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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2419

Albert Harris Tolman papers on American ballads


Correspondence and texts of American folk songs and ballads collected by University of Chicago professor, Albert Harris Tolman.


  • Creation: 1900-1926

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.

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Includes correspondence, texts of ballads, notes, programs, clippings, and partial drafts of Tolman's writings concerning American folk songs and ballads.

Biographical / Historical

Albert Harris Tolman (1856-1928) received an A.B. from Williams College in 1877 and a Ph.D. from the University of Strassburg in 1889. He was a principal of Chicopee Falls High School, Massachusetts (1878-1882) and a professor of English at Ripon College (1884-1893) and at the University of Chicago (1893-1925). He was a widely published Shakespearean authority and held a special interest in ballad and epic poetry. His publications on American ballads included: "Some songs traditional in the United States" (1916) and "Traditional texts and tunes" (1922; with Mary O. Eddy) both from The journal of American folklore. He died on December 25, 1928.


Arranged into three series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Ballads
  3. III. Other papers

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gift of J. Stevens Tolman, 6641 Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, Illinois; received: 1929 January 12. Recataloged from 25241.46.5F*

Note from J. Stevens Tolman (Albert Tolman's son), mentions that this group of papers was found in his father's library and was marked "to be sent to Harvard University Library."

Related Materials

The Special Collections Research Center of the University of Chicago Library also has papers of Albert Harris Tolman.

General note

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Tolman, Albert Harris, 1856-1928. Albert Harris Tolman papers on American ballads, 1900-1926: 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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