Collections and Finding Aids


The Archives houses over 1500 linear feet of material reflecting a variety of subjects related to Academy history. These collections include everything from paper records to audio recordings, photographs, ephemera, and 3D objects. Some general collection groups are described below.

Manuscripts and Special Collections

These collections contain biographical material, photographs, writings, personal and professional correspondence, and other material. Among these are papers of Frank L. Boyden, Helen Childs Boyden, Thomas Ashley, Orra White Hitchcock’s Herbarium parvum, pictum, and various others.

Student Life

Student Life records include material about the arts, performances, extracurricular activities, clubs and organizations, photographs, campus activity, and general campus life.

Buildings and Grounds

Buildings and Grounds files contain photographs, architectural drawings, official correspondence and other records which document the growth and change of the campus and its buildings.


The Athletics Collection consists of photographs, schedules, programs, administrative records and other material related to all school sports. 


The Archives houses complete runs of the student newspaper, The Scroll, starting in 1927; Deerfield Magazine, starting in 1944, and the Pocumtuck yearbooks starting in 1928. The Archives has many other student newsletters and small magazines, as well as official Academy publications such as course catalogs and view books, and the varied creative and academic writings from our own Deerfield Academy Press.


A unique resource to Deerfield Academy history, the Audiovisual Collection contains hundreds of films, videotapes, reel to reel tape recordings, audio cassettes, vinyl LPs, CDs, and DVDs. Content includes athletics, performing arts, special Academy speakers, and oral histories.


Finding Aids

These finding aids are detailed descriptions of archival collections housed in the Deerfield Academy Archives. Not all collections are represented; finding aids will be added as they are available.

The Thomas W. Ashley Collection consists of material by and about Deerfield alumnus Thomas W. Ashley ’11. This collection includes correspondence, a draft of a school catalog for Deerfield Academy by Ashley, a scrapbook from his Deerfield days, photographs, Amherst College material, various writings about Ashley, and articles and research done on the 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood.

Collection of materials by and about Helen Childs Boyden, Deerfield Academy science teacher and wife of headmaster Frank L. Boyden. Includes correspondence, writings, photographs, and memorabilia.

The Town of Deerfield Collection consists of correspondence, clippings, publications and other documentation concerning the Town of Deerfield.  A large portion of the collection is correspondence between Deerfield Academy Headmaster Frank L. Boyden and various town organizations. Other material includes photographs, printed material, articles and publications.

The John Gunther Jr. Collection consists of correspondence, schoolwork, and other documentation concerning John Gunther Jr.’s life and studies at Deerfield Academy. It also includes correspondence and research materials that show the impact of the publication of Death Be Not Proud—and the subsequent film—on the school, and documents the long-lasting relationship between John Gunther Sr. and Frank L. Boyden.

This small collection consists mainly of articles and photographs that document the post-Deerfield life of American painter Stephen Hannock ’70.

The Orra White Hitchcock Collection spans the years 1863-2011, and consists mainly of exhibit material and research articles related to Orra and her watercolor work on Herbarium parvum, pictum.

This collection consists of materials documenting the career of American painter and Deerfield Academy teacher Daniel Hodermarsky. It includes biographical material, correspondence, administrative material, photographs, and some Hodermarsky artwork.

Individual copies of International Quarterly, the student publication on current events and world affairs from the 1980s and early 1990s.

The John McPhee: The Headmaster Papers consist primarily of materials John McPhee used in writing his 1966 The Headmaster, including source material from the Deerfield Academy Archives—correspondence, newspaper clippings, and biographical material—and McPhee’s notes and plans.

The Papers of Charles E. Merrill consist of correspondence, legal documents & newspaper articles. They document Charles Merrill’s thirty-year relationship with Frank L. Boyden and his financial support of Deerfield Academy through the establishment of the Charles E. Merrill Scholarship Fund and the Charles E. Merrill Trust.

The John Reese Theater Collection is a collection of materials documenting the theater program at Deerfield Academy under the direction of John Reese. It includes photographs, programs, flyers, and biographical and administrative material.

The Jennie Maria Arms Sheldon Papers span the years 1900-2002 and consist mainly of correspondence to Frank L. Boyden. The letters document a friendship, a business relationship, and a deep interest and commitment to education for young people.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once a week, School Meeting begins with the singing of one of Deerfield’s school songs, and at every Sunday sit down dinner the whole school comes together and sings the Evensong. During the spring term, as seniors prepare to graduate, they are called upon many times to join in the Evensong. Even at the Academy’s annual Investiture event, alumni, parents, and students gather at sunset to sing the Evensong together. All these songs hold very special meaning for students, alumni, and faculty alike.

In most cases, digital scans can be provided. Contact the Academy Archives if you are looking for a specific archival photograph.

Frank Boyden was Deerfield’s longest serving headmaster from 1902-1968. His time at Deerfield is captured in John McPhee’s 1966 book, The Headmaster. For additional information, please contact the Academy Archives.

If you have materials that you wish to donate, please contact Anne Lozier, Academy Archivist. Of particular interest are scrapbooks, correspondence, ephemera, photographs, and audiovisual material. 

Contact Academy Archives

Boyden Library, Room B03
Mon-Fri, 8:30am–4:30pm

PO Box 87
Deerfield MA 01342