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HUG 1511.xx

Lane, George Martin, 1823-1897. Papers of George Martin Lane : an inventory

Harvard University Archives


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

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.

Acquistion Information:

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.

Processing Information:

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.

Conditions on Access:

Permission of the Harvard University Archives required for access to the collection. Contact Reference Staff for details.

Related Material

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.

Biographical Note

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 of Göttingen.
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.


The Lane Family

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

Scope and Content

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.

Inventory update

This document was last updated 2016 October 14.

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