Isabel Holden papers
Scope and Contents
The Isabel Holden Papers consist primarily of diaries which she began in 1971, the same year her husband retired, to "record what it was like to grow old and die in Northampton." There are some gaps in the diaries, which are quite detailed, introspective, and reflective of the people and goings on in Holden's life. Three spiralbound volumes of course notes, and a few miscellanous fragments, are also included. Also includes a memorial book of photographs and writings related to Holden's life.
Dates of Materials
- Holden, Isabel, 1913-2007 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
To the extent that she owns copyright, Holden has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Holden, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
Biographical / Historical
Isabel Anderson Holden was born in Montclair, New Jersey. She attended Bennington College in Vermont. In 1937, she married Richard S. Holden and they had a daughter, Constance Holden. The Holdens moved to Northampton, Massachusetts in 1948 where he was president of the Northampton National Bank. Richard Holden died in 1998. Isabel Holden, also known to her friends as Matthew, was a horsewoman, animal lover, local historian, and was active in civic and intellectual life of Northampton. She served as vice president and then president of the Northampton Historical Society (now Historic Northampton) from 1955 to 1981; published articles on local history; volunteered at the Veterans Administration Hospital and later for Hospice; and taught music for several years at the Smith College Campus School. She was also involved with the SPCA; was a Friends of the Forbes Library, and a member of the Monday Afternoon club, which she joined in 1951. In her later years Holden moderated seminars for Learning in Retirement on pastoral poetry, Scotland, and Shakespeare. She also was also a major contributor to the Shakespeare Oxford Society (defending Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, as the true author of the works of Shakespeare). The Holdens lived on Round Hill Road in Northampton and had a summer home in Salisbury, Vermont.
1.75 linear feet (3 full document boxes, 1 half doc box)
Language of Materials
Volunteer; Hospital volunteer; Animal welfare advocate. Papers consist primarily of diaries which she began in 1971, the same year her husband retired, to "record what it was like to grow old and die in Northampton." There are some gaps in the diaries, which are quite detailed, introspective, and reflective of the people and goings on in Holden's life. Three spiralbound volumes of course notes, and a few miscellanous fragments, are also included.
This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Isabel Holden in 2007. Additional materials were donated after Holden's passing by Richard S. Holden and later by Elizabeth Clarke '82.
Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2007.
- Finding Aid to the Isabel Holden papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Finding aid prepared by Burd Schlessinger.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:19-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2018-11-06: Finding aid was updated to reflect additional materials
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063