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COLLECTION Identifier: HUM 312

Collection of Edward Holyoke materials

Edward Holyoke (1689-1769) was the ninth president of Harvard College, serving for thirty-two years from 1737 to 1769. This artificial collection, dated 1721-circa 1780s, consists of an astronomy notebook and sermons written by Holyoke, a drinking tube fashioned from his watch case, a letter to Holyoke from his friend Benjamin Dearborn, and a letter to a proprietor of the Second Church of Marblehead, Massachusetts, from Overseer William Dudley related to Holyoke’s election as president of Harvard.

Dates

  • 1721-circa 1780s

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Extent

.5 cubic feet (3 flat boxes, 1 accordion folder)

This artificial collection, dated 1721-circa 1780s, consists of an astronomy notebook and sermons written by Edward Holyoke, a silver drinking horn fashioned from his watch case, a letter to Holyoke from his friend Benjamin Dearborn, and a letter to a proprietor of the Second Church of Marblehead, Massachusetts, from Overseer William Dudley related to Holyoke’s election as president of Harvard. Holyoke’s sermons were written in shorthand, using a system developed by Thomas Metcalfe in 1645. See A Brief History of the art of Stenography: with a proposed new system of phonetic short-hand, by William P. Upham, 1877, p. 32.

Historical note on the Collection of Edward Holyoke materials

Part of the collection was presented in 1936 to Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976; Harvard AB 1908), Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History and tercentenary historian of Harvard University, by the son of Edward Holyoke Osgood (Harvard SB 1903). He apparently kept the items, which include a printed copy of the Holyoke Diaries, 1709-1756, a letter from William Dudley to the Marblehead Church, and a manuscript astronomy notebook written by Holyoke, for over a year. Morison wrote a letter in July 1937 to Osgood requesting the astronomy notebook be donated to the University Archives, but how Osgood responded is unknown. The collection was purchased by the Harvard University Archives in 2011.

Two items in the collection, a letter from Benjamin Dearborn, and a letter from William Dudley, were framed at an unknown date.
Biographical note on Edward Holyoke Edward Holyoke (1689-1769) was the ninth president of Harvard College, serving for thirty-two years from 1737 to 1769. Holyoke was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1689. After attending Harvard (AB 1705, AM 1708), he served as a tutor at the College from 1712 to 1716 and as a Fellow of the Corporation in 1713. From 1709 to 1712, he also served part time as the College librarian. In 1716, he resigned his Harvard positions to become pastor of the Second Church of Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he served for the next twenty-one years. Holyoke returned to Harvard in 1737, when he was appointed president. During Holyoke's presidency, the College flourished. A number of academic reforms were instituted, including subject specialization by the tutors, the introduction of public exhibitions by students, consisting of orations, debates, and dialogues, and the establishment of academic merit as the criteria for admission to Harvard. Holyoke was married three times. In 1717, he married Elizabeth Browne of Marblehead, Massachusetts. They had two children before Elizabeth died in 1719. In 1725, Holyoke married Margaret Appleton of Ipswich, Massachusetts, with whom he had eight children. Margaret died in 1740. In 1742, Holyoke married Mary Whipple Epes, with whom he had one child. Mary died in 1790.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in 2011; Accession 18293

Related Materials

Collections in the Harvard University Archives
  1. Holyoke, Edward, 1689-1769. Papers of Edward Holyoke, 1720-1767 (UAI 15.870): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua02005

Inventory update

This document last updated 2018 May 8.

Processing Information

Processing involved rehousing documents and objects in appropriate archival folders and boxes, and the creation of this finding aid.

This finding aid was created by Brooke McManus in February 2018.

Titles were assigned by the archivist.

Preservation and description of the Collection of Edward Holyoke materials were supported by the Colonial North America at Harvard Library Project.
Link to catalog
Title
Collection of Edward Holyoke materials, 1721-1746: an inventory
Status
completed
Author
Harvard University Archives
Date
2018 February 12
Description rules
dacs
EAD ID
hua03018

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