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MS Thr 470 (88)-(667)

Rogers, Henry Munroe, 1839-1937, collector. Rogers Memorial Collection: Henry Munroe Rogers papers, 1812-1937: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: pf, Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Thr 470 (88)-(667)
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Rogers, Henry Munroe, 1839-1937, collector.
Title: Rogers Memorial Collection: Henry Munroe Rogers papers,
Date(s): 1812-1937 (inclusive),
Date(s): 1862-1937 (bulk).
Quantity: 1 collection (21.5 linear feet (39 boxes, 2 portfolio boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, compositions, and other papers of Boston lawyer Henry M. Rogers, with an emphasis on the theater and the Civil War.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

No accession number. Gift of Clara Kathleen Rogers and Henry Munroe Rogers; received: 1930.
The core of the collection arrived in 1930, but Henry Munroe Rogers continued to add material informally through at least 1936.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
The majority of this series is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.
2 boxes of portfolio material is housed on-site at the Houghton Library.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Rogers Memorial Collection: Henry Munroe Rogers papers, 1812-1937 (MS Thr 470 (88-667)). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Separated Materials

The Rogers Memorial Collection, of which this is Series II, contains literary, musical and historical material from Boston circa 1860-1937, and memorabilia of the English composer John Barnett (1802-1890). A master list of the Rogers Memorial Collection series can be found in HOLLIS 10104119.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Munroe Rogers (1839-1937) was a Boston lawyer, best known as a patron of local theater. Born in Boston, he was one of six children of John Hicks Rogers and Lucy Catherine Smith. He attended Harvard College (A.B. 1862; L.L.B. 1867) and served as a paymaster in the United States Navy during the Civil War. He became a successful Boston lawyer and a charter member in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. After his marriage in 1878 to the English opera singer Clara Kathleen Barnett (daughter of the English composer John Barnett), the couple entertained many theatrical, literary and musical luminaries in their home.
Henry and Clara had no children, and as none of his siblings had married, he left no close relatives. However, he was known to many by the affectionate nickname "Uncle Harry." In later years, Rogers was a regular speaker at patriotic events, where he often recounted the story of his private meeting with Abraham Lincoln in 1862. At the time of his death in 1937, Rogers was the oldest living graduate of Boston Latin School and of Harvard University.


For a description of the Rogers Memorial Collection, see The Rogers Memorial Room : an account of the nature, origin, and significance of the memorabilia presented to Harvard College in 1930 by Clara Kathleen & Henry Munroe Rogers ([Boston] : Cosmos Press, 1935).


Organized into the following subseries:

Scope and Contents

This collection is organized into eight subseries. Subseries A includes five scrapbooks of letters, printed holiday cards, postcards, poems addressed to Henry Munroe Rogers from various correspondents, and portrait photographs of actors and artists including J. Appleton Brown, William J. Florence, E. H. Sothern, and Edward Smith Willard, among others. Each volume contains a separate manuscript index, combined here. Subseries B includes correspondence, mostly mounted on loose scrapbook pages. Correspondents who appear in A and/or B include G.W. (George Whitefield) Chadwick; Sir Jacob Epstein; Arthur Foote; Wilhelm Gericke; Albert Bushnell Hart; Childe Hassam; Houghton Mifflin Company; George Kennan; Henry Cabot Lodge; Julia Marlowe; Helen Moore; John Boyle O'Reilly; E.H. (Edward Hugh) Sothern; Booker T. Washington; Edward Smith Willard; and Owen Wister. The collection also includes long runs of letters from Rogers to his parents and sisters, written during his Civil War service and travel to Europe and Asia.
Much of the correspondence is with Rogers's theatrical friends such as Marlowe, Sothern, and Willard; and with representatives of patriotic organizations such as the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Perhaps half of the correspondence is dated from 1920 onward, when Rogers was in his eighties and nineties. Correspondence from this period deals primarily with his appearances at various patriotic and alumni events, and with the publication of his memoirs. The collection includes very little material relating to his legal career.
Subseries C consists mainly of routine acknowledgment letters received by Rogers for books he published and distributed to libraries from 1932 to 1936. It also includes more substantial correspondence relating to gifts of manuscript material Rogers made to Boston Public Library and Harvard University.
Subseries D includes letters addressed to friends and family of Rogers, including groups of letters to father John Hicks Rogers, and to friend Evelyn Benedict; and a typescript of an important letter from Francis George Shaw concerning the body of his son Robert Gould Shaw.
Subseries E consists of compositions by Henry Munroe Rogers, primarily memoirs, poems written to commemorate his birthdays, and speeches given at literary, patriotic and alumni events. Favorite topics include his father-in-law John Barnett, and Abraham Lincoln.
Subseries F consists of miscellaneous manuscript material found in the Rogers Memorial Collection. Highlights include a small group of records of the Bach Club, 1888-1890; scrapbooks kept by Julia Doane Dresser on actors Sir Henry Irving, Dame Ellen Terry, Julia Marlowe, and E.H. (Edward Hugh) Sothern; a sketchbook by Rosamund Liszt Marie Francillon of pencil drawings from her travels in Switzerland and Italy from 1862 to 1865; an autograph album begun by Rosamund Liszt Marie Francillon at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1860, including inscriptions and fragmentary scores by numerous composers such as Sir Arthur Sullivan; a book of sketches by artist / actor Arthur Lewis; a group of drawings by Frank T. (Frank Thayer) Merrill of the 1872 World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival featuring Johann Strauss and others; albums kept by sister Clara Bates Rogers; and an original play by Lyman H. Tasker titled Fidget and Widget : A farce in one act adapted for private representation.
Subseries G consists of printed ephemera (clippings, unused postcards, and other similar material) relating to subjects of interest to Rogers, with particularly extensive files on Boston Latin School (Mass.); India; Japan; and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Many of these files were apparently compiled by Rogers or by the Rogers Memorial Room staff under his supervision.
Subseries H consists of manuscript and other material relating to Rogers's life, including a scrapbook of documents relating to his Civil War service; a diary written in 1872 while traveling in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska; a diary written in 1903 and 1904 while traveling in California, Japan, India, Egypt, and Europe; and documents relating to his time at Harvard College. It also includes his files as an administrator of the estates of his father-in-law John Barnett and his friend Edward Smith Willard.


The majority of this series is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Container List

Index to MS Thr 470 (88): Henry Munroe Rogers correspondence, bound (Subseries A)