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MS Am 1092.2

James, William, 1842-1910. William James drawings, 1859-1880: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 1092.2
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: James, William, 1842-1910.
Title: William James drawings
Date(s): 1859-1880.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 linear foot (2 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English, French, and German.
Abstract: Drawings, sketches, and sketchbooks by William James, the American philosopher and psychologist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

42M-386. Gift of Henry James III; received: 1942 December 23.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
These drawings were formerly housed in a green cloth portfolio; now stored in a box.
Former number 51 has been recataloged to MS Am 1092.1.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

William James Drawings, 1859-1880 (MS Am 1092.2). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

William James (1842-1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist, a leader of the philosophical movement of Pragmatism, and of the psychological movement of functionalism. James studied painting in the studio of William Morris Hunt during 1859-1860, but he soon abandoned this career direction. By 1861 he had entered the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University and by 1864 he was studying at the Harvard Medical School.


James, William, 1842-1910. Brazil through the eyes of William James. Letters, diaries, and drawings, 1865-1866. Edited by Maria Helena P.T. Machado. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, 2006.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Over 60 pen and pencil matted drawings and 3 sketchbooks. All individual drawings were received matted, but some have since been removed from mats during conservation. Most mats are annotated by Henry James III (1879-1947), the son of William James.
Includes: juvenilia; photograph of James's portrait of Kitty Temple and drawings of Newton Dexter and Francis James Child; three pocket notebooks used by James in Bonn and Cambridge, containing notes and sketches; drawings from the Thayer/Agassiz Brazil expedition, 1865-1866; sketches from his Lawrence Scientific School and Harvard Medical School days; and various self-portraits, bookplate images, landscapes, images of animals, and caricatures and portraits of family and friends.

Container List