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Guide to the Marian Parker Whitney Papers, 1842-1945 (bulk 1871-1945)

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Whitney, Marian P. (Marian Parker), b. 1861
Title: Marian Parker Whitney Papers
Inclusive dates: 1842-1945
Bulk dates: 1871-1945
Quantity: 6.4 cubic ft. (8 boxes and 1 tube)
Abstract: Materials relating to Whitney's position at Vassar College as well as her involvement with the American Association of University Professors, the International Council of Women, the National Council of Women, Connecticut Association of Working Girls' Clubs, and other women's groups. There are also biographical materials, including correspondence and diaries, containing information about Whitney's family, intellectual pursuits, travels and other personal issues.
Forms of Materials: Correspondence, minutes, reports, programs, reports, bills, scrapbooks, notebooks, manuscripts, and diaries.

Biographical Note

Marian Parker Whitney (1861-1946), was an educator and daughter of the distinguished scholar, William Dwight Whitney. She was born in New Haven, CT, and attended private schools in this country and in Europe. She did graduate work at the Universities of Paris and Zurich and received a Ph.D. from Yale in 1901. After several years of teaching high school in New Haven, Miss Whitney became a professor of German at Vassar in 1905, serving as chairperson of the department for many years. One of her interests was the theater, and she introduced a popular course on contemporary comparative drama. She was author and editor of many French and German grammars and textbooks.

Miss Whitney's interests beyond Vassar were extensive. She was active in professional organizations of language teachers and in the American Association of University Professors. She was deeply concerned with improving women's social and political status. As a leading member of both the National and International Council of Women, Whitney visited Europe in 1919-1920 to study changes in women's education brought about by World War I. A supporter of separate education for women, Miss Whitney served as a trustee of Connecticut College for Women. Her death in 1946 followed a long illness.

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Scope and Content Note

Family correspondence includes letters received by her father William Dwight Whitney, 1842-1850; her correspondence with her parents, 1872-1891; and letters received from other family members, 1872-1900. Personal correspondence, 1871-1905, from Jennie and Fannie Bailey, Amanda Brewster, Honor Brooke, Beatrice Chamberlain, Eva Channing, Elizabeth Whitney Putnam, Marie Souvestre, Bessie M. Townsend, and Edith Woolsey concerning intellectual pursuits, travels, Brooke's work with a working girls' club in London (1889), family affairs, and other personal news. Papers from her Vassar position include minutes, reports, materials from her German and drama courses, correspondence with Presidents Taylor and MacCracken, and letters from students. Correspondence, programs, reports, bills, and other items from her work with the American Association of University Professors, the International Council of Women, the National Council of Women, Connecticut Association of Working Girls' Clubs, and other women's groups, 1919-1934. Scrapbooks, class notebooks, and several manuscripts, 1871-1891 and undated; diaries from 1873 to 1945; and correspondence and other materials from trips to Europe, England, and Japan, 1886-1920.

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Access and Use


This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

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Subject Headings


  • Bailey, Fannie.
  • Bailey, Jennie.
  • Brewster, Amanda.
  • Brooke, Honor.
  • Chamberlain, Beatrice.
  • Channing, Eva.
  • MacCracken, H. N. (Henry Noble), b. 1880.
  • Putnam, Elizabeth Whitney.
  • Souvestre, Marie.
  • Taylor, James Monroe, 1848-1916.
  • Townsend, Bessie M.
  • Whitney family.
  • Whitney, William Dwight, 1827-1894.
  • Woolsey, Edith.


  • American Association of University Professors.
  • Connecticut Association of Working Girls' Clubs.
  • International Council of Women.
  • National Council of Women of the United States.
  • Vassar College--Faculty.
  • Vassar College--Students.


  • Women--England--London--Societies and clubs.
  • Drama--Study and teaching.
  • Family--New York (State)--Poughkeepsie.
  • German language--Study and teaching.
  • Women college teachers.
  • Women--Diaries.
  • Women--Employment.
  • Women--Societies and clubs.


  • England--Description and travel.
  • Europe--Description and travel.
  • Japan--Description and travel.

Document Types:

  • Diaries.
  • Scrapbooks.

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Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, April 2007.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Marian Parker Whitney Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown.

Acquisition Information

Gift of estate of Emily Whitney.

2 Whitney items were found in Carl Friedrich Gauss's Theoria Mutus Corporum... (Grille 521.3 G237) and added to Multiple Collections at an unknown time. They were transferred from there to the Whitney collection (folder 4.20), March 2007.

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Series List

Series I. Correspondence (Boxes 1-2)

Series II. Professional Career (Boxes 3-4)

Series III. Women's organizations (Boxes 5-6)

Series IV. Miscellaneous (Box 7, tube)

