Local History Resources

Table of Contents


Bates College Publications

As part of its mission to collect materials documenting the history of the College, the Archives houses complete sets of the major Bates College publications, including The Bates Student newspaper, Bates Alumnus magazine, The Mirror yearbook, the Report of the President, and the Financial Report of the College. Duplicate sets for most of these publications are available for in-building use only on the first floor of Ladd Library. Many, but not all, publications are listed in the Library’s online catalog.

Student papers

The archives collects past papers by Bates College students about local history topics.

Personal Papers

Alfred William Anthony Papers

The Alfred Williams Anthony Collection consists of a variety of materials pertaining to his research for the book Bates College and Its Background, which was published in 1936. Included is an unrevised first draft; a folder of omitted chapters and appendices; numerous pages of notes; and extensive correspondence pertaining to inquiries Anthony made of Bates alumni regarding the early history of Bates.

Garcelon Family Papers

The collection contains some of the papers of Pierre Garcelon (1685-1772), William Green Garcelon (1786-1872), Alonzo Garcelon (1813-1906), and Charles Augustus Garcelon (1842-1935), among other family members. Of particular note are William Garcelon’s financial records related to the estate of Jackson Davis, an Indian agent for the Penobscot tribe; Civil War letters written by Alonzo Garcelon, Surgeon General of Maine, and C. A. Garcelon, a volunteer in the 16th regiment of Maine volunteers; letters and other material related to Alonzo Garcelon’s service as Governor of Maine and the controversy surrounding the election of 1879; and C. A. Garcelon’s material related to his work as general superintendent of the Pullman Car Company.

Harry W. Rowe Papers

This collection contains documents concerning the history of Bates College and education in the state of Maine. Rowe, a graduate of Bates College in 1912, began his employment for the college in 1914 as the Secretary of the Christian Association and later served as Dean of the Faculty and Assistant to the President. Most of the papers concern the financial matters of President George Colby Chase, President Clifton Daggett Gray, and other Bates notables. There is also a series of papers related to Alfred Williams Anthony’s career as a professor and college administrator.

Josiah Spooner Swift Papers

Josiah Spooner Swift was born in 1813 in Wareham, Massachusetts. His family purchased a farm in Harpswell, Maine in 1823. In 1838, Spooner moved to Madrid and in 1840 he settled in Farmington, Maine. Spooner was an active Freewill Baptist minister, an amateur artist, and publisher. The collection includes two of Spooner’s journals and six sketchbooks, as well as a variety of other papers and documents. The sketchbooks contain watercolors of a number of identified and unidentified Maine towns and scenes along the Androscoggin River, as well as a variety of sketches.

Karl Woodcock Photography Collection

This collection consists of negatives and a few prints of images from the 1890s to the 1930s. The bulk of the collection is Bates-related images—dorm rooms, buildings, faculty members, sports activities, as well as images of the Jordan Scientific Society Exhibition, student clubs, the Student Army Training Corps (1917-1918), and class reunions. Woodcock was the faculty advisor to the Bates Camera Club.

Mabel Simmons Papers

More than 200 letters written by Mabel Simmons, while a student at Bates College (1919-1923) to her family in Stoughton, Massachusetts. The bulk of the letters are written to her mother, Bertha Simmons, though she frequently writes to both her father, Alva N. Simmons, and her two younger sisters, Elsie and Helen. They cover in detail social customs and happenings at the college.

Scrapbook Collection

The collection contains scrapbooks dating primarily from the 1880s to the 1950s maintained by Bates students and faculty. In addition, the collection includes many scrapbooks maintained by the Bates News Bureau, including sixty five volumes of general clippings about Bates dating from 1922-1960s?; five volumes related to debate from 1922-1939; 34 volumes related to athletics from 1922-1952?, 1971-1972, and 1976; one volume related to the Million Dollar Fund activities, Sept. 1922-Jan. 1927

Stanton Bird Club Records

This collection documents the activities of the Stanton Bird Club, named for Bates Professor of Greek and Latin Johnny Stanton, from 1915 until the present. As part of its activities, the Club maintains and makes Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary available to the public. This collection tells the history of this bird sanctuary.

Thomas Angell Papers

Angell taught languages and literature at Bates for 33 years. The collection contains a 2 volume diary Angell kept from January 1, 1859-July 24, 1870. In the second volume of his diary, Angell records his transition to becoming a professor at Bates College, and purchasing a house in Lewiston from Oren B. Cheney, Bates College’s founder. Angell records his reactions to early Bates students and faculty, and the graduation of Mary Mitchell, Class of 1869, as the first female graduate of a New England college.

U. S. Navy V-12 Program Collection

The V-12 program was established by the Navy during World War II to train officers on a variety of college campuses, including Bates. This collection documents the program at Bates, and including its facilities, rules, attendees and curriculum.

College Records

Bates College Archives

The archives documents the history of the College from its founding until the present, and includes the records of past presidents as well as many administrative departments. Also includes records of students and student organizations, faculty, and alumni.

Maine State Seminary Records

Currently, the Records of the Maine State Seminary housed in Special Collections include the following: petitions signed by citizens of 14 towns requesting the State incorporate and endow the Maine State Seminary (Jan-Feb, 1855); correspondence of members of the Building Committee concerning the construction of Hathorn Hall (1855-1856); construction bills (1856-1857); records of meetings of the Teachers of the Maine State Seminary (1857-1859); and the Seminary Rank Book (1861-1863). In addition, The Seminary Advocate, a newspaper, documents efforts to establish the Maine State Seminary.

Historic Photo Collection

The collection documents the life of the College from 1875-present, although the bulk of the collection runs from the early 1890s though the early 1950s. Topics covered include campus buildings, athletics, classroom activities, clubs, dorm life, theater, and many other aspects or activities of the College. There are also photographs that document faculty and staff, honorary degree recipients, commencement, and class reunions.

Oral Histories

Bates College Oral History Project

Includes audio tapes and transcripts with approximately 50 interviewees, including faculty, staff, students and alumni of Bates College, covering various topics about the history of the college.

Bates College Student Oral History Collection

Interviews with 58 individuals connected with Bates College, conducted by students during the summers of 1997, 1998 and 1999. Transcripts are available for approximately half of the interviews.

Experience of the Great Depression in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine

Comprised of 45 interviews with 50 residents of the Lewiston-Auburn area discussing how the Great Depression affected their lives.

Muskie Oral History Project

Includes audio tapes and transcripts with approximately 400 interviewees covering all aspects of the life and work of Edmund S. Muskie (Bates 1936), including his contributions to the state of Maine.