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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, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

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
Date(s): 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.

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

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.

Preferred Citation:

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 relatives.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Deans of women
Education, Higher
Scientists--United States
Women--Education (Higher)
Women in science--United States
Women scientists--United States
Women's rights
American Association of University Women
Indiana University
Michigan State Society
National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs
National Woman's Party
Phi Beta Kappa