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COLLECTION Identifier: 82-M162

Papers of Agnes Ermina Wells, 1894-1959


Thesis, correspondence, calendars, etc., of Agnes Ermina Wells, dean of women at Indiana University and professor of mathematics and astronomy.


  • Creation: 1894-1959

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Agnes Ermina Wells is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 linear feet ((1 carton) plus 2 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder)

The collection consists primarily of personal memorabilia, club and organization programs, clippings relating to Agnes Ermina Wells and her work, and photographs of Wells and relatives.


Agnes Ermina Wells was born January 4, 1876, in Saginaw, Michigan. After completing Arthur Hill High School there, she studied music and German for a year in Dresden, Germany. She attended the University of Michigan, except for a year at Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1903 with a B.A. in mathematics. In 1916, she earned her M.S. in astronomy from Carleton College (Minnesota).

Immediately afterwards she accepted a position as Dean of Women at Indiana University, where she also taught mathematics and astronomy. In 1924 she completed her Ph.D. in astronomy (University of Michigan) with "A Study of the Relative Proper Motions and Radial Velocities of Stars in the Pleiades Group" as her dissertation topic. Although she taught mathematics and astronomy for 26 years at Indiana University, she is best remembered for her contributions in the areas of guidance and housing of women students.

Wells was active in many clubs and organizations, including the National Woman's Party (of which she was chairman, 1949-1951), American Association of Deans of Women, Michigan State Society, National Education Association, Daughters of the American Revolution and Phi Beta Kappa.

On July 7, 1959, Wells died in Saginaw, Michigan.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 82-M162

These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library in August 1982 by Mattie G. Crump.

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: August 1982

By: Sharon Owens

Wells, Agnes Ermina, 1876-1959. Papers of Agnes Ermina Wells, 1894-1959: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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