Herbarium Parvum, Pictum, 1817–1821

Orra White Hitchcock taught natural sciences, painting, and drawing at Deerfield Academy from 1813-1818. It was during this time that she created the painted herbarium, a 64-page album of watercolors depicting roughly 175 local flower and grass specimens. The herbarium is based on her husband Edward Hitchcock’s (Deerfield principal, geologist, and third president of Amherst College) native plant collection.

“She rendered these with the directness of a trained scientist, seeing them freshly as natural forms that she observed objectively. Her flair for the decorative made her alert to the way a drawing fits  on a page while exposing a plant’s parts crisply and lyrically… Orra’s drawings are not pieces of folklore, nor are they clumsy attempts at fine art rendering. Rather, they are skilled work of a unique kind. She became a professional who was proficient in her own manner. Orra merged perceptual objectivity with the flattened spaces of a decorative artist, the work of a scientific illustrator intent on providing visual specimens.” — from Orra White Hitchcock, An Amherst Woman of Art and Science, by Robert L. Herbert and Daria D’Arienzo

For more on Orra, see the finding aid for the Orra White Hitchcock Collection in the Deerfield Academy Archives and Edward and Orra Hitchcock, Archives and Special Collections, Robert Frost Library, Amherst College.

Color Slide Collection

This collection contains Kodak Ektachrome and Kodachrome color slides, primarily from the 1960s – 1990s. These slides capture everything from athletics to the classroom, and general campus life to  major school events. 

Scrapbooks and
Photo Albums

Because of their uniquely personal nature, these volumes are some of the most valued items in the collection. The Archives holds approximately 35 scrapbooks and photo albums, dating from 1903-1975. Displayed here are selections from the scrapbook of Harriet Harris ’08, photo album of Robert Agard ’34, the Peter Ray ’71 Photograph Collection, and the David Beisler ’65 Photograph Collection. 


Irish poet Seamus Heaney visits campus in 1996, a year after he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Enjoy this audio clip from his reading that day, the poem St. Kevin and the Blackbird.

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