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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2121

William Woodville Rockhill papers


Papers of American scholar-diplomat William Woodville Rockhill.


  • Creation: 1826-1941

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

A portion of this collection is shelved offsite. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine retrieval policies and times.


18 linear feet (41 boxes and 8 volumes)

Chiefly letters to William Woodville Rockhill from various correspondents including: Henry Adams, Horace Newton Allen, Samuel Beal, Henri Cordier, Chandra Das Sarat, William Foster, Alfred Edward Hippisley, Friedrich Hirth, Sir John Scott Keltie, Richard Olney, Theodore Roosevelt, Reinhold Rost, Thomas Watters, James Harrison Wilson, and John Russell Young. Also contains speeches and articles by William Woodville Rockhill and his diaries from 1908 to 1914. There is correspondence of Thomas C. Rockhill and a commonplace book about him. Finally, there are letterbooks with copies of typed letters to various people and an account book belonging to Edward Augustus Rockhill, among other materials.

Biographical / Historical

Rockhill was an American scholar-diplomat known especially as the first Westerner to befriend and advise a Dalai Lama of Tibet. He was U.S. Minister to Greece, Romania, Serbia, China, Russia, and Turkey.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence and other papers
  2. II. Unidentified material
  3. III. Miscellanea
  4. IV. Diaries, account book, and commonplace book
  5. V. Letterbooks
  6. VI. Card index to these papers
  7. VII. Diplomas and other credentials

Physical Location

MS, b, Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

46M-386 and 46M-386A-T. Gift of Courtland Hoppin, Esq., 131 East 94th St., New York, N.Y.; received: 1947.

46M-386U. Gift of Yale University Library, 1980.

Rockhill, William Woodville, 1854-1914. William Woodville Rockhill papers, 1826-1941: 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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