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MS Ger 299

Münsterberg, Hugo, 1863-1916. Hugo Münsterberg letters to George Sylvester Viereck, 1904-1916: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MS Ger 299
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Münsterberg, Hugo, 1863-1916.
Title: Hugo Münsterberg letters to George Sylvester Viereck,
Date(s): 1904-1916.
Quantity: 1 collection (.04 linear feet (1 folder)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in German and English.
Abstract: Letters from German-American psychologist Hugo Münsterberg to writer George Sylvester Viereck.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2010M-91. Purchased with the Eugene M. Weber Memorial Book Fund; received: 2011 April 4.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Michael W. Austin

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Hugo Münsterberg Letters to George Sylvester Viereck, 1904-1916 (MS Ger 299). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Psychologist Hugo Münsterberg studied at Leipzig under Wilhelm Wundt and received further training in medicine at Heidelberg and Freiburg. He met William James at a conference in 1891, and in 1892 James invited him to Harvard University, where Münsterberg lectured and chaired the department of psychology for three years. After a brief period in Germany, he returned to Harvard, which remained his chief institutional affiliation. Münsterberg is best known for his pioneering work in clincal, forensic, and industrial psychology; he was an admirer of Frederick Winslow Taylor and was particularly concerned with issues of workplace efficiency and vocational guidance.
In addition to pyschology, Münsterberg was engaged in furthering German-American understanding: he remained deeply committed to his adopted country, but his critques of American culture and his support of German policies, especially during the First World War, garnered strong opposition, including accusations of espionage and death threats. Among his correspondents was the German-American poet and propagandist George Sylvester Viereck, who became known as a radically pro-German apologist. Although many colleagues distanced themselves from Münsterberg during the war, he remained at Harvard until his death, aged 53, at the lecture podium.


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Contents

Consists of 16 autograph and typescript letters from Münsterberg to Viereck, 8 in German, 8 in English, chiefly on the subject Viereck's literary work and political views. The German letters are accompanied by typed transcriptions.

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