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COLLECTION Identifier: H 795.148.25

Richard Norton memorial collection


Correspondence, personnel and business records, reports, photographs, clippings and other printed material, etc. relating to the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps and the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps. Also includes: personal correspondence of Eliot Norton, Richard Norton, and the Misses Norton; diaries of Richard Norton, scrapbooks, check book, record book, index to personnel records, and other material. There are also Henry James letters and other documents concerning James' interest in the ambulance corps. For a time, James served as the chairman of the corps in France. E. E. (Edward Estlin) Cummings and John Dos Passos served in this corps.


  • circa 1914-1923

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Retrieval requires permission of Curator of Modern Printed Books and Manuscripts.

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Restrictions on Access

No restrictions on access copy.


15 linear feet (12 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Richard Norton was an archaeologist and amateur baroque-art scholar. He was the son of Charles Eliot Norton (Harvard art historian). He graduated from Harvard College in 1892. At the outbreak of WWI (fall of 1914) he organized the American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps, known also as "Norton's Corps." It later merged with the H.H. Harjes ambulance unit of the French army and in 1917 was absorbed by the U.S. Army with the American entrance into the war. Norton contracted meningitis in 1918 and died almost immediately.


Collection is unprocessed. See brief box list in Grey file (paper list) and in "Preliminary collection lists" (digital list) under Norton Memorial Collection.

System Details Note

Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. (

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of Eliot Norton, 1920-1935.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Mr. Eliot Norton. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1920 Aug. 22; 1922 Oct. 19; 1935 Dec. 8.

Processing Information

Minimal description derived from existing records and converted to online finding aid, Betts Coup, 2020.

Norton, Richard, 1872-1918. Richard Norton memorial collection, circa 1914-1923 (H 795.148.25): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
November 16, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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