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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2941

Mary Frances Peirce papers for a History of the Cambridge High School


Papers concerning the Cambridge High School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, collected by teacher Mary Frances Peirce.


  • 1850-1910

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


3.2 linear feet (9 boxes)

Collection includes a wealth of material collected by teacher Mary Frances Peirce, documenting the history of the Cambridge High School. Includes: scrapbooks, Peirce's autograph manuscript notes, clippings, attendance forms, letters, programs, examinations, compositions, lists of names of students, bookplates, leaflets, fliers, order of exercises, diplomas, tickets, invoices and receipts, samples of school forms, ephemera, and other materials. Also includes: 29 volumes of her grade notebooks, 1860-1884; some examinations for the Cambridge grammar schools; printed newsletters and books about the Cambridge High School; and a stereograph photograph of the high school building.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Frances Peirce (1831-1914) was born in Weston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Benjamin Peirce (1794-1863) and Almira Harrington Peirce (1799-1880). She became a school teacher at the Cambridge High School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and lived in Cambridge while she taught school for 34 years (1852-1886). Later Peirce lived with her sister-in-law in Weston, Massachusetts and she classified, arranged, corrected and edited for publication, the Weston town records. She was also active in the work of the First Parish Unitarian Church in Weston. She remained single for her entire life; she died and was buried in Weston in 1914.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Scrapbook volumes for History of the Cambridge High School, 1847-1886
  2. II. Examinations for Cambridge High School
  3. III. Mary Frances Peirce grade books for Cambridge High School
  4. IV. Attendance forms for Cambridge High School
  5. V. Other forms for Cambridge High School
  6. VI. Class schedules for Cambridge High School
  7. VII. Mary Frances Peirce manuscripts and letters
  8. VIII. Additional printed material and ephemera

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gift of Harvard Graduate School of Education; received: 1923 June 4. Recataloged from Educ R 528.9.65*.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt.

Peirce, Mary Frances, 1831-1914. Mary Frances Peirce papers for a History of the Cambridge High School, 1850-1910: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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