Books on Amherst College History

The books on Amherst College history are a selection of discrete volumes owned by Frost Library which are relevant to the history of the institution. There is no finding aid for this group of material, since this group of materials is not actually an Amherst College archival collection.  In fact, though we do plan to digitize books from this list during the Bicentennial Project, we don’t plan to describe them and make them available in ACDC. Rather, we plan to make these books available via Internet Archive. We’ll talk more about the reasons for this below.

The books we plan to digitize during the Bicentennial Project are from a list of 44 books about Amherst College. Library staff and members of the Bicentennial Working Group consulted bibliographies and catalogs to compile the list. Then, library staff conducted a review and consulted with Legal Counsel to determine the copyright status of each volume. It was determined that 29 of the 44 books would be okay for us to make available online either because of their copyright status or because special permission was received. Subsequently, the Bicentennial Working Group evaluated how many of these 29 books were already freely available online through sources such as the Internet Archive or HathiTrust. It was determined that 11 of the books were already freely accessible online. Thus, we only need to digitize the remaining 18 books about Amherst College.

Cover of Black Men of Amherst by Harold Wade, 1976
Cover of Black Men of Amherst by Harold Wade, 1976

The books will be useful resources for researchers, students, alumni, and others interested in a variety of topics such as: the history of the College as an institution, the history of and experiences of black men and women at the College, natural history, Amherst College literary history, art at Amherst College, the history of coeducation and gender related topics at the College, and the history of education and specific educational departments at the College.

This collection is scheduled for digitization in Year Two (2019) of our Bicentennial project.

Why are we choosing Internet Archive as the repository for these books rather than ACDC?


    1. The other 11 books in the list of 29 which can be made available online are already available online – primarily through Internet Archive or HathiTrust. None are currently in ACDC. So, by making the ones we digitize available in Internet Archive, more books about Amherst College history will be collocated there and users will only need to reference 2 repositories rather than 3 to find all of these books.
    2. ACDC is primarily a repository for collections held by Amherst College Archives & Special Collections. This group of books, while very valuable for folks wanting to learn more about the history of the College, are not an archival collection.
    3. Internet Archive provides full text searching which we are not yet able to provide in ACDC.

The 18 books we plan to digitize are listed below with links to their catalog records. Once they are available in Internet Archive, we will also provide direct links to them here.

      • Black Men of Amherst by Harold Wade, Jr. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 1976. | Link to catalog record
      • Black Women of Amherst College by Mavis C. Campbell. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 1999. | Link to catalog record
      • The College on the Hill, Celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Amherst College 1821-1996, Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 1996. | Link to catalog record
      • Curious Footprints: Professor Hitchcock’s Dinosaur Tracks & Other Natural History Treasures at Amherst College, text by Nancy Pick ’83, photographs by Frank Ward. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press. | Link to catalog record
      • The Development of The Art Collection of Amherst College, 1821-1971 by Charles H. Morgan. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 1972. | Link to catalog record
      • Dwight Whitney Morrow: A Sketch in Admiration by Hewitt H. Howland. New York: Century Company, 1930. | Link to catalog record
      • English at Amherst: A History by Theodore Baird, edited and with an introduction by William H. Pritchard. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 2005. | Link to catalog record
      • Essays on Amherst’s History, edited by Theodore P. Greene. Amherst, MA: Vista Trust, 1978. | Link to catalog record
      • The Freshman Who Hated Socrates: A College President Reflects on Life in the Liberal Arts by Tom Gerety. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 2007. | Link to catalog record
      • Gender Matters: The First Half-Century of Women Teaching at Amherst, by Elizabeth Aries, Rose Olver and Jane Taubman. Amherst, MA: Trustees of Amherst College, 2014. | Link to catalog record
      • General Education at Amherst, Essays on the Introduction to Liberal Studies Program 1978-1982, Frederick T. Griffiths, Allen Kropf and Kirsten M. Cronin, editors. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 1982. | Link to catalog record
      • Harvesting History: Amherst Massachusetts Farms, 1700-2010, edited by Sheila Rainford and Ruth Owen Jones. Amherst MA: Amherst Area Publications, 2010. | Link to catalog record
      • In Other Words: Amherst in Prose and Verse, Horace W. Hewlett, editor. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press 1964. | Link to catalog record
      • John William Ward: An American Idealist, by Kim Townsend. Amherst MA: Trustees of Amherst College, 2014. | Link to catalog record
      • The New England College in the Age of the University by George E. Peterson. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 1964. | Link to catalog record
      • The Seed and the Sowers, A Series of Chapel Talks on the History of Amherst College and a Play about Its Founding by F. Curtis Canfield. Amherst, MA: Amherst College, 1955. | Link to catalog record
      • The Spoken Word, Speeches Made During His Presidency by Calvin Hastings Plimpton. Amherst, MA: Board of Trustees and Alumni Council, 1971. | Link to catalog record
      • Teaching What We Do: Essays by Amherst College Faculty. Amherst, MA: Amherst College Press, 1991. | Link to catalog record

The 11 books relevant to the history of the College that are already freely available online are included below. Links to their catalog records and direct links to the books are provided.

For more information
Related Bicentennial collections

Many of these books have related material in bicentennial collections. Which collection/s is related depends on the book. However, bicentennial collections that are related to the subjects of multiple of these books are included below for easy reference.