Wells, Agnes Ermina, 1876-1959. Papers of Agnes Ermina Wells, 1894-1959: A Finding
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: 82-M162
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Wells, Agnes E., 1876-1959
Title: Papers of Agnes Ermina Wells, 1894-1959
Quantity: 1 linear feet (1 carton) plus 2 folio folders, 1 folio+ folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Thesis, correspondence, calendars, etc., of Agnes Ermina Wells, dean of women at Indiana
University and professor of mathematics and astronomy.
Accession number: 82-M162
These papers were given to the Schlesinger Library in August 1982 by Mattie G. Crump.
Preliminary inventory: August 1982
By: Sharon Owens
Access. Collection is open for research.
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.
Agnes Ermina Wells Papers, 1894-1959; item description, dates. 82-M162, folder #.
Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
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.
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
- 1. Genealogy of Wells family
- 2. Memorabilia from various events and programs, 1894-1952
- 3. Agnes Ermina Wells's driver's license, membership cards and receipts of various kinds,
- 4. Notes by Agnes Ermina Wells and miscellaneous material, 1924, n.d.
- 5. Certificates, contract: Order of Eastern Star, 1904; Teaching contract, 1908; Phi
Beta Kappa, 1909; Indiana University Emeritus Club, 1944
- 6. Gamma Phi Alumnae Association Minutes, 1907-1909
- 7. Alpha Lambda Delta & other clubs, 1933-1949
- 8. Michigan State Society, 1948
- 9. National Woman's Party, 1949
- 10. Clippings & other items pertaining to Agnes Ermina Wells's death, 1959
- 11. Calling & assorted cards written to Agnes Ermina Wells, 1894-1922
- 12. Letters to Agnes Ermina Wells, 1903-1957
- 13. Letters to Florence Wells, 1956-1959
- 14. Newspaper clippings, 1909, 1930, 1938
- 15. Newspaper clippings, c. 1913-1959
- 16. Newspaper clippings labeled "Mrs. B.W. Wells, Grand Rapids Women's Club"
- 17-19. Photographs. Family and relatives; Agnes Ermina Wells at different ages
- 20-21. Photographs. Labeled "Photographs from Aunt Hannah Smith's house in Keesville, Uncle
Ben's family, Uncle Charlie's family, Aunt Emma's family, Father and Mother, B.W.N.,
Nov. 30, 1946"
- 22. Photographs of Michigan University buildings, stars, Jay range of mountains, and Mrs.
- 24v. Desk calendar book, 1950
- 25. Papers from 24v: "Desk Private"
- 27v. Agnes Ermina Wells's Doctoral thesis "A Study of the Relative Proper Motions and Radial
Velocities of Stars In the Pleiades Group", 1924
- 28. Papers removed from 27v
- 29f. Certificate - State of Minnesota, 1906; NEA Life Membership certificate, 1929.
- 29af. 3 photographs: Mrs. Wells; 2 unidentified portraits
- 30f+. "Dinner of the International Federation of University Women, Hotel Statler - April
Deans of women
Women in science--United States
Women scientists--United States
American Association of University Women
Michigan State Society
National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs
National Woman's Party
Phi Beta Kappa