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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1323

Oswald Garrison Villard papers


Papers of American author, journalist, editor, and social reformer Oswald Garrison Villard. Includes materials that are unsorted and uncataloged.


  • Creation: 1872-1949

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English and German.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


37 linear feet (167 boxes and 6 volumes)

Over half the collection consists of professional correspondence concerning The Nation, The New York Evening Post, and the progressive political issues with which Villard was involved. Also contains correspondence with family members, much of it pertaining to his work or business affairs; minutes, ledgers, financial reports, and stockbooks of The Evening Post and some business records of The Nation; diaries, 1884-1941, and datebooks; 15 boxes of speeches; scrapbooks of Villard's articles; and notes and manuscripts for his various writing projects in history and biography. Includes material on various peace societies, civil liberties, blacks in Harlem, the NAACP, the blockade during the Civil War, Puerto Rico, and The New York Philharmonic. Also contains drafts and manuscripts of his father's memoirs, tributes to his mother and grandfather, family records, photographs, medals, memorabilia, clippings, and printed material. Much of this collection is still unsorted.

Biographical / Historical

Villard, a journalist and author, was president of the New York Evening Post (1897-1918), editor and owner of The Nation (1918-1932), publisher and contributing editor of The Nation (1932-1935), a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and of Yachting Magazine, and owner of the Nautical Gazette. His father was Henry Villard, railroad promoter and financier; his mother was Fanny Garrison Villard, social reformer, suffragist, and philanthropist; and his grandfather was the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. Letters addressed to Oswald Garrison Villard
  2. Uncataloged papers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

52M-228. Bequest of Oswald Garrison Villard; received: 1949.

76M-41. Gift of Henry S. Villard ; received: 1976.

Processing Information

This finding aid was revised in 2024 to address outdated and harmful descriptive language. During that revision, contextualizing processing notes were added to the description of three items. For more information on reparative archival description at Harvard, see Harvard Library’s Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description.

Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. Oswald Garrison Villard papers, 1872-1949: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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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