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COLLECTION Identifier: HUC 8919.300.10

George Bosworth Burch personal archive, 1919-1943

George Bosworth Burch, professor of philosophy, was born on July 12, 1902 in Hartford, Connecticut, to George Washington and Mary (Bosworth) Burch. He earned his Harvard AB in 1923, his Harvard AM in 1927, and his Harvard PhD in 1939. The collection chiefly documents the more than twenty years Burch spent as an undergraduate and graduate student at Harvard, as well as at the University of Geneva and the Collège de France in Paris.

Dates

  • 1919-1943

Creator

Conditions on Use and Access

The George Bosworth Burch personal archive is open for research use.

Personal records of students in this collection are restricted for 80 years from the date of creation.

Restricted items are noted at the item level below.

Extent

3.15 cubic feet (9 document boxes)

The collection chiefly documents the more than twenty years Burch spent as an undergraduate and graduate student at Harvard, as well as at the University of Geneva and the Collège de France in Paris. Following the end of each semester or academic year, Burch compiled what he termed “permanent notes” into volumes and had them bound; some bindings contain the two volumes representing a full academic year while other bindings document only one semester. The collection chiefly consists of typewritten and manuscript notes from lectures, along with syllabi, examinations, grades, handouts, and essays. As Burch progressed in his graduate studies, the later volumes begin to include more scholarly output, including a copy of his dissertation, The epistemology of Bernard of Clairvaux, and drafts of his work, Early medieval philosophy (which he had earlier titled Handbook of medieval philosophy), as well as papers read before the Augustinian Society, a paper submitted to the Committee on Commencement Parts, and a paper submitted to the Program Committee of the annual meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association.

The collection also documents Burch’s early teaching activities at the Pennsylvania State College and the College of Idaho. These materials include syllabi, examination questions, course outlines, student essays, and student grades for courses in philosophy, psychology, religious education, comparative religion and history. Personal records are scattered through the volumes. Chiefly consisting of poems written by Burch, these materials also include annual lists of Christmas cards sent for the years 1938-1942, diaries documenting the weight and health of his two oldest children during their first year, and scattered correspondence. It also includes documentation of Burch's pacifist views during World War II, evident in his declaration of conscientious objection and a letter to the editor on pacifism.

Indexes compiled by Burch are in Volumes Twenty-Four and Forty-Seven.

Biographical note

George Bosworth Burch, professor of philosophy, was born on July 12, 1902, in Hartford, Connecticut, to George Washington and Mary (Bosworth) Burch. He earned his Harvard AB in 1923, his Harvard AM in 1927, and his Harvard PhD in 1939. During those years he also studied abroad in Geneva and Paris. In his 25th anniversary class report, Burch claimed to “hold the record for continuous attendance as a Harvard student.”

Burch married Betty Brand on September 25, 1933; they had three children. After receiving his PhD in 1939, he spent a year as assistant in the Philosophy Department at Harvard. From February 1942 to July 1946, Burch was Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the College of Idaho. In 1946, he was appointed Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, where he taught until his retirement in 1967, and remained professor emeritus until his death in 1973.

Arrangement

The volumes are arranged in chronological order.

Acquisition information

Mrs. G. B. Burch, September 1974.

General note

This document last updated 2015 November 12.

Processing Information

Processing Note The collection was processed in 2006. Processing involved a collection survey, housing in appropriate archival containers, and the creation of this finding aid. This finding aid was created by Juliana Kuipers in April 2013.

Titles and description of the content of the volumes were taken from the title pages or table of content listing within the volumes themselves.
Link to catalog
Title
Burch, George Bosworth, 1902-1973. George Bosworth Burch personal archive, 1919-1943 : an inventory
EAD ID
hua03013

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.

Contact:
Pusey Library
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461