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COLLECTION Identifier: HUG 4510.xx

Papers of Charles Rockwell Lanman


Charles Rockwell Lanman (1850-1941) was a professor of Sanskrit at Harvard from 1880 to 1926. Lanman founded the Harvard Oriental Series with Henry Clarke Warren in 1891 and acted as editor until 1934. The Papers of Charles Rockwell Lanman document Lanman's personal and professional activities. Personal papers include correspondence, diaries, financial records, and biographical and autobiographical materials. Professional papers include correspondence, research and teaching materials, and papers relating to the Harvard Oriental Series.


  • 1825 - 1941

Language of Materials

Materials are in English and Sanskrit.

Researcher Access

Open for research. Some restrictions may apply. Specific restrictions are noted at the series level. Requires review by archivist.


34.06 cubic feet (72 document boxes, 17 half document boxes, 16 volumes, 13 pamphlet folders, 4 flat boxes, 2 folders, 1 legal document box, 1 accordion folder, 1 record carton, 1 microfilm box, and 1 other container)

The Papers of Charles Rockwell Lanman, 1825-1941 document Lanman's personal and professional life. Personal papers include diaries, scrapbooks, calendars, and materials regarding rowing and use of the boathouse on the Charles River, and documenting Lanman’s daily life. The collection includes personal correspondence with friends and family, including Lanman’s aunt, Abigail T. Lanman. Financial records include expenses, income, investments, and records of domestic servants. There are also biographical materials including biographical sketches and an autobiographical sketch for the Harvard Crimson. Professional papers include records of Lanman’s research and teaching, containing articles, manuscripts, notes, and lectures from Lanman’s time at Harvard, Yale, and in Germany. Also present are course materials and records of Lanman’s students at Harvard and also correspondence with students and colleagues. Materials relating to Lanman’s work on the Harvard Oriental Series include correspondence, mailing lists, proofs, and notices.

Biographical Note on Charles Rockwell Lanman

Charles Rockwell Lanman was a professor of Sanskrit at Harvard from 1880 to 1926. Lanman was born on July 8, 1850 in Norwich, Connecticut. His mother died when he was young, and he was primarily raised by his aunt, Abigail (Abby) T. Lanman. Lanman received his B.A. in 1871 and his Ph.D. in 1873 from Yale University, after which he completed postdoctoral work in Germany. Lanman taught Sanskrit at the Johns Hopkins University from its founding in 1876 until 1880, when he joined the faculty at Harvard. Lanman introduced the study of Sanskrit at Harvard, and became Wales Professor in 1903. Lanman married Mary Billings Hinckley on July 18, 1888 and the two spent a year-long honeymoon in India, where they collected books and Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts that Lanman gave to Harvard Library. Lanman received a LL.D. from Yale in 1902 and a LL.D. from the University of Aberdeen in 1906. He retired from teaching and became professor emeritus in 1926.

Among Lanman’s most notable professional achievements was his work on the Harvard Oriental Series. Lanman and his former student Henry Clarke Warren founded the Harvard Oriental Series in 1891, and Lanman served as its editor until 1934. Lanman was a member of many professional associations, and served in leadership roles in several including President of the American Philological Association 1889-1890 and President of the American Oriental Society 1907-1908 and 1919-1920. In 1934, Lanman was honored by a commission of Japanese scholars to celebrate the 2500th anniversary of the birth of Buddha for his services to students of Buddhism in the United States. Lanman was an avid rower, claiming to have rowed over 12,000 miles on the Charles River and earning the nickname “Charles River” Lanman. He died on February 20, 1941 at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.


The collection is arranged in 19 series. The collection follows arrangment determined upon receipt by the Harvard University Archives.

