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Mary Ellen Rathbun Kolb oral history

Identifier: 2014-1

Scope and Contents

Mary Ellen Rathbun Kolb '46, from Hoosick Falls, New York describes her college experience as one of the first female students admitted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The first interview proceeds chronologically, beginning with Mary's early school days. She describes her typical childhood experiences and interest in science, and her experience being at Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The interview continues with Mary's descriptions of typical college antics at RPI, places she lived such as Russell Sage college in downtown Troy, and the atmosphere of campus during World War II. The second interview focuses on commencement and beyond. Mary describes more of her college experience and some of the work she did after college. The interviewers share several images with Mary, prompting further discussion. Mary Ellen Rathbun Kolb Oral History


  • Created: 2013-2014
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/23/2013


Conditions Governing Use

These transcipts are hereby made available for research purposes only. All literary rights, including the right to publication, are reserved to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. No part of the interviews may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Institute Archives and Special Collections of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.

Biographical or Historical Information

Note written by Jenifer Monger


2.00 wav_files

Language of Materials



Two oral history interviews with Mary Ellen Rathbun Kolb.

Source of Acquisition

Institute Archives and Special Collections Department staff

Method of Acquisition

Interviews were conducted with Mary Ellen Rathbun Kolb, RPI Class of 1946, on behalf of the Institute Archives and Special Collections Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.  They took place on Saturday, November 23, 2013 and January 6, 2014 at Atria Shaker Assisted Living Center in Albany, New York. The interviewers were Assistant Institute Archivist Jenifer Monger, and Automation Archivist Tammy Gobert.  Also present was Mary’s son, John Kolb, RPI Class of 1979 during the first interview, and Mary's daughter, Mary Jane Kolb Stanley Class of 1969 during the second interview.

Accruals and Additions

Second interview conducted and acquired 01/6/2014.

Existence and Location of Originals

Locations for original audio recordings: Y:\projects\oral history\MERK\recordings\MERK_2013_11-23.WAV Y:\projects\oral history\MERK\recordings\MERK_2014_01-06.WAV

Other Descriptive Information

For a list of sources regarding RPI's campus from 1939-1946 please see: Reference Timeline

Processing Information

Included with the audio recordings are research notes and materials acquired by Archives staff as background reference prior to the interviews.

Jenifer Monger
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Institute Archives and Special Collections Repository

110 8th Street
Institute Archives and Special Collections
Rensselaer Libraries, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy NY 12180-3590 US
518 276 8340