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HUM 30

Pierce, John, 1773-1849. Triennial Catalogues annotated by John Pierce, 1794-1806: an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUM 30
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Pierce, John, 1773-1849
Title: Triennial Catalogues annotated by John Pierce, 1794-1806
Date(s): 1794-1806
Quantity: .08 cubic feet (5 volumes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Reverend John Pierce (1773-1849, Harvard AB 1793) was pastor of the First Church in Brookline, Mass. for fifty years, and served as secretary to the Harvard Board of Overseers. The collection holds five Harvard Triennial Catalogues annotated by Pierce for the years 1794, 1797, 1800, 1803, and 1806 with biographical information about Harvard alumni. Pierce's work was a resource for the Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1642-1774 series.

Acquisition information:

The Catalogues were deposited in the Harvard University Archives by the Massachusetts Historical Society as part of the John Langdon Sibley Collection. The volumes were originally donated by John Pierce to the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1849, with the agreement than John Langdon Sibley could first review the volumes for his biographical research. The Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society noted in 1879 that "Sibley delivered the catalogues to the Society" (Vol. 17 p. 59).

Processing Information:

The material was first classified and described in the Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1980 as individual items. The material was re-processed in 2010. Re-processing involved a collection survey, reclassification as HUM 30, and the creation of this finding aid.
This finding aid was created by Diann Benti in June 2010.
Preservation and description of the Triennial Catalogues annotated by John Pierce was supported by the Arcadia-funded project Harvard in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

Researcher Access:

The Triennial Catalogues annotated by John Pierce are open for research.

Copying Restriction:

Copying of fragile materials may be limited.

Preferred Citation:

Pierce, John, 1773-1849. Triennial Catalogues annotated by John Pierce, 1794-1806. HUM 30, Harvard University Archives.

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Historical Note

Reverend John Pierce (Harvard AB 1793) was born in Dorchester, Mass. on July 14, 1773. He graduated from Harvard in 1793. Pierce was ordained as the pastor of the First Church in Brookline, Mass. on March 15, 1797, and held the position for the next fifty years. He served as secretary to the Harvard Board of Overseers, and was also a member of the Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers and the Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society. In 1798, he married Abigail Lovel, who died in 1800. In 1802, he married Lucy Tappan; he and Lucy were married for 47 years and had 10 children. Pierce's biographical research and annotations to the Harvard Triennial Catalogues began when he was an undergraduate at Harvard and continued until 1848. He died in 1849.

Scope and Content

The Triennial Catalogues are chronological and cumulative lists of Harvard graduates published every three years from 1674 to 1875. The Catalogues represent Harvard's first efforts to comprehensively document its graduates and were considered the official record of degree recipients. A dedicated group of alumni used the Catalogue as a basis for collecting additional biographical information.
The collection holds five Harvard Triennial Catalogues annotated by John Pierce with biographical information about graduates. John Langdon Sibley relied on these five volumes, and fifteen others in preparing the Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1642-1774 series. The 1806 interleaved volume is the most heavily annotated and Sibley noted in the preface to the first volume of Biographical Sketches that "he bestowed most labor" on it. Pierce's annotations focused primarily on the birthplaces of graduates.

General

This document last updated 2013 April 29.

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