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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1448

Joel Barlow papers


Correspondence, diaries, and literary manuscripts of American poet and statesman Joel Barlow.


  • Creation: 1775-1935

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


3 linear feet (7 volumes and 6 boxes)

Letter books, diaries, account book, notebooks, memoranda, literary manuscripts, and correspondence reflecting Barlow's diverse activities in literature, diplomacy, politics, and business. Includes papers relating to Barlow's mission to Algiers. Among the literary manuscripts are a preliminary sketch of the Vision of Columbus, and rough drafts and revisions of The Columbiad. Correspondence includes over 300 letters from Barlow to his wife, Ruth Baldwin Barlow, and letters to and from Robert Fulton and Noah Webster. Also included are clippings and notes concerning Barlow collected by Lemuel G. Olmstead and S. L. M. Barlow II.

Biographical / Historical

Barlow was an American poet and statesman. He served as American consul in Algiers and as Minister to France (1811-1812).


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Letter books, diaries, and notebooks
  2. II. Literary manuscripts
  3. III. Letters from Joel Barlow
  4. IV. Letters to Joel Barlow
  5. V. Letters to and from others
  6. VI. Other papers
  7. ___A. Mission to Algiers
  8. ___B. Other business and legal papers
  9. ___C. Miscellaneous papers and documents
  10. VII. Materials collected by Lemuel G. Olmstead and S. L. M. Barlow II

Immediate Source of Acquisition

56M-52. Part gift of and part purchased with the Amy Lowell fund from S. L. M. Barlow, New York, New York; received: 1956 October.

Processing Information

Reformatted by: Bonnie B. Salt, 2015

Barlow, Joel, 1754-1812. Joel Barlow papers, 1775-1935: 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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