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Scope and Content

From the Collection: The records date from Barbara Newell's arrival as President of Wellesley College early September 1972 until Nannerl Keohane's arrival July 1, 1981. There is some earlier material announcing Newell's appointment. The records include those of Barbara Newell, Carol Johns and Maud Chaplin. There is a significant amount of correspondence and other records that appear to be those of Doris Drescher, Executive Secretary to the President.

Newell's records relate to many aspects of college life. There are files from Academic Council, Senior Staff and Advisory Committee on Budgetary Affairs. These files include correspondence, minutes, notes and occasionally reports. There is correspondence and general information from senior officers of the college, particularly the Vice President for Financial and Business Affairs, the Deans and the Director of Resources. There are some Trustee and Trustee Committee files in the restricted portion of the collection.

There are Annual Reports from Academic Departments and Administrative Offices as well as general Academic Department files. Administrative Office files are generally filed under the name of the office (e.g., Admissions, Career Services, the Chaplaincy, Residence, Student Services and other aspects of student life). There are also files on matters relating to the faculty.

Newell focused the college's attention on the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of the College and her records support this concern. The files of the Commission on Community Life, Affirmative Action, Harambee House, Mezcla and Foreign Students reflect the growing diversity of the college community. Student opportunities away from campus are discussed in files relating to Boston Latin School, Internships and Study Abroad. The desire to improve counseling is documented in the Counseling Committee files and College Relations files reflect the effort to improve communications.

Barbara Newell's concerns for women and women's education are detailed in her records of international and national organizations such as the International Women's Year, the American Association of Colleges: Women's College Coalition and the Concerns (Womens). There are also files of the Seven College Conference and many other college and university associations as well as other colleges and universities themselves.

As always the President's role is to represent the college to the alumnae and the rest of the world. Newell traveled a great deal and records of these trips can be found in her Alumnae, Alumnae Club, Outreach and Trip files. These travels spread information about the college and gave Newell opportunities to ask for support of the college. These fund raising activities are reflected in the folders listed as well as Centennial Campaign, Foundation, Fund and Resources files. Portions of these files relating to individual donors or potential donors are in the restricted part of the collection.

The funds raised allowed for a number of changes in the Wellesley of the 1970s. The Slater International Center was dedicated in October of 1972, a gift of the Slater family. The Center for Research on Women (Women, Center for Research on) was partially funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. The Stone Center was funded by a gift from the Stone Family. The new Science Center and the expanded Library were built in the mid-1970s with funds raised from many sources. A number of Professorships/Chairs were endowed during Newell's presidency and the grant funding of many research projects and studies are covered in the Foundation and Fund folders. They include correspondence, proposals and reports.

1975-1976 was Wellesley College's centennial year. A number of special events took place including the granting of honorary degrees at commencement, a rare occurrence at Wellesley.


  • 1970-1988
  • Majority of material found within 1972 - 1981


The following types of materials are restricted:

1. Student records generated and maintained by the college covered by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act): grades, work, faculty/class evaluations, questionnaires, recommendations, et cetera.

2. Minutes and other records of the Board of Trustees. Access to this material is granted only through the Trustees. Requests for access should be directed to the Clerk of the Board of Trustees.

3. Information relating to specific salaries, pensions or financial transactions between the College and individual employees.

4. Materials relating to reappointment, promotion and tenure.

5. Recommendations and performance evaluation of individual employees, as well as evaluations of candidates for College positions.

6. Materials published by consortia of colleges and universities, specifically the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE) and the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS), which conduct surveys of various institutes promising confidentially.


From the Collection: 54.2 Linear Feet ( (130 file boxes))

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Wellesley College Archives Repository