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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1632

Charles S. Peirce papers


Papers of philosopher, logician, scientist, and the founder of pragmatism, Charles S. Peirce. Also includes Peirce family correspondence.


  • 1787-1951

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Restricted: closed for digitization.

Boxes 20-21 (Items 301-316) Boxes 43-45 (Items 694-693) Boxes 33-35 (Items 471-517) Individual Items: 145 328 507 593 725 797-798 802 841 1355 1363-1364

For all other material, there are no restrictions on physical access. Collection is open for research.


74 linear feet (157 boxes, 1 volume, 1 bundle)

Includes notebooks, lectures, and other compositions on mathematics, pragmatism, metaphysics, logic, linguistics, and the history of science. Also includes correspondence which ranges over much of Peirce’s private and professional life as well as separate files of Peirce family correspondence; and his translations and reviews; and biographical material. Some manuscripts are annotated by early editors, and some have been used as printer’s copy.

Peirce’s correspondents include: Paul Carus, James McKeen Cattell, Wendell Phillips Garrison, William Fearing Gill, George Shattuck Morison, Benjamin Peirce, James Mills Peirce, Albert Stickney and others. Also with correspondence of Juliette Peirce.

Biographical / Historical

Peirce was a philosopher, logician, scientist, and the founder of pragmatism.


Arrangement of collection was determined by Richard Robin's Annotated catalogue of the papers of Charles S. Peirce (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1967). Robin’s descriptive work, and this finding aid, have been augmented by Christian Kloesel's annotations, which can be found here.

Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Manuscripts
  2. ___A. Mathematics
  3. ___B. Pragmatism
  4. ___C. Phenomenology
  5. ___D. Logic
  6. ___E. Metaphysics
  7. ___F. Physics
  8. ___G. Chemistry
  9. ___H. Astronomy
  10. ___I. Geodesy and metrology
  11. ___J. Psychology
  12. ___K. Linguistics
  13. ___L. History
  14. ___M. Sciences of review
  15. ___N. Practical science
  16. ___O. Reviews
  17. ___P. Translations
  18. ___Q. Miscellanea
  19. ___R. Biographical
  20. II. Correspondence
  21. ___A. Charles S. Peirce correspondence
  22. ___B. Juliette Peirce and Peirce family correspondence
  23. ___C. Family correspondence
  24. ___D. Miscellaneous correspondence

Physical Location



Most material in this collection was given to the Harvard University Philosophy Department by Juliette Peirce, (the widow of Charles S. Peirce), in the winter of 1914-1915. The Harvard University Philosophy Department later deposited the collection with the Harvard University Archives.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Transfer from Harvard University Archives; received: 1960.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by: Emilie Hardman

The finding aid for this collection is based on descriptions in Richard Robin's Annotated catalogue of the papers of Charles S. Peirce (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1967) and is further informed by Christian Kloesel's annotations, which can be seen here. Kloesel suggests many items in the collection described by Robin have been moved in full or part to different places within the collection. These suggestions have been noted and are indicated with question marks throughout as the information has not been verified.

Data for items (1)-(1644) were extracted from Robin's catalog by John Old.

Peirce, Charles S. (Charles Sanders), 1839-1914. Charles S. Peirce papers, 1787-1951: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
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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