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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2171

Charles P. Bowditch papers on cryptography


Papers on cyrptography assembled by Charles P. Bowditch.


  • 1911-1920

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.


1 linear feet (2 boxes)
Includes correspondence between Bowditch and George Fabyan, typescript transcript translations of books on cryptography by others, Bowditch's notes on cryptography, and other material.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Pickering Bowditch (1842-1921) was the son of Jonathan Ingersoll Bowditch and Lucy O. Nichols, and was the grandson of Nathaniel Bowditch. After earning his degree from Harvard College he served as first and second lieutenant and captain of the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and as captain of the 5th Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War. Bowditch is perhaps best known for his pioneering work as an archeologist, specializing in Maya hieroglyphic writing. In 1910, he published The Numeration, Calendar Systems and Astronomical Knowledge of the Mayas, one of the premier studies of the subject. He was also a major benefactor to the Peabody Museum in Salem, Mass., and served as treasurer of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1905 to 1915 and president from 1917 to 1919. [Source: Mass Historical Society].

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

45M-606 - 45M-611. Gift of Mrs. Franklin G. Balch, Mrs. Ingersoll Bowditch, and Mrs. Ernest Amory Codman, 99 Moss Road Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts; received: 1946 April 2.
Bowditch, Charles P. (Charles Pickering), 1842-1921. Charles P. Bowditch papers on cryptography, 1911-1920: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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