A hodgepodge collection of correspondence, mostly related to the faculty lecture series of the 1950s and 1960s, and compiled by Janice Buys, executive secretary of the committee. In addition, several letters from the 19th century made their way into the collection, including ones by Florence Nightingale, Nathaniel Hawthorne and William H. Seward. Though much of the collection consists of letters by well-known personages declining offers to speak at the college, certain letters have value beyond the autograph of a famous author, actor, critic, etc.
In particular, the Seward letters are of note, as the correspondence pertains to the earliest known use of the insanity defense in a criminal case in the United States. Also, the correspondence between the author Evelyn Scott and Skidmore English Professor Julia Hysham, which is filled with hand-written scrawls over type-written pages, offers a glimpse into the acerbic mind and post-war preoccupations of a now-forgotten author. (Transcriptions were made of all the hand-written correspondence.)
Image credit: letter from William Seward to Amariah Brigham - insanity defense ; 3 pages ; handwritten on lined paper ; signed ; each 25.2 x 20.2 cm.