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HUM 145

Prentiss, Henry Conant, 1832-1911. Henry Conant Prentiss collection of Harvard memorabilia, 1854-1922 and undated : an inventory

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUM 145
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Prentiss, Henry Conant, 1832-1911
Title: Henry Conant Prentiss collection of Harvard memorabilia, 1854-1922 and undated
Date(s): 1854-1922
Quantity: 0.17 cubic feet (1 half document box)
Abstract: The collection chiefly consists of an autograph book signed by members of the Harvard College Class of 1854 and other pieces of Harvard ephemera presumably collected by Henry Conant Prentiss. Prentiss, doctor and statistician, was born on April 10, 1832, and received his Harvard AB in 1854.

Acquisition information:

Accession 18543: anonymous donor, September 5, 2012

Processing Note:

Juliana Kuipers processed this collection in November 2012. Processing entailed a collection survey, rehousing items in appropriate archival containers, and the creation of this finding aid.

Conditions on Use and Access:

The Henry Conant Prentiss collection of Harvard memorabilia is open for research use.

Preferred Citation:

Prentiss, Henry Conant, 1832-1911. Henry Conant Prentiss collection of Harvard memorabilia, 1854-1922 and undated. HUM 145, Harvard University Archives.

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Biographical note

Henry Conant Prentiss, doctor and statistician, was born on April 10, 1832, in Northampton, Massachusetts to William Conant and Asenath Sanford Prentiss. He received his AB from Harvard in 1854. Following graduation, Prentiss studied medicine in Northampton and received his MD from the Berkshire Medical Institute in 1857. He married Clara Jane Howes in 1863, who died in 1866. In 1869, Prentiss married Catherine Henrietta White; they had two daughters. He worked for the Worcester State Lunatic Hospital for six years, and in 1864, began working for the Board of State Charities as the the chief clerk, and later the deputy inspector. Remaining there until his death, Prentiss was responsible for the compilation of annual statistics on paupers. He died on May 26, 1911, in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in chronological order.

Scope of the Henry Conant Prentiss collection of Harvard memorabilia

The collection chiefly consists of an autograph book signed by members of the Harvard College Class of 1854 and other pieces of Harvard ephemera presumably collected by Henry Conant Prentiss, a member of the class. The autograph book, which contains biographical details for most members of the class, as well as a small number of photographs, documents Prentiss' continued ties to the University and his classmates following his graduation. The collection also contains a menu from the class's 50th anniversary dinner and a reprinted copy of the ode read at the 1854 Class Day by Oliver S. Leland, as well as a 1886 ribbon commemorating Harvard's 250th anniversary and an 1890 report of the Board of Overseers' Committee of Elections. The ownership of the autograph book is tentatively attributed to Prentiss, and the related Harvard ephemera are assumed to have been collected by him.
The collection also includes an autograph book containing signature appearing to have been collected during travels in 1922. The ownership of this volume and its relationship to the rest of the collection are unclear.

General

This document last updated 2015 November 12.

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