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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 519

Pfeiffer, Robert H. (Robert Henry), 1892-1958. Papers, 1928-1957.


Papers of Methodist minister Robert Henry Pfeiffer, including lecture notes, articles, addresses, correspondence, and biographical material. The papers span 1928-1957.


  • Creation: 1928-1957.
  • Creation: 1929
  • Creation: 1941
  • Creation: 1949
  • Creation: 1957
  • Creation: 1961
  • Creation: 1949
  • Creation: 1950-1957
  • Creation: 1942-1957
  • Creation: 1931-1957
  • Creation: 1947-1957


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


4 boxes

This collection is divided into seven series. The first series consists of page proofs for Pfeiffer's History of New Testament Times, With an Introduction to the Apocrypha. The second series contains lecture notes for courses Pfeiffer taught at Boston University's School of Theology. The third series consists of articles listed alphabetically by title. Series four is addresses listed chronologically. The fifth series contains correspondence, mostly letters to Pfeiffer, arranged alphabetically by correspondent, followed by miscellaneous letters arranged by date. Series six contains miscellaneous professional papers. The seventh and final series consists of biographical material on Pfeiffer, such as family correspondence and legal documents.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Henry Pfeiffer (1892-1958) was born in Bologna, Italy. He received his MA and PhD from Harvard University. He was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1916 and held a pastorate in Sanborn, New York, from 1916 to 1919. In 1922, he was hired as a professor at Harvard University and he was appointed Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages in 1953. He also served as a professor at Boston University's School of Theology. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in anthropology in 1928 and served as Annual Professor for the Baghdad School of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) from 1928 to 1929. Pfeiffer also served as the curator to Harvard's Semitic Museum. He is the author of numerous books, including Excavations at Nuzi (1929), Introduction to the Old Testament (1941), History of the New Testament Times, With an Introduction to the Apocrypha (1949), The Books of the Old Testament (1957), and Religion in the Old Testament: The History of a Spiritual Triumph (1961).


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. History of the New Testament Times, With an Introduction to the Apocrypha, 1949
  2. Series II. Lecture notes for courses taught by Pfeiffer, 1950-1957
  3. Series III. Articles, 1942-1957
  4. Series IV. Addresses, 1931-1957
  5. Series V. Correspondence, 1947-1957
  6. Series VI. Miscellaneous professional papers
  7. Series VII. Biographical material

Acquisition Information

Gift of Matilde Pfeiffer.

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 448.

Pfeiffer, Robert H. (Robert Henry), 1892-1958. Papers, 1928-1957: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

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