Guide to the Maria Mitchell letters, circa 1846-1868


Maria Mitchell was a pioneering United States astronomer. This collection comprises three social correspondence notes written by Mitchell between approximately 1846-1868.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Maria Mitchell letters
circa 1846-1868
0.1 Linear Feet, 3 items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection comprises three manuscript notes by Mitchell. The first, written while Mitchell was the librarian at the Nantucket Atheneum, is addressed to a Mrs. Greene regarding a John Quincy Adams letter Mitchell has forwarded to her "at Phebe's request" for her autograph business. The second, written while Mitchell was teaching at Vassar College, is addressed to a Mrs. Burner asking for letters of recommendation to a number of people in London. The third, dated 1877, to a Miss Ladd, sends her regrets for not being able to speak at the Harvard School commencement.

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More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Maria Mitchell letters, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Folder 1

Historical Note

Maria Mitchell was a pioneering American astronomer. A Nantucket native, Mitchell worked from 1836-1856 as the first librarian at the Nantucket Atheneum, during which time she discovered "Miss Mitchell's Comet." In 1865, she was appointed the first professor of astronomy at Vassar College, where she worked until her retirement. Michell also identified with the abolition and women's rights movements. She was the first woman elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Philosophical Society.

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The Maria Mitchell letters were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Megan E. Lewis, March, 2017

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2015-0050-LUBMSS337-339