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Adele H. Stamp papers

 Collection 0282-UA

Adele H. Stamp (1890-1974) was Dean of Women at the University of Maryland from 1922 to 1960. She organized the Women's Student Government Association and the Women's Senior Honor Society and served as national treasurer of Alpha Lambda Delta. Her papers include correspondence, reports, photographs and scrapbooks, which document her involvement in student and academic affairs on the university campus especially before 1950, as well as her outside organizational interests. In addition, a portion of the collection covers her early life, prior to arriving at the University of Maryland in 1922. Among the topics addressed are May Day, Mortar Board, the Federation of Women's Clubs, the League of Women Voters, and the League of Nations Association of Maryland.


  • 1895-1983
  • Majority of material found within 1930-1959

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

This collection contains restricted material, please check the series and folder listings for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


14.75 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers of Adele H. Stamp cover the years 1895 to 1983 with the bulk of material dating from the 1940s to 1950s. They include correspondence, reports, minutes, scrapbooks, organization constitutions and publications, as well as photographs. The materials of this collection document the activities of Stamp as Dean of Women and her state and national organizational activities. May Day celebrations, the cases of Virginia Flanagan and of Vivian Simpson v. University of Maryland, Mortar Board, Alpha Lambda Delta, and the Association of Women Students are subjects included in her university activities. The League of Women Voters, Federation of Women's Clubs, National Association of Deans of Women, and construction of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway are the major civic organizations and professional activities documented in her papers. Materials donated by Stamp's family illuminate aspects of her private life and her young adulthood prior to arriving at the University of Maryland in 1922. These items include photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, and travel journals. The papers also include posthumous honors and memorial fund activities after Stamp's death.

Significant correspondents in the papers are Governor Albert C. Ritchie, Lavinia Engle (League of Women Voters of Maryland), Eleanor Roosevelt, S. M. Shoemaker (University Board of Regents), Dr. Paul Titsworth (Washington College), and J. Edgar Hoover.


Adele Hagner Stamp (1890-1974) was born in Catonsville, Maryland, the daughter of Frederick and Anna Harken Stamp. She attended St. Timothy's, a private all-girls school in Stevenson, MD, and Western High School, the oldest all-girls public high school in the United States. Stamp taught at a public school in Baltimore after graduating from high school. Later hired as a social worker by the Y.W.C.A., she organized recreation programs for women factory workers in industrial centers. In 1918 the War Council of the Y.W.C.A. sent her to the Old Hickory Munitions Factory in Tennessee to direct recreation activities for the factory's 5,000 women. From 1919 to 1920 she directed an industrial service center in New Orleans, prior to her 1921 graduation from Tulane University with an A.B. in sociology. In 1922 she briefly served as a field representative of the American Red Cross. In 1924 she received a master's degree in sociology and recreation from the University of Maryland.

In 1922 Adele H. Stamp was appointed the University of Maryland's first dean of women and held this position until her retirement in 1960. During her tenure at the University of Maryland she organized and promoted women's activities. She initiated the campus celebration of May Day, which began in 1923 and continued annually until 1961. She founded the Women's Student Government Association, the Women's Senior Honor Society, which became the Maryland Chapter of the Mortar Board, and the Freshman Honor Society for Women, later a chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta. For fifteen years she served as the national treasurer of Alpha Lamda Delta and a national scholarship awarded annually was named for her. She organized the first Women's Physical Education Club in 1926 and in 1938 founded the Campus Club, an association for women professors and faculty wives.

In 1959 the campus yearbook, the Terrapin, was dedicated to her, the first woman to receive that honor. When she retired in 1960, Stamp was named Dean Emeritus by university president Wilson H. Elkins. In 1983, the university student union was renamed the Adele H. Stamp Union in her honor.

Her activities extended beyond the university to the state and national level as well. She organized the State Association of Deans of Women and served on the board of the State Federation of Women's Clubs as chairman of both the Library Extension and Education Committees. Her other interests included the League of Women Voters of which she served as state Education Chairman. In 1929 she organized the College Park branch of the American Association of University Women and founded Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society for women teachers, in 1937.

She maintained her political interests as a member of the League of Nations Association of Maryland and chairman of its Education Committee. During World War II she served on the advisory committee for the WAC's in the Washington area. She was also an active member of the National Democratic Women's Club and attended three Democratic National Conventions as a member of the Maryland Delegation.

Adele H. Stamp died on October 17, 1974 after a long illness.


This collection is organized as eight series.

Series 1
University Activities
Series 2
Civic Organizations and Activities
Series 3
Series 4
Series 5
Posthumous Honors
Series 6
Series 7
Series 8

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The papers of Adele H. Stamp were given to the University of Maryland College Park Libraries in 1972. Additional materials were donated by Mrs. Emma Everson of Oxon Hill, Maryland in 1986, Mrs. Lorraine Gray of University Park, Maryland in 2009, and Ms. Lori Sonderegger of Ashburn, VA in 2011.

Related Material

Additional memoranda, programs, publications and memorabilia on the renaming and dedication of the Adele H. Stamp Union are located in the University Publications collection, under the heading "UPUB B9 A1 -- Buildings and Grounds. Adele H. Stamp Student Union."

Photographs of Adele H. Stamp still remain in the Biographical Print Files.

Processing Information

Eight series were created from the Adele H. Stamp Papers. All materials were removed from original folders or envelopes and placed in acid-free folders and boxes. Scrapbooks were placed in oversize acid-free boxes. All staples were removed and replaced by plastic clips. Acid free paper was inserted between newspaper clippings. Photographs were transferred to the photographic collection. Finally, the guide was written. In June 2011, photographs which were previously removed to the Biographical Print Files were reintegrated into the collection.

Guide to the Adele H. Stamp papers
Processed by S. L. H. Revised by Lynda Clendenning, May 1988, and Amanda Hawk, August 2012.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2007-04-15: EAD markup checked and verified using JEdit software by Jennie A. Levine, April 2007.
  • 2017-07-31: EAD checked and revised following ArchivesSpace migration by Emily Flint.
  • 2018-06-21: Extents and dates updated by Adam Gray.
  • 2022-03-07: Liz Caringola incorporated accession 2020-0066-UA into the finding aid.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742