The Early History Collection is vital to telling Amherst’s early story. It is an artificial collection, pulled together from a number of sources. includes printed material, legal documents, financial records, correspondence, and other material documenting the first few years of the College. The history of Amherst College is tied so closely to the history of Amherst Academy, which predated Amherst’s founding by just six years. Materials related to Amherst Academy were incorporated into this collection. Ledgers kept by the Board of Trustees show the community’s participation in the 1818-1819 Charity Fund which led to the establishment of the Amherst “collegiate institution” in 1821. The 1825 charter granted by the Massachusetts Legislature and early by-laws of Amherst Academy and Amherst College also bear witness to the College’s founding. The collection provides documentation of fundraising efforts in the 1830s and 1840s as the college grew, as well as local and regional newspaper reports from the early 1820s. Institutional catalogs of both Amherst Academy and Amherst College list names of students, the faculty, and describe the curriculum, giving a sense for the community that formed in the 1820s and 1830s. Early Board of Trustees correspondence is also included in the collection.
Link to finding aid: https://archivesspace.amherst.edu/repositories/2/resources/65