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HUM 312

Collection of Edward Holyoke materials, 1721-1746: an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUM 312
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Title: Collection of Edward Holyoke materials
Date(s): 1721-circa 1780s
Quantity: .5 cubic feet (3 flat boxes, 1 accordion folder)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Purchased in 2011; Accession 18293

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.

Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Collection of Edward Holyoke materials, 1721-circa 1780s. HUM 312, Harvard University Archives.

Related Materials

Collections in the Harvard University Archives

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.

Scope and Contents

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.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2018 May 8.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Clergy -- Massachusetts -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
College presidents--Massachusetts--Cambridge
Astronomy -- Research.
Optics -- Early works to 1800
Astronomy -- Early works to 1800
Drinking vessels -- 18th Century
Smallpox -- Massachusetts -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Sermons
Cambridge (Mass.)
Notebooks.
Letters.
Holyoke, Edward, 1689-1769.
Osgood, Edward Holyoke
Abbot, Mary Holyoke, 1782-1829
Harvard College (1636-1780) -- Presidents
Dearborn, Benjamin, 1725-1755
Dudley, William, 1686-1743

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