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HUM 174

Fleming, Donald, 1923-2008. Donald Harnish Fleming personal archive, 1948-2007 and undated : an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUM 174
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Fleming, Donald, 1923-2008
Title: Donald Harnish Fleming personal archive, 1948-2007 and undated
Date(s): 1948-2007
Quantity: 26.88 cubic feet (74 document boxes, 4 card boxes, 2 microfilm boxes, 1 flat box, and 1 glass negative box)
Abstract: Donald Harnish Fleming (1923-2008) was professor of history at Brown University from 1947 to 1958 and professor of history at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1999. The collection documents the academic and professional career of Fleming. A valuable resource for research in American and European intellectual history and the history of science, the collection documents the strong relationships Fleming developed and maintained with students he taught, his popular lectures, and his contributions to the discipline of history through his writing and co-editing the journal Perspectives in American History.

Acquisition information:

The Donald Harnish Fleming personal archive was acquired by the Harvard University Archives through donation from Donald Fleming and his estate. The acquisitions are as follows:
  • Accession 14869; Donald Fleming, August 2003
  • Accession 17995: George L. Cushing, lawyer for Fleming estate, June 2009
  • Accession 18146: Donald Fleming estate, June 2010
  • Accession 18271: George L. Cushing, June 2011
  • Processing Note:

    The collection was processed in 2014. Processing involved a collection survey, housing in appropriate archival folders and boxes, and the creation of this finding aid by Juliana Kuipers in May 2014.
    The notations "Folder 1 of 2" and "Folder 2 of 2" indicate materials originally housed together (either in a binder or folder), but which were housed into multiple folders during processing. The black binders used by Fleming to store many of his papers were removed and discarded.
    Duplicate copies of reprints, syllabi, examination questions and bibliographies were weeded and discarded, as were student grades and enrollment lists.

    Conditions on Use and Access:

    Open for research, with the following exceptions: Harvard University records in this collection are restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. Personnel and student records in this collection are closed for research through 80 years from the date of creation. Specific restrictions are noted in the inventory.

    Preferred Citation:

    Fleming, Donald, 1923-2008. Donald Harnish Fleming personal archive, 1948-2007 and undated. HUM 174, Harvard University Archives.

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    Biographical note

    Donald Harnish Fleming (1923-2008) was professor of history at Brown University from 1947 to 1958 and professor of history at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1999. Born on August 7, 1923, in Hagerstown, Maryland, he received his AB in 1943 from Johns Hopkins University, and his AM and PhD in history from Harvard in 1944 and 1947, respectively. Fleming taught history at Brown University from 1947 to 1958 before receiving an appointment in the history of science at Yale University in 1958. Serving as a visiting professor at Harvard from 1958 to 1959, Fleming was Professor of History at Harvard in 1959 and Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History from 1970 until his retirement in 1999, specializing in American and European intellectual history. Fleming served as chairman of the history department at Harvard from 1963 to 1965, acting director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History from 1969 to 1970 and director of the Charles Warren Center from 1973 to 1980. He also served as co-editor of the journal Perspectives in American History with Bernard Bailyn from 1966 to 1979 and with Bernard Bailyn and Stephan Thernstrom from 1984 to 1986. Fleming died on June 16, 2008 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Arrangement

    Scope of the Donald Harnish Fleming personal archive

    The Donald Harnish Fleming personal archive documents the academic and professional career of Donald Fleming. A valuable resource for research in American and European intellectual history and the history of science, the collection reveals the strong relationships Fleming developed and maintained with his students, in particular the many graduate students at Harvard and Brown whose dissertations he supervised. Fleming was a dedicated correspondent with both colleagues and students and his correspondence, in particular the many letters of recommendation he wrote for former students, forms a large part of the collection (Series I). Fleming's work on Perspectives in American History, a series of annual monographs co-edited with Bernard Bailyn (and later with Bailyn and Stephan Thernstrom), is represented through correspondence exchanged between the editors and contributors.
    Fleming was well-known at Harvard for his lectures, and the collection includes a large number of his meticulously typewritten lectures, which he rewrote every year, as well as a large collection of the syllabi and examination questions assigned for courses (Series II). Courses taught at both Harvard University and Brown University are reflected in the collection, as is Fleming's gradual move away from the history of science towards American and later European intellectual history.
    The collection also documents Fleming's prolific production of scholarly works in the fields of the history of science and intellectual life, including his numerous book reviews and articles on attitude, conservation, and scientific figures, including Charles Darwin, Jacques Loeb, John William Draper, William H. Welch, and Walter B. Cannon (Series III). It also includes incomplete drafts of his unpublished manuscripts on the history of science in America and architects of modern thought (including Nietzsche, Freud, Rilke, and Conrad). Fleming's research and reading notes (Series VII) supplement his written materials and reflect his continued interest in topics in the fields of history of science and intellectual history, including the work completed by colleagues and former students.
    Fleming's participation in the academic community on the topics of the history of science and intellectual history are reflected in his talks and lectures (Series V) and collected papers from conferences (Series VI). His close engagement with the Harvard community is reflected not only in the correspondence exchanged with colleagues (Series I) but also in the records from committees and organizations of which he was an active member (Series IV). These included the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard University Press' John Harvard Library, and Harvard's committees on the history of science and research policy. In addition to the Harvard University Department of History and the Charles Warren Center for Studes in American History, Fleming worked closely with the Harvard University Press and its John Harvard Library, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Harvard committees on the history of science and research policy.
    Biographical material in the collection is limited to sporadic diaries with only sparse entries (Series VIII), detailed journals listing purchases for his extensive personal library (Series IX), and four color photographs of Fleming in his Widener Library study circa 1980s (Series X).

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    This document last updated 2015 November 12.

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