Lane, George Martin, 1823-1897. Papers of George Martin Lane : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: HUG 1511.xx
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Lane, George Martin, 1823-1897.
Title: Papers of George Martin Lane
Date(s): 1797-1987 (inclusive)
Date(s): 1850-1900 (bulk)
Quantity: 5.62 cubic feet (8 document boxes, 2 flat boxes, 1 record carton, 2 volumes, 3 pamphlet binders,
1 portfolio folder, 1 card box, 1 framed diploma)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: George Martin Lane (1823-1897) was Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature
at Harvard. He earned his Harvard A.B. in 1846 and taught at Harvard from 1851 to
1894. His papers document his creativity, active social life, and family life.
Accession 11853 received October 19, 1989 and Accession 13978 received July 20, 1999.
Material acquired prior to 1979 is probably also included in this collection. The
bulk of the material came from the home of Katherine Lane Weems, Lane's granddaughter.
This material was first classified and described in the Harvard University Archives
shelflist prior to 1980. In 2004, Kate Bowers edited and encoded this finding aid and established series and subseries hierarchy.
Permission of the Harvard University Archives required for access to the collection.
Contact Reference Staff for details.
For works by or about George Martin Lane, and for manuscripts and books formerly owned
by George Martin Lane, consult HOLLIS, Harvard's On-line Library Information System.
George Martin Lane (1823-1897) was the Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature
at Harvard University. He taught at Harvard from 1851 to 1894 and set a precedent
as the first faculty member to be pensioned upon retirement. Lane's association with
Harvard was life-long: he was a Cambridge native, attended Harvard as an undergraduate,
and taught at Harvard for 43 years.
Lane was born December 24, 1823 in Charlestown, Massachusetts to Martin and Lucretia
Lane. During his infancy, the family moved to Cambridge, where Lane was to spend the
majority of his life. He earned his Harvard A.B. in 1846. As a student, he was a member
of the Hasty Pudding Club, the Porcellian Club, and the Institute of 1770. He is the
author of The Lone Fishball, a satirical song that remained a Harvard student favorite for many years. It was
popular to such an extent that Lane's friend and colleague Francis James Child expanded
it into an Italian-style operetta Il pesceballo. Soon after graduation, Lane accepted a one-year position as a substitute teacher
of Latin at Harvard.
From 1847 to 1851, Lane studied in Germany. He received his Ph.D. from the University
Lane returned to Harvard and was appointed Professor of Latin in 1851. He married
Frances Eliza Gardiner of Shelfter Island, New York, in 1857. They had three children:
Gardiner Martin Lane, Louisa Greenough Lane, and Katherine Ward Lane. Two years after
the death of his first wife, Lane married Fanny Bradford Clark.
His appointment as Pope Professor of Latin Language and Literature began in 1869.
In 1894 he retired, was given an LL.D., and became Pope Professor Emeritus. His Latin Grammar was not published during his lifetime, but his colleague Professor Morris H. Morgan
completed the work and pubilshed it in 1898.
- Born in Charlestown, Massachusetts
- Graduates from Harvard College.
- Instructs classes at Harvard
- Ph.D. from University of Göttingen
- 1855, July
- The Lone Fishball is published anonymously in Harper's New Monthly Magazine
- Marries Frances Eliza Gardiner
- Marries Fanny Bradford Clark
- 1897 June 30
- Dies in Cambridge, Massachusetts
- A Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges published
Below is a list of members of George Martin Lane's family. Each name is preceeded
by their relationship to him.
Father: Martin Lane
Mother: Lucretia Swan
Sister: Elizabeth Minot Lane
Sister: Jane Lane
Sister: Lavinia Lane
Sister: Sarah Lane
Sister: Susan Lane
Sister: Susan Lane
Sister: Martha Lane
Wife: Frances Eliza Gardiner, m. 1858, d. 1876
Wife: Fanny Bradford Clark, m. 1878
Daughter: Louisa Greenough Lane
Daughter: Katherine Ward Lane
Son: Gardiner Martin Lane
Daughter-in-law: Emma Louise Gildersleeve
The Papers of George Martin Lane document his creativity, active social life, and
family life. Although he had a long association with Harvard as a professor, there
is more among these papers on his role as a student than his role as a teacher. Even
among those materials dating from his student days, the documents reflect student
social life, rather than academics. Among his scholarly pursuits, only his work on
a Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges appears prominently among this collection of his papers.
