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Theodore P. Greene (AC 1943) Papers

Identifier: MA.00199

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, writings, research and lecture notes, speeches and other papers primarily related to the history of Amherst College and higher education, generated by Greene as professor of history and American Studies, 1952-1989. The collection includes Greene's undergraduate writings, manuscript drafts for his book America's Heroes: the Changing Models of Success in American Magazines (1970), occasional chapel talks delivered to Amherst College students, and material collected during the April 1969 moratorium. The collection includes a variety of research notes created for teaching, advisement to the Amherst administration, or scholarly publication on Amherst College topics such as the life of Charles W. Cole (AC 1927), military recruiting, parietal rules, Jeffery Amherst and charges of germ warfare, cultural diversity, coeducation and other topics. There are also papers related to his personal or family associations with First Congregational Church (Amherst, Mass.) and the town of Jaffrey, N.H.


  • 1940-2006


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Theodore P. Greene (AC 1943), professor of history and American studies at Amherst College from 1952 to 1989, personified many of the traditional-but-progressive values of the college. Greene was especially proud of his role in the 1974 decision to make Amherst coeducational. He is also remembered as an outstanding teacher, lecturer and historian. Born in New York City in 1921, Greene spent his early years in New Britain, Conn., and attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, graduating first in his class. Although this distinction won him admission to Harvard, he chose instead to enter Amherst, following long family tradition. After graduating from Amherst, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II in Denver, Colo., where he met his future wife, Mary Jane "Jary" England. Greene pursued graduate studies at Columbia University before returning to Amherst in 1952. Over the next 37 years, he taught courses in American colonial, social, intellectual, frontier and diplomatic history. He retired in 1989 as the Winthrop H. Smith Professor of History and American Studies, Emeritus. Greene set high standards for his own scholarship and the work of students. Between 1955 and 1969 Greene edited three "Problems in American Civilization" paperbacks produced by the college's pioneering American studies program. These were American Imperialism in 1898, Wilson at Versailles and Roger Williams and the Massachusetts Magistrates. Greene wrote another book, America's Heroes: the Changing Models of Success in American Magazines, and edited two local history books, Essays on Amherst's History and 250 Years at First Church in Amherst, 1793-1989. In 1974, Greene chaired one of the committees studying coeducation at Amherst, and wrote a 76-page final report of its findings. The conclusion bore the unmistakable stamp of Greene's Yankee practicality: "The question is not whether a significant college like Amherst can with justice continue to exclude women," he wrote. "The question is whether Amherst can remain as significant and vital a college in the future if it does not admit women." Hugh Hawkins, the Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies, Emeritus, remarked at Greene's funeral service on Feb. 3, 2007 that "No one was more ready to see when the old ways didn't fit the new students." Hawkins also recalled that John William Ward once told the Amherst Student that Greene was the person who had most influenced him in his years as president of the college -- "that Ted knew more about where the college came from and where it ought to be heading than anyone else." Greene and his brother, Thayer Greene (AC 1950) were third-generation alumni whose father was the Rev. Theodore Ainsworth Greene (AC 1913) and whose grandfathers were both in the Class of 1882. Ten other family members also went to Amherst. Theodore P. Greene died of cancer in Amherst on January 15, 2007.
[Source: "In Memoriam: Theodore P. Greene '43," by Douglas C. Wilson. Amherst, Winter 2007, pp. 5-6.]


1 Linear feet (1 records storage box)

Language of Materials



Professor of history and American Studies at Amherst College, 1952-1989. Primarily correspondence, writings and talks, and research materials on the history of Amherst College and higher education.


This collection is organized into seven series:

  1. Series 1: Writings, 1940-1971
  2. Series 2: Research on Amherst College history, 1973-1995
  3. Series 3: Speeches/Talks, 1943-1998
  4. Series 4: Committees, 1967-1980
  5. Series 5: Correspondence, 1952-2004
  6. Series 6: Personal Affairs, 1948-2006
  7. Series 7: Moratoria, 1969, Undated

Related Materials

  1. Alumni Biographical Files -- Class of 1943 -- Greene, Theodore
  2. Amherst College Coeducation Collection
  3. "Study of the Achaean League" by Theodore P. Greene. 1943 thesis.
Peter A. Nelson, Anna Smith (AC 2022)
2010, revision 2022
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299