Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1821

Henry Lee Higginson papers relating to the gift of Soldiers Field, Harvard University


Papers relating to the gift of Soldiers Field, Harvard University, by Boston banker and philanthropist Henry Lee Higginson and his wife, Ida Agassiz Higginson.


  • Creation: 1890


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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


.4 linear feet (2 volumes)

Contains letters, primarily to Higginson, speeches by Higginson, and commemorative book edited by Higginson and his wife Ida Agassiz Higginson.

Biographical / Historical

Higginson was a Boston banker and philanthropist. Higginson attended Harvard (1851-1852), but left because of poor eyesight. In 1856 he went to Vienna intending to make music his life work, but he returned to Boston in 1860. He attained the rank of major in the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1868 Higginson joined the family banking firm of Lee, Higginson and Company. He was the principal figure in the creation of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1881) and was its chief benefactor for the rest of his life. His gifts to Harvard include Soldiers Field and the Harvard Union.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

67M-62. Gift of Wyllys S. Newcomb Royall received: 1967.

Higginson, Henry Lee, 1834-1919. Henry Lee Higginson papers relating to the gift of Soldiers Field, Harvard University, 1890: 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.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440