The Photographs of Asa Kinney

From 1899 to 1939, Asa Kinney held the position of Botany and Plant Science Associate Professor Emeritus at Mount Holyoke College. Over the course of 41 years, Kinney extensively photographed the Mount Holyoke College campus, community, activities, natural environment, and architecture with a 5"x7" glass plate view camera. As a result, a collection of approximately two thousand glass plate negatives resides in Archives & Special Collections. This online exhibit highlights some of these long-hidden glimpses of campus life. Over time, more of the plates will be digitized and added to this site.

View Links to photo series.

When Kinney arrived at the College, the present campus was just beginning to take form as new buildings were being built after the main building was lost in a fire in 1896. Kinney was responsible for much of the beautiful landscaping around campus we enjoy today. He was exceptionally skilled in planting and laying out gardens, and after consulting with landscape architects, he took charge of this task himself. In an ironic twist of fate, his last years of landscaping work in 1938-39 were spent primarily in clearing up hurricane damage that had uprooted some of the oldest and most beautiful trees. 

In writing of Mr. Kinney’s work, Professor Emeritus Alma Stokey said, "The campus has attained its present beauty not by the expenditure of large sums of money but by the generous giving of such thought, foresight, and devotion as we can hardly hope to see again."

Mr. Kinney's interest in people was reflected in his dedication to his craft of photography, which included images of College history that traced the fashions, enthusiasms, and many activities of the campus in his time.

Image Series for the Asa Kinney Collection:

South Hadley
Mary Lyon
Physical Education
Fundraising Endowment Fund
German Summer School
Academic Departments
Academies - Sanderson
75th Anniversary
WWI: Farm Work, Victory Gardens, etc.
Special Events