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Ruth J. Stocking Lynch papers

Identifier: MS-0190

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Scope and Contents

Dr. Lynch's papers consist of correspondence, commonplace books, diaries, reminiscences, and travel journals.

The correspondence dates from l9l0 to l947 and has about 500 items.The bulk of the letters are between Ruth Stocking and Vernon Lynch from l9l5 to their marriage in l918. Ruth's letters detail her teaching at Agnes Scott College, Wells College, and the Carnegie Institute. The letters also discuss her attempts to get new teaching or research positions. These letters are supplemented by letters (l9l0-35) of Ruth's advisor Herbert Spencer Jennings. Jennings's letters offer advice and include his letters of recommendation for her.

Vernon Lynch's letters (l9l6-18) discuss his work at Hopkins as he completed his Ph.D. in Physiology.

The largest part of the collection is the l38 volumes of commonplace books kept by Ruth Lynch from l906 until l979. In these volumes she recorded her thoughts and reflections on a wide variety of subjects from personal friendships to world affairs. Family members mentioned are her parents Charles Hendrickson Stocking and Adella Madora Stocking, her sister Besse Stocking Koontz, her brother-in-law Amos R. Koontz and their son James William Koontz. There is an index in the front cover of each volume.

These have been photocopied and placed in Box 22. Lynch also periodically prepared cumulated indexes. These can be found in Box 3 and 22.

Lynch kept a brief diary. It covers the years l929 to l965 and is in three volumes. She also recorded some reminiscences in one volume.

In the late l950s and early l960s Lynch took several extended trips and kept detailed travel journals. There are six volumes covering travels in the United states and to Japan, South Africa, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Morocco, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Spain, Australia, and Tahiti.


  • Creation: 1906-1979


Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

Ruth J. Stocking Lynch (1887-1983) received her B.A. from Goucher College in 1910 and her Ph.D. in Zoology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1915. She taught at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia (1915-1916), at Wells College in Aurora, New York (1916-1917), and at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh (1917-1918). In 1918 she married Carl Vernon Lynch (d. 1918).

Her later career was as an instructor at Johns Hopkins (1920-1935), Chairman of the Science Department at the Maryland State Teachers College (1935-1944) and research associate at the University of California at Los Angeles (1944-1957).


6.92 Cubic Feet (2 record center cartons, 2 legal size document boxes, 1 legal half-size document box, 14 pamphlet boxes (7.25 x 4 x 10 inches), 1 oversize box (19 x 13 x 6 inches))

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to Special Collections in August 1986 by Ruth S. Lynch's fraternal grandnephew and grandniece, David and Sandra Stocking.


Accession number 86-87.6 and

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Cynthia H. Requardt in 1987.

Rachel Gattermeyer revised the scope and contents note in this finding aid in February 2024 to bring it into compliance with Johns Hopkins guidelines for inclusive and conscientious description (2023). The previous version of the finding aid is available upon request.

Ruth J. Stocking Lynch papers
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Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA