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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Sparks 49.1-49.3

Jared Sparks collection of documents concerning the American Revolution


Documents copied or collected by American historian and president of Harvard Jared Sparks.


  • Creation: 1740-1866


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, French, and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


2.5 linear feet (5 boxes)

Documents copied or collected by Jared Sparks in the course of his editorial and historical work; the focus of the collection is the American Revolution. Includes letters and documents of John Armstrong, Benedict Arnold, William Ellery, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Lincoln, and Joseph Reed, among others. Also includes letters addressed to George Washington from various correspondents.

Biographical / Historical

Sparks was an American historian and editor. He was president of Harvard (1849-1853).


Organized into the following series by call number:

  1. I. MS Sparks 49.1
  2. II. MS Sparks 49.2
  3. III. MS Sparks 49.3
  4. IV. MS Sparks 49.3: MSS. added from MS Sparks 132.6
  5. ___A. Letters from George Washington's correspondence
  6. ___B. Miscellaneous papers

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of estate of Jared Sparks; received: 1939.

Processing Information

These papers were bound in three volumes by Jared Sparks. They were removed from their bindings in 1960 and placed in five boxes. Their original order was retained. Similar and related MSS. from Sparks 132 were added at the end of the series.

Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866, collector. Jared Sparks collection of documents concerning the American Revolution: 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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