  1. General folder (HUG 4510)
  2. Photographs (HUG 4510.2)
  3. Diaries, 1863-1938 (HUG 4510.5)
  4. Scrapbooks, 1875-1938 and undated
  5. Notebooks, 1867-1888 (HUG 4510.8)
  6. Financial volumes, 1893-1938
  7. Engagement calendars, 1896-1936 (HUG 4510.20)
  8. Sample pass-book from the Charles River National Bank, May 1896-May 1898 (HUG 4510.24)
  9. Monthly average expense sheets, 1895-1902 (HUG 4510.33)
  10. Ledger No. 2 City of Cambridge, 1897 (HUG 4510.35)
  11. Records of domestic servants, 1889-1915 (HUG 3510.36)
  12. Miscellaneous books and papers, circa 1863-1938 and undated
  13. Correspondence, 1873-1938
  14. Material re: rowing and use of boathouse (HUG 4510.69)
  15. Miscellaneous letters (HUG 4510.69.5)
  16. Harvard Oriental Series, 1891-1917 and undated
  17. Correspondence with Burlingame, 1909-1924 (HUG 4510.78)
  18. Reprints (HUG 4510.79)
  19. Autobiographical sketch for the Harvard Crimson, Feb. 1925 (HUG 4510.100)


Specific acquisition information is noted at the series level.

  1. Gift of the estate of C. R. Lanman, received 1951-04.
  2. Gift of Esther L. Cushman, received 1970-06.
  3. Gift of the Yale University Library, received 1979-08-13, accession 8727.

Related Materials

In the Harvard University Archives
  1. Harvard University. Chest of 1900, 1899-1900 (HUA 900.xx).
  2. History of Religions Club (Harvard University). Records of the History of Religions Club, 1892-1952 (HUD 3454.xx).
  3. Indian studies in honor of Charles Rockwell Lanman. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1929 (HUG 4510.141).
  4. Lanman, Charles Rockwell, 1850-1941. Harvard oriental series, descriptive list thereof, revised to 1935: with a brief memorila of its joint-founder Henry Clarke Warren. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935 (HU 136.9.2).
  5. Lanman, Charles Rockwell, 1850-1941. The King of Siam's edition of the Buddhist scriptures and the Harvard copy of the first Sanskrit book ever printed. Reprinted from the Proceedings of the American Oriental Society, April 1895 (HUC 8895.3).
  6. Lanman, Charles Rockwell, 1850-1941. Lecture before Greek D, January 23, 1893 (HUC 8892.235).
  7. Lanman, Charles Rockwell, 1850-1941. Six public lectures on the Vedas, 1881 (HUC 8880.279).
  8. Stone, Don Charles. The Lanman family: The descendants of Samuel Landman of Boston, Massachusetts, 1687, with data on the Boylston family in England and America. Lancaster, PA: 1968 (HUG 4510.183).
  9. Wambaugh, Eugene, 1856-1940. Papers of Eugene Wambaugh: general folder, 1898-1904 (HUG 1869).
In Houghton Library
  1. Carl Tilden Keller Collection Concerning Sir Aurel Stein, 1922-1945 (MS Am 2532).
  2. Charles Rockwell Lanman papers concerning Sanskrit books and manuscripts, circa 1881-1909 (MS Am 2735).
In the Harvard Law School Library
  1. Ghose, Jogendra Chunder, 1860-. Letters to Charles Lanman, 1903.
In the Johns Hopkins University Special Collections
  1. Lanman, Charles Rockwell, 1850-1941. Charles Rockwell Lanman papers, 1876-1880 (MS-0196).
In the Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library
  1. Lanman, Charles Rockwell, 1850-1941. Charles Rockwell Lanman letters, 1916-1937 (MS#0740).

Processing Information

The finding aid was created by Erin Clauss in November 2020. Information in this finding aid was assembled from legacy paper inventories and container management data. Titles are transcribed. The collection was not re-examined.

Certain personal financial records were deaccessioned in October 1967. Sample pass-book from the Charles River National Bank, May 1896-May 1898 (HUG 4510.24) was retained.

Lanman, Charles Rockwell, 1850-1941. Papers of Charles Rockwell Lanman, 1825-1941 : an inventory
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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