This document was last updated 2016 October 14.
- Series: Biographical Material
- HUG 1511.2. Biographical pamphlets
- HUG 1511.5. Diaries and notebooks, 1838-1896 1 boxes
Description: Chiefly diaries, 1877-1897. Great variation in both length of entries and consistency
of journal-keeping: some entries are only a few words, others take up an entire page.
Some years have entries for only a few months, others are nearly full. Comments usually
pertain to health, weather, and social engagements; many include itineraries for trips,
especially trips to Europe. A few entries are by an unidentified hand. Notebooks contain
sketches and verse, school excercises in writing and Greek, 1838-1869, and satirical
writings which include illustrations. Arranged chronologically.
- HUG 1511.31. Address book
- Series: Publications
- HUG 1511.9.2. A Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, galley proofs, in two parts.
- HUG 1511.10. Correspondence relating to publications, 1890-1902 1 boxes
Description: Consists chiefly of a scrapbook and one loose folder containing correspondence with
Prof. Morris H. Morgan relating to A Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, which was published posthumously. Includes suggestions, comments, thanks for copies,
clippings of reviews. Also contains correspondence relating to the publication of
a memoir of Lane in the 9th volume of Harvard Studies in Classical Philology.
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically
- Series: Student Material
- HUG 1511.85. Ephemera, 1800-1950 (inclusive dates), 1838-1894 (bulk dates) 1 boxes
Date: 1800-1950 (inclusive dates), 1838-1894 (bulk dates)
Description: The ephemera chiefly documents social life. It includes school programs, club bulletins
and notices, wedding announcements, calling cards, tickets, children's drawings, news
clippings, fans, and other material. Notable are the handwritten, possibly original
copy of the Lone Fishball and silhouettes created and traded by Lane and his friends during his years in Göttingen.
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically.
- HUG 1511.90.5. Oedipus Tyrannus ephemera, 1881 1 boxes
Description: Ephemera relating to play performed at Harvard in May, 1881 in which Lane had a part.
Includes scrapbook of clippings, notes, programs, announcements, tickets, and photographs.
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically.
- HUG 1511.36. Notebooks from graduate study in Germany 1 boxes
- Series: HUG 1511.80. Sketches and watercolors 2 boxes
Description: Chiefly watercolor landscapes in small notebooks, probably executed by Lane during
travel in Europe. Sketches are chiefly humorous.
Arrangement: Organized first by medium (watercolor followed by sketches) and thereunder chronologically.
- Series: Lane Family Material
- HUG 1511.75 p. Photographs 2 boxes
Description: These include many fine examples of nineteenth-century photography, both loose and
cased photographs. Formats include: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and albumen prints. Sizes vary, some photographers are not identified, and some subjects are not identified.
- HUG 1511.75 P/PF. Large format photographs
- HUG 1511.90 Box 1. Lane Family correspondence, 1797-1987 (inclusive), 1856-1915 (bulk) 1 boxes
Date: 1797-1987 (inclusive), 1856-1915 (bulk)
Description: Chiefly correspondence among Lane family members other than George Martin Lane, and
especially Gardiner Martin Lane. Includes some unidentified correspondence, including
letters in German and French. Also included are some diaries, notebooks, and ephemera.
Arrangement: Organized by category and thereunder chronologically.
- HUG 1511.90 Box 2. Wanderings of Odysseus board game, 1867 1 boxes
Description: Perhaps under his father's influence, Gardiner Martin Lane (AB 1881), who was later
president of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, crafted this game when he was eight years
- Series: Financial and legal records
Description: This series contains personal accounting records including receipts, contracts, records
relating to taxes, real estate, scholarship awards, a marriage certificate, and journals
of daily expenses, banking, and stock trading.
Arrangement: Organized into categories: journals, receipts and contracts, followed by awards. Thereunder
they are arranged chronologically.
- HUG 1511.25. Standard-size financial and legal records 1 boxes
- HUG 1511.25 PF. Large format financial and legal records