Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / archives / 2.2 Collection Guide

Office of Admissions: Records and Publications, 1860-

6.0 linear feet.

Catalog Number: 2.2

Series List:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
The Office of Admissions is responsible for deciding which students are admitted to the college. Specifically, the office evaluates candidates applying to the college in terms of six factors: academic record, the level of challenge in the candidate's course work, counselor/teacher recommendations and Bowdoin interview, application and essay, overall academic potential, and personal qualitites. In addition, this office produces publications that provide information about the college, the various academic departments, and student life. These brochures are distributed to prospective students.

In 1802, President Joseph McKeen adopted entrance qualifications similar to those required by Harvard University. Based largely on examination, prospective students were required to be knowledgable in Geography, in Walsh's Arithmetic, Cicero's Select Orations, the Bucolics, Georgics, and Aeneid of Virgil, Sallust, the Greek Testament, and Collectanea Graeca Minora. From 1802 to the mid-1800's, it is likely that the members of the faculty administered this test and made admissions decisions. From about 1860 to 1900, the Examining Committee made admissions decisions. In 1900 the Relations with Preparatory Schools Committee first appeared. This faculty committee worked in conjunction with the administrators of preparatory schools in order to administer the Bowdoin Entrance Examinations.

In 1935 Edward S. Hammond, a professor at the college, was appointed the first Director of Admissions. He was replaced in 1946 by Hubert Seely Shaw. In 1991, during a restructuring of the administration, the title Director of Admissions was changed to the Dean of Admissions.

Scope and Content:
This collection primarily contains promotional material used by the Admissions Office to attract students. Significant holdings include entrance examinations, viewbooks, academic brochures, maps, and application booklets. The earliest record is from 1860; the bulk of the material dates from the mid 1940's.

Cite as: Office of Admissions: records and publications. George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives. Bowdoin College Library.

Access Restrictions: Some material restricted. Consult finding aid for specific information.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288