Container List

Series I. Correspondence

Folder 1.1 Clippings, pictures, and miscellaneous items relating to family
Folder 1.2 Family letters to William Dwight Whitney, father of M.P. W., 1842-1850
Folder 1.3 William D. Whitney's letters to M.P. W. and her letters to him, 1872-1891
Folder 1.4 M.P.W.'s letters to unidentified persons
Folders 1.5-1.8 M.P.W.'s letters to her mother's letters to her and other family members
Folder 1.9-1.10 Letters to Emily (sister) from M.P.W. and Emily's letters to her
Folders 1.11-1.12 Emily's letters to her parents and letters from others to her
Folders 1.13-1.14 Letters to Margaret (sister) from M.P.W. and Margaret's letters to her
Folders 1.15-1.16 Letters of Edward B. Whitney (brother), mostly to M.P.W., ca. 1875-1900
Folder 1.17 Letters of Josepha (wife of Edward) to M.P.W. and her mother
Folder 1.18 Letters of congratulation to Edward on his appointment as Assistant U.S. Attorney General, 1893
Folder 1.19 Letters from Emily Baldwin (grandmother), 1872-1873
Folder 1.19 Letters from Roger Whitney (brother), 1872
Folder 1.20 Letters of aunts and uncles
Folder 1.21 Letters of "cousins."
Folder 2.1-2.2 Letters from "Elizabeth."
Folder 2.3 Letters from Jennie and Fannie Bailey, 1871-1891
Folder 2.4 Letters from Amanda Brewster
Folder 2.5 Letters from Honor Brooke, 1880-1898
Folder 2.6-2.7 Letters from Beatrice Chamberlain, 1880-1903
Folder 2.8 Letters from Eva Channing, 1879, 1898
Folder 2.9 Letters from Marie Souvestre, 1880-1896
Folder 2.9 Marie Souvestre's death, 1905
Folder 2.10 Letters from Bessie M. Townsend, 1883-1896
Folder 2.11 Letters from Edith Woolsey
Folder 2.12-2.19 Miscellaneous correspondence

Series II. Professional Career

Folder 3.1 Honors
Folder 3.2 Ph.D. from Yale
Folder 3.3 Positions and offers of positions prior to Vassar.
Folder 3.4 New Haven High School
Folder 3.5 Appointment Professor of German, Vassar College, 1905
Folder 3.6 Correspondence with Presidents Taylor and MacCracken.
Folder 3.7 V.C. faculty committees
Folder 3.8 V.C. German Department appointments and leaves.
Folder 3.9 German Department student assistants
Folder 3.10 German Department changes in requirements
Folder 3.11 Letters from students
Folder 3.12 German Department curriculum, 1927
Folder 3.13 Oral tests in modern languages
Folder 3.14 German Department questions of students
Folder 3.15 Committee on College Lectures
Folder 3.16 Fellowships
Folder 3.17 Visiting lecturers in German Department
Folder 3.18 V.C. comparative drama course
Folder 3.19 Comparative Drama exams
Folder 3.20 Contemporary Drama
Folder 3.21 Contemporary German Drama
Folder 3.22-3.25 V.C. German courses
Folder 3.26 V.C. German graduate courses
Folder 3.27 Modern foreign language study
Folder 3.28 Gustab Falke autobiography
Folder 3.29 V.C. Modern Language Week
Folder 3.30 V.C. German-French Departments
Folder 3.31 Material on German readers by M.P.W
Folders 4.1-4.2 Invitations, engagements, and weddings
Folder 4.3 London, 1886
Folder 4.4 Canal Boat letters, 1886
Folder 4.5 Paris, 1895
Folder 4.6-4.7 Europe, 1897-1898
Folder 4.6-4.7 M.P.W.'s letters from Europe, 1897
Folder 4.8 Trip to Japan, 1900
Folder 4.9 Spain, 1902
Folder 4.10 England and France, 1904
Folder 4.11 M.P.W.'s letters from England and Germany, 1908
Folder 4.12 Passport, 1920
Folder 4.13 Bills and receipts
Folder 4.14 Carving designs and drawings
Folder 4.15 Saturday Morning club. Programs, correspondences, etc.
Folder 4.16 Organizations (recreational), programs, and hobbies.
Folder 4.17 American Association of University Professors.
Folder 4.18 Connecticut Association of Classical and High School Teachers
Folder 4.19 New England Modern Language Association and MLA
Folder 4.20 Miscellaneous manuscripts and notes
Folder 4.21 Manuscript: "Occupations of Women," (about 1883?)
Folder 4.22 Manuscript on Josiah Gibbs by Margaret D. Whitney, 1937
Folder 4.23 German manuscript by unknown author

Series III. Women's organizations

Folder 5.1 International Council of Women (ICW), General.
Folder 5.2 ICW reports, 1923, 1929-1930
Folder 5.3 ICW "current business," 1924
Folder 5.4 ICW business for Washington Reports, etc., 1925
Folder 5.5-5.6 ICW Washington meeting and conferences, 1925
Folder 5.7-5.9 ICW correspondence, 1920-1934
Folder 5.10 ICW programs, letters, resolutions, etc
Folder 5.11 ICW Bulletins
Folders 5.12-5.13 ICW Executive Committee. Meetings at Copenhagen, 1924, and Stockholm, 1933
Folders 5.14-5.16 ICW Committee on Education. Circular letters, bills, programs, questionnaires, and correspondence
Folders 5.17-5.18 ICW Committee on Education. Reports, and correspondence, 1920-1930
Folders 6.1-6.5 ICW Committee on Education. Reports, 1925-1930
Folder 6.6 ICW Committee on Education. Questionnaires, 1925-1930
Folder 6.7 ICW Committee on Education, 1931-1934
Folder 6.8 ICW Committee on Education. Report for Council Meeting, 1934
Folder 6.9 ICW Film Committee
Folders 6.10-6.12 National Council of Women, 1919-1934
Folder 6.13 Comite d'Education Feminine
Folder 6.14 Congres International de la Condition et des Droits des Femmes
Folder 6.15 International Federation of University Women. Conference at Edinburgh, 1932
Folder 6.16 Connecticut Association of Working Girls' Clubs.

Series IV. Miscellaneous

Box 7 Scrapbook, 1876-1891 (1 volume)
Box 7 Notebooks from George B. Adams' course in medieval institutions, (3 volumes)
Box 7 Class book, 1894 (1 volume)
Box 7 Autograph albums, (2 volumes)
Box 7 Diaries, 1873-1945 (20 volumes)
Tube Yale Ph.D. diploma

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