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Collection Number: 03518

Collection Title: Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 300 items)
Abstract Henry Harrisse, native of France, bibliographer, historian, and author of books, pamphlets, and articles mostly relating to early American history and exploration, came to America in the 1840s, taught in South Carolina and at the University of North Carolina, practiced law in Chicago, Ill., and New York until 1870, and then returned to France. The collection includes letters, chiefly after 1892, from booksellers, scholars, and others to Harrisse concerning his research and writings, mostly about early American history and exploration; papers relating to honors Harrisse received for his work; bibliographies; Harrisse's translations of Descartes and his writings about him; a typed version of Harrisse's literary autobiography (87 pages) with manuscript notes and corrections by him; and three albums of carte-de-visites, 1867-1907 and undated, of French literary critics, authors, artists, and philosophers, and of others.
Creator Harrisse, Henry, 1829-1910.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Henry Harrisse Papers, #3518, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Bartus Trew of New York and Albert Ulman Walter of Baltimore, Md., January 1959.
Additional materials purchased from Charles Hamilton Galleries, Inc., New York, N.Y., June 1972; and transferred from the Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, February 1980.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Henry Harrisse (1829-1910), native of France, bibliographer, historian, and author of books, pamphlets, and articles mostly relating to early American history and exploration, came to America in the 1840s, taught in South Carolina and at the University of North Carolina, practiced law in Chicago and New York until 1870, and then returned to France.

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The collection includes letters, chiefly after 1892, from booksellers, scholars, and others to Harrisse concerning his research and writings, mostly about early American history and exploration; papers relating to honors Harrisse received for his work; bibliographies; Harrisse's translations of Descartes and his writings about him; a typed version of Harrisse's literary autobiography (87 pages) with manuscript notes and corrections by him; and three albums of carte-de-visites, 1867-1907 and undated, of French literary critics, authors, artists, and philosophers, and of others. Included amongst the correspondents are Edward G. Bourne, Alfred Cartier, A. Claudin, Ian Douglas, Wilberforce Eames, Arthur T. Hadley, John Johnson, Adolf Erik Nordenskiold, Benjamin Franklin Stevens, Anson Phelps Stokes Junior, John Boyd Thatcher, and Henry Vignaud.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 1a

Folder 1

1855-1891 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2-3

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-3518/1b Extra Oversize Paper Folder X-OPF-3518/1a

October 1892 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 2-3, Opaperfolder OPF-3518/1b

Legion of Honor correspondence, certificates, cards, and clippings.

Folder 4

November-December 1892 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

1893-1895 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

1896-1899 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

1900-1901 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

1902 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1903-1906 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10

1907-1910 #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

Undated #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12-13

Bibliographies #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 12-13

Printed lists of works of Henry Harrisse, with manuscript revisions in his hand, apparently printed and reprinted 1887, 1895, 1897, and possibly other dates; one list labeled "Catalogue of Barlow's Library?"; and manuscript lists, 1908 and 1909, in connection with Harrisse's final disposition of his library; also Biblioteca Cartesiana, 1854.

Folder 14

Writings #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

Image Folder PF-3518/1

Pictures, Clippings, and Pamphlets #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 15, Imagefolder PF-3518/1

Includes a picture of Samuel L. M. Barlow, pictures of study and library, and clippings and pamphlets.

Folder 16

Miscellaneous Writings #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 16

Folder 17-20

Harrisse manuscript on Rene Descartes #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 17-20

Includes the remains of four bound volumes plus many manuscript sheathes, containing "The Philosphical Works of Rene Descartes...now first collected and literally translated from the original French and Latin, into English, with a Preliminary Discourse on the Cartesian Philosophy, and History of the Cartesian School of Metaphysics in England, and a life of Descartes," written by Henry Harrisse, 1854-1856. Harrisse's memoranda added 1889, 1902, and a few related papers are also included.

Folder 21-22

Autobiography #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." Folder 21-22

Bound typescript with manuscript notes added by Henry Harrisse. This item is entitled "Epistola" and is an autobiographical narrative of the literary career of Henry Harrisse, written in letter form during the summer of 1883 at Divonne, France, and sent to Samuel L. M. Barlow in January 1884. In it Harrisse tells of his work on Descartes, Columbus, early American bibliography, New France in the 17th century, hieroglyphics, the Cantino World map, and the circumstances of his various undertakings, his financing and publishing efforts; also his early legal career and personal life in America; Paris, France, during the Prussian seige; and Harrisse's evaluation of his life's work.

The original manuscript of this autobiography is in the Lenox Branch of the New York Public Library. Harrisse learned that it was there in 1900, having come from Samuel Barlow's possessions. This copy was evidently made between 1905 and Harrisse's death in 1910.

Photograph Album PA-3518/1

Carte-de-visites: "Paris, 1869-1907" #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." PA-3518/1

Contains carte-de-visites of literary critics, authors, artists, and philosophers with identifications and annotations by Henry Harrisse. Subjects include George Sand; Princess Mathilde; Marid de Flavigny, Countess d'Agouet; Guillaume Guizot; Maurice Sand; Victorien Sardou; Ernest Renan; Madame Renan; Hippolyte Taine; Gustave Dore; Sainte Beuve; Fortuny; Marcelin Berthelot; Feliciende Sauley; Emile Degirardin; Duke Deveraguas; Edmond About; Leon Gerome; Louis Bouihet; Paul de Saint-Victor; Charles Dollfus; Emile Littre; and Jules Michelet.

Photograph Album PA-3518/2

Carte-de-visites #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." PA-3518/2

Contains photographs of men, women, and children made in Paris, France; New York, N.Y.; and New Orleans, La. Most are unidentified. Among the identified persons are Alfred Herripeny, Nelvil Soule, Stugues de LaMarme, Clement Druendy, Father MaQuyre, M. A. Lizano, Ary Renan.

Photograph Album PA-3518/3

Carte-de-visites #03518, Series: "Henry Harrisse Papers, 1855-1910 and undated." PA-3518/3

Among the photographic subjects are Henri Martin, Jules Simon, Benjamin Franklin Stevens, Paul De Kock, Pierre-Joseph, Proudhon, Jules Michelet, A. Liebert, Pierre Soule, Juste Olivier, Paul de Saint-Victor, Guillame Guizot, Maurice Sand, Emile Erckmann, Alexandre Chatriand, Dumas Pite, Odillow Bassot, Armidi Smith, Madame Slidel, Mrs. S. A. