Lady of the Elms in 1917. The poem, titled “A Golden Reverie,” was written to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Class of 1917. It mentions important information about Elms College history. For example, it states that eight young women entered the college in 1915; that the high school students were housed on campus; that the Elms students called The Academy, where they were housed, Suite 98; that each student was given an upkeep chore for a month; that the Casino was used as a theater so the students could produce plays; and that they wore black uniforms with white cuffs. The poem also notes that specifics of dress, such as lisle and silk stockings. The poem also mentions a particular instructor, Sr. Mary David, and an unnamed chaplain who traveled daily from Springfield via trolley. The archivist’s note on the first page of the text, from Sr. Nora Harrington, mentions the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Graduation, as well as named graduates who are daughters of the author: Martha Quinlan Barry (1945), Terese Quinlan Nesbit (1952), and Sr. Constance Quinlan (1958). A copy of the manuscript was received by the College Archives on 29 March 2000.

 

EA120_0201
Title: “Reveries” by Sr. James Mary Foley

Description: This typed poem, likely written in 1979, by Sr. James Mary Foley, a graduate of Our Lady of the Elms in 1929, is titled “Reveries.” It was likely written to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Class of 1929 from the normal school. It mentions typical daily concerns of the female students at Our Lady of the Elms, and names various classmates of St. Agnes Dorm, ostensibly of the class of 1929: Anne Larkin, Margaret Hall, Alice Johnson, and Mary Grady. It also mentions some students by first only: Helen, Vera, Lillian, Jeanie, Cel, Janet. It also mentions a student with the last name O’Dea, and two different women named Mary, one an artist and the other a musician. Finally, it mentions a Sr. Charie and a business or residence called Fanny Claire’s. The archivist’s note on the first page of the text, from Sr. Nora Harrington, mentions no occasion for the poem, only that it was written for the normal school class of 1929. The manuscript was received by the College Archives on 7 August 1994.

 

EA120_0300
Title: Historical Data from Diaries

Description: This typed historical data is marked “Culled from Diaries.” It is undated and anonymous, and therefore its reliability cannot be determined. Researchers are welcome to see this document upon request; however, researchers will be responsible for verifying the accuracy of the data by checking the original sources. THIS DOCUMENT WILL BE DIGITIZED ON DEMAND ONLY.

 

EA120_0500
Title: Degree Requirements, Historical

Description: This is likely a copy of the degree requirements for Our Lady of the Elms Normal School candidates for graduation. It is typed and titled Course of Study; however, it is both undated and anonymous. There is no explanatory archival note, nor any indication of provenance.

 

EA120_0501
Title: Likely Mission Statement, Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms

Description: This is likely a copy of the Mission Statement for the Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms. It is typed and untitled, undated and anonymous. There is no explanatory archival note, nor any indication of provenance.

 

EA120_0502
Title: Likely Admission Statement, Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms

Description: This is likely a copy of the Admissions Statement for the Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms. It is typed and titled Admission to Normal School at Our Lady of the Elms, but is both undated and anonymous. There is no explanatory archival note, nor any indication of provenance.

 

EA120_0503
Title: Success of Graduates, Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms

Description: This is likely a copy of a press release which addresses the success of the programs and placement of graduates of the the Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms. It is typed but untitled, undated, and anonymous. There is no explanatory archival note, nor any indication of provenance. It observes that graduates of the normal school are finding jobs in the public school system throughout the state.

 

EA120_0504
Title: Alma Mater, Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms

Description: This is purportedly a copy of the Alma Mater of the the Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms. It is typed but untitled, undated, and anonymous. The title Alma Mater is given in an anonymous, handwritten archival note. There is no indication of provenance. The file numbered placed on the item by a past archivist indicates that the Alma Mater could have been in use as late as the 1940s.

 

EA120_0505A
EA120_0505B
Title: Admission Standards, Normal School of Our Lady of the Elms

Description: This is a copy of both the typed version and the handwritten notes which likely make up the admissions policies of the normal school. It is undated and anonymous, and it contains no helpful marginalia or archivist notes to place it any more specifically. The document discusses admission standards, evaluation, entrance exams, transferred credits, and electives. The last page of the document is ostensibly a copy of the comments by The Board of Regents, sent to the Office of the Dean. It is unclear whether the Admissions document is an answer to The Board of Regents or The Board of Regents commentary is a response to the Admissions document.


Contributors:

  • Albina, Mother M.
  • Anonymous
  • Foley, Sr. James Mary
  • Quinlan, Madeleine


Types of Materials:

  • Directories
  • Documents (Various)
  • Invitations (Events)
  • Letters (Correspondence)
  • Memorabilia
  • Poems
  • Programs (Events)


Subjects:

  • Chicopee (Massachusetts)–Education–20th century
  • Chicopee (Massachusetts)–History–20th century
  • Education–Massachusetts–Chicopee–History–20th century
  • Education–Massachusetts–Pittsfield–History–20th century
  • Our Lady of the Elms College–Directories
  • Our Lady of the Elms College–Formative Years
  • Pittsfield (Massachusetts)–Education–20th century
  • Poetry–Massachusetts–20th century
  • O’Leary, Rev. Thomas Mary
  • St. Joseph’s Normal School
  • Sisters of St. Joseph
  • Springfield (Massachusetts)–Catholics–20th century
  • Women–Massachusetts–Education–20th century

 Author: Anthony (Tony) Fonseca
© 2013 Anthony Fonseca


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