The Deerfield Academy Archives acquires, preserves, and provides access to a wide variety of materials that document the school’s administrative, academic, and social history. It serves as the official and final repository of the historical records of the Academy from its establishment in 1797 to the present. In addition, the Academy Archives collects materials from alumni, faculty and staff relating to their years at the school.
Access to collections is subject to the condition of the material, legal restrictions, and considerations of confidentiality and privacy requirements. Materials are non-circulating and must be used in the Archives Reading Room in accordance with guidelines provided by Archives staff. Reproduction services include photocopies and digital scans.
The Archives is open weekdays to students, faculty, alumni, and other interested researchers.
Guidelines for Donating Faculty Papers
Records Transmittal Form
The following listing is not comprehensive, and is intended to outline some general subjects in the collection. Please contact the Academy Archives or see Finding Aids for additional information about the collections.
Student Life includes class records such as Commencement and Baccalaureate speeches and programs, Convocation material, and reunion related records. Material related to extracurricular life, such as scrapbooks and memorabilia provide a more personal view into the world of Deerfield Academy students. In addition, there are programs, photographs, and other records of performing arts, campus entertainment, and student organizations.
Academic life material includes general information on faculty groups, committees and individuals. Some files include personal papers such as class notes, publications, and correspondence. Other material consists of exams, student papers, records about special programs, and various departmental records.
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 records related to all sports at the school including photographs, schedules, administrative material and other records.
Manuscripts and Special Collections
The Academy Archives’ largest and most significant collection of papers is that of Frank L. Boyden, Headmaster of Deerfield Academy from 1902-1968. It contains biographical material, photographs, writings, personal and professional correspondence with hundreds of individuals and organizations, and other material. Some smaller collections include the papers of Helen Childs Boyden, wife of Frank Boyden and longtime Deerfield science teacher, the papers of legendary Deerfield hero Thomas Ashley; and various others from the Deerfield Academy community.
The Archives houses complete runs of the student newspaper, The Scroll, starting in 1927; the Deerfield Alumni Journal, starting in 1944, and the Pocumtuck yearbooks starting in 1928. The Archives also has many other student newsletters and small magazines that have been published from 1910 to the present, 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.
Administrative records provide information about specific office functions as well as the overall operation of the Academy. These include records from the Head of School, Dean of the Faculty, Registrar, Alumni and Development, Business Office, and others.
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.
These finding aids are detailed descriptions of archival collections housed in the Deerfield Academy Archives. Not all collections are represented; more finding aids will be added as they are available.
Ashley, Thomas W., Collection, 1901-2016 (pdf)
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.
Deerfield, Town of, Collection, 1805-2005 (pdf)
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.
Gunther, John, Jr., Collection, 1943-2001 (pdf)
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.
McPhee, John: The Headmaster Papers, 1925-1985 (pdf)
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.
Merrill, Charles E., Papers, 1926-1973 (pdf)
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.
Reese, John, Theater Collection, 1984-2011 (pdf)
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 Academy Archives welcomes material from alumni, faculty and staff relating to their years at the school. We rely heavily on such donations to help document the long and rich history of Deerfield Academy. Of special value are scrapbooks, letters, records of student and faculty organizations and committees, faculty notes and papers, audiovisual material, and photographs. If you have materials that you wish to donate, please contact the Archives.
Academy offices are required to review the contents of their files with the Archives staff for disposal or transfer to the Archives. Please see the records transmittal form and faculty donation guidelines for more information.
Guidelines for Donating Faculty Papers
The Deerfield Academy Archives is interested in documenting all aspects of your career, including teaching, research, correspondence, and other contributions to the administration and governance of the school. We hope that you will consider donating materials that reflect these activities.
The following are examples of the types of materials the Deerfield Academy Archives accepts in relation to the teaching life of the school.
- Class Lecture Notes, syllabi, course outlines, reading lists, examinations.
- Campus activities material, speeches, extracurricular organization records, coaching, etc.
- Biographical material: resumes, vitae, bibliographies, newspaper clippings, and biographical questionnaires.
Official outgoing/incoming correspondence and memoranda generated in the course of conducting Academy business.
Professional outgoing/incoming correspondence with colleagues, publishers, organizations, students, etc.
Personal letters to/from friends, relatives, acquaintances and business contacts.
- Diaries, Notebooks, appointment calendars, memorabilia.
- Publications, reviews, and articles.
- Research files.
- Departmental or committee records.
- Photographs or other audiovisual media.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Archives at 413-774-1502.
Records Transmittal Form
Deerfield Magazine is the feature publication of the Academy. Published three times per year by the Communications Office, it provides information about campus happenings, the accomplishments of alumni, and the future direction of the Academy. Read the latest issue or past issues, or a selection of feature stories.
Reports of donor recognition are available online. To access the page, enter the password, the last word of this famous Deerfield phrase: Softly from each hidden _____.
Recent speeches and comments by invited guests, award recipients, and speakers at events such as Commencement and Convocation.
The Deerfield Academy Press
The mission of the Press is to stimulate and nurture interest in creative and academic writing and to provide a formal outlet for student writings in English, history, and foreign languages. All Deerfield Academy Press publications are available at Hitchcock House.