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HUM 274

Wellman, Gordon Boit. Gordon B. Wellman student notebooks, 1883, 1906-1918: an inventory

Harvard University Archives


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUM 274
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Wellman, Gordon Boit
Title: Gordon B. Wellman student notebooks
Date(s): 1883, 1906-1918
Quantity: 1.43 cubic feet (4 document boxes, 1 pamphlet binder)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The collection consists of ten student notebooks kept by Gordon B. Wellman (AB 1910) while a student at Harvard College (1906-1910), New College at the University of Edinburgh (1910-1911), at the Andover Theological Seminary (1914-1916) and the Harvard Divinity School (1916-1918). The notebooks reveal the work completed by Wellman during years as an undergraduate and graduate student on subjects related to history, economics, philosophy, religion, and theology. Also included is a copy of The Harvard Lampoon (March 9, 1883).

Acquisition information:

Gordon B. Wellman student notebooks were transferred to the Harvard University Archives by the Andover Newton Theological School
Accession number: 2017.401; 2017 May 16.

Processing Information:

The Gordon B. Wellman student notebooks were processed in June 2017 by Dominic P. Grandinetti. Processing included arranging the volumes in the collection chronologically, rehousing the volumes into appropriate containers, and the creation of this finding aid.

Researcher Access:

Open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Wellman, Gordon Boit. Gordon B. Wellman student notebooks, 1883, 1906-1918. HUM 274, Harvard University Archives.

Related Materials

In the Harvard University Archives
Wellman, Gordon Boit. "Teleology, a Principle of Explanation." Th.D diss. Harvard University, 1919.
Harvard Lampoon. Records of the Harvard Lampoon, 1886-2013. HUD 3511, Harvard University Archives.
The Harvard Lampoon. HUK 510, Harvard University Archives.

Biographical note

Gordon Boit Wellman (1887-1942) was an associate professor of Biblical history at Wellesley College. Born to Edward Wyman and Emma Rebecca Patch Wellman in Malden, Massachusetts, Wellman studied at Harvard College receiving his AB (1910), STM (1917), and ThD (1919); he received his STB from Andover Theological Seminar in 1916. During his Harvard college years, Wellman became interested in religion and the study of ornithology. Wellman later studied theology at Edinburgh University and New College, Edinburgh from 1910 to 1911. After his stay in England, Wellman traveled to Egypt to study the local ornithology; and then spent time in Italy, Northern Europe and again in England before returning to the United States in 1913. Wellman began teaching at Wellesley College in 1919, where he taught the history of religions and New Testament studies for the remainder of his life, first as a lecturer and from 1929 as associate professor of Biblical History. In 1918, Wellman married Helen Hyde Upton. Wellman died on March 30, 1942, in Wellesley, Massachusetts.


Harvard College Class of 1910, Thirty-fifth Anniversary Report, June, 1946, Ninth Report. Gordon Boit Wellman. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Printed for the Class, The Cosmos Press, 1946.


Records are organized into two series: Student notebooks, 1906-1918 and The Harvard Lampoon, 1883 March 9.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of ten student notebooks kept by Gordon B. Wellman (AB 1910) while a student at Harvard College (1906-1910), New College at the University of Edinburgh (1910-1911), at the Andover Theological Seminary (1914-1916) and the Harvard Divinity School (1916-1918). The notebooks reveal the work completed by Wellman during years as an undergraduate and graduate student; and document learning at the beginning of the twentieth century at Harvard and other institutions. The notebooks contain lecture and reading notes, course outlines, table of contents, syllabi, examination questions, bibliographies and reading lists. Included among some of the volumes are class essays written by Wellman.
Volumes 1 through 6 include Wellman's Harvard College class notes for medieval and modern history, European history, economics, and philosophy. Volume 2 includes Wellman's notes on ecclesiastical history from the beginnings of the Church to Saint Augustine taken while he attended New College at the University of Edinburgh. Volume 7 contains Wellman's notes on theology taken at the Andover Theological Seminary. Volumes 8 through 10 include Wellman's notes on subjects related to theology and the history of religion taken at the Harvard Divinity School.
Wellman's skills at organizing data, and what questions, ideas, and thoughts he explored during his school years are illustrated in the notebooks. Essays demonstrate the topics that were of particular interest to Wellman, reading notes reveal his outside reading which supplemented his lecture learning, and his lecture notes provide the essential facts Wellman derived from each lesson.
Notable Harvard professors whose courses are represented in Wellman's student notebooks are scholar and author George Herbert Palmer, historians Roger Bigelow Merriman, Charles Homer Haskins, Robert M. Johnston, and Archibald Cary Coolidge, and economists Thomas N. Carver and Charles J. Bullock. Other Harvard professors are zoologist George H. Parker, literary critic Bliss Perry, English Professor Barrett Wendell, and philosophers George Santayana and Ralph Barton Perry. Also included are Harvard Divinity School theologians William Wallace Fenn and Edward C. Moore. Notes taken by Wellman in classes given by Albert Parker Fitch, president of the Andover Theological Seminary, Daniel Evans, professor of Christian Theology at the Andover Theological Seminar, and A.R. MacLiven from New College in The University of Edinburgh are also in the collection.
The collection also contain a single issue of The Harvard Lampoon.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

College students--Massachusetts--Cambridge
Ethics -- Study and teaching.
Harvard student's essays.
Harvard students' notes.
Harvard University -- Comparative literature.
Harvard University -- Economics.
Harvard University -- English.
Harvard University -- History (Field of study)
Harvard University -- Philosophy.
Harvard University -- Religion (Field of study)
Harvard University -- Students.
Harvard University -- Students -- Humor.
Harvard University -- Students -- Periodicals.
Harvard University -- Student Life.
Harvard University -- Theology.
Harvard University -- Zoolology.
Harvard College (1780- ). Class of 1910
Harvard Divinity School.
Harvard Lampoon (Organization)
New College (University of Edinburgh)
Andover Theological Seminary
Johnston, R. M. (Robert Matteson), 1867-1920
Fenn, William W. (William Wallace), 1862-1932
Wellman, Gordon Boit
Bullock, Charles Jesse, 1869-1941
Carver, Thomas Nixon, 1865-1961
Coolidge, Archibald Cary, 1866-1928.
Evans, Daniel, 1866-1943
Fitch (Albert Parker), 1877-1944
Haskins, Charles Homer, 1870-1937.
Merriman, Roger Bigelow, 1876-1945
Moore, Edward Caldwell, 1857-1943.
Moore, George Foot, 1851-1931
Palmer, George Herbert, 1842-1933
Parker, George Howard, 1864-1955
Perry, Ralph Barton, 1876 – 1957
Perry, Bliss, 1860-1954.
Wendell , Barrett, 1855-1921
Santayana, George, 1863-1952.
Harvard University--Alumni and alumnae.