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Amherst College Early History Manuscripts and Pamphlets Collection

Identifier: MA.00217

Scope and Contents

This collection includes administrative correspondence, petitions, pamphlets and other printed material from the first two and a half decades of Amherst College's existence (1820-1845). While this collection does not fully document the administrative activities of this period, it does contain important documentation of the atmosphere and activities of the College and its administration in its early years. Of particular interest are five letters from 1835 concerning the existence of the "Anti-Slavery Society," a student group opposed by the faculty. Other items of interest include a large amount of correspondence on student admissions, financial aid, student activities, disciplinary cases, and commencement; two letters declining the presidency of the College in 1844; and a number of items relating to the founding of the College and the granting of the charter.

Note: Item-level descriptions in the folder list in this finding aid were supplied by the donor.


  • 1820-1843
  • Majority of material found within 1821-1825


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Amherst College Early History Manuscripts and Pamphlets Collection for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Amherst College Early History Manuscripts and Pamphlets 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.


0.5 Linear feet (1 archives box)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, petitions, pamphlets and other printed material documenting the early history of the College. The collection was collected, arranged, and described by Mr. and Mrs. E. P. Mellon (Edward and Ethel Mellon) and given to the College in 1921.


This collection is organized into three series:

Custodial History

Formerly part of Early Presidents Records

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented to Amherst College by Mr. and Mrs. E. P. Mellon, 1921. The collection came with extensive typescript notes about each of 107 items, and it is uncertain whether the Mellons made the notes or whether they obtained the material with the notes.

Related Materials

  1. Amherst College Early History Collection
  2. Amherst College. President's Office Records. Early Presidents.

Physical Description

(0.5 linear ft.)

Processing Information

Processed 2011 Dec by Mariah Sakrejda-Leavitt, Archives Project Specialist, and Miranda Marraccini 2012, Student Assistant. Updated 2016 by Margaret R. Dakin, Archives Specialist.

Mariah Leavitt
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