The provenance of the first seven presidents' sub-groups is cloudy. With a single exception there is no record of when or how these documents entered the College Archives. These records were distributed through the Archives. Most items were in biographical files of individual presidents; some items were filed in the "General Files" (subject files). The College Archives holdings were searched and the records of the first seven presidents were brought together under this Record Group. Likely beginning at the end of President* King's tenure (1946), some President's Office Records were transferred to the Hitchcock Memorial Room (the precursor to the current Archives and Special Collections). King's secretary, Rena Durkan, was appointed curator of the room at this time. The bulk of the the President's Office Records (72 linear feet) came to the College Archives in a 1978 transfer. This transfer included office files from roughly 1912 to 1971 in a single alphabetical sequence. A second major transfer (30 linear feet) arrived in 1979. These files were dated 1946-1979 (bulk 1960-1975). These files were also in a single alphabetical sequence. Seven linear feet of record were transferred to the College Archives from the President's Office in 1970 and in 1979. These records were integrated with the Record Group at an unknown time. The Record Group has been maintained in the alphabetical arrangement but divide by presidential tenure.
Only a small amount of material for the President's Office exists from 1821 to 1912. The primary reasons for the limited quantity of early records are the College's simple administrative structure and the 1882 fire in Walker Hall, the administration building. The quantity of administrative records reflects the administrative size of the College between 1820 and 1912. The President was the primary administrator of the College until the position of Dean of the College was created in 1888. Until 1899 the President of the College was also the President of the Corporation and presided over the Board of Trustees. Another reason for the paucity of early formal administrative records is the creator's lack of distinction between personal and administrative papers. In addition to records of a strictly administrative nature, the Amherst College Archives has the personal papers of Hitchcock, Stearns, Seelye, Cole, and Meiklejohn which also contain letters relating to the administration of the College, in varying amounts. This also means that certain sub-groups, particularly those focused on 19th century presidents, may contain less administrative material.
Clippings, correspondence, and other records documenting of the public face of the Amherst College President's Office, 1934-1976. Includes invitations and requests for information, as well as correspondence and other documents related to institutional associations such as the American Council on Education, Association of Colleges in New England and New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Looking for Rare Books or Senior Theses?: To search for rare books, senior theses, or other cataloged material in the collection, please see the Five College Library Catalog.
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