Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: HUG 1445

Thaddeus Mason Harris personal archive

Overview

Thaddeus Mason Harris (1768-1842) was a Harvard librarian, Unitarian minister, and author in Boston. This collection contains correspondence, sermons, and commonplace books of Harris, dated 1746-1846.

Dates

  • 1746-1846

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Extent

.86 cubic feet (3 document boxes, 1 flat box, 1 pamphlet binder)
This collection contains correspondence, sermons, and commonplace books of Thaddeus Mason Harris, dated 1746-1846. Included are letters to his son, Thaddeus William Harris, and Reverend Jonathan Burr, and volumes containing news clippings, extracts of epitaphs, religious writings, poetry, and other literary works. Other topics of the commonplace books are medical recipes, natural history, and Native American culture and history.

Biographical / Historical

Thaddeus Mason Harris (1768-1842) was a Harvard librarian, Unitarian minister, and author in Boston. He was born on July 7, 1768, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, to William and Rebekah (Mason) Harris. Harris graduated Harvard College with an AB in 1787. Following a year as a school teacher in Worcester, he returned to Harvard to study divinity, earning an AM in 1790. Harris served as librarian at Harvard from 1791-1793. He was then appointed minister of the First Unitarian Church of Dorchester in 1793, where he remained until his retirement in 1836. His published works include The natural history of the Bible (1793). Harris was also a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers and chairman of the board's Committee on the Library.

Harris married Mary Dix (1776-1852) in 1795, and they had eight children, including Thaddeus William Harris (1795-1856; Harvard AB 1815; MD 1820), a physician and naturalist who also served as librarian at Harvard from 1831-1856. Thaddeus Mason Harris died on April 3, 1842.

Arrangement

Series in the collection
  1. Sermons and commonplace books
  2. Commonplace books
  3. Letter from William F. Abbot to William Coolidge Lane regarding physical description of Thaddeus Mason Harris copied from his 1810 passport
  4. Letters from Thaddeus Mason Harris to Jonathan Burr and Thaddeus William Harris

Immediate Source of Acquisition

  1. Sermons and commonplace books received from C.E. Goodspeed in 1929.
  2. Letters from Thaddeus Mason Harris to Jonathan Burr and Thaddeus William Harris purchased with Ellis Fund in February 1961.

Related Materials

Collections in the Harvard University Archives
  1. Mathematical notebook attributed to Thaddeus Mason Harris, ca. 1787 (HUG 1445.320): http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/009759624/catalog
  2. Harvard College Library. Thaddeus Mason Harris' working documents regarding subject-based library catalog, ca. 1790 (UAIII.50.27.91): http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/012651187/catalog
  3. Harris, Thaddeus Mason, 1768-1842. An oration, 1790 (HUD 3684): http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/013236305/catalog
Collections in the Andover-Harvard Theological Library
  1. Harris, Thaddeus Mason, 1768-1842. Sermon, April 14, 1799 (bMS 731): http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/014216896/catalog

Inventory update

This document last updated 2018 September 18.

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 March 2018.

Titles were assigned by the archivist unless otherwise noted.

Preservation and description of the Thaddeus Mason Harris personal archive were supported by the Colonial North America at Harvard Library Project.
Link to catalog
Title
Harris, Thaddeus Mason, 1768-1842. Thaddeus Mason Harris personal archive, 1746-1846: an inventory
Author
Brooke McManus
Date
2018-03-20
Description rules
dacs
EAD ID
hua15018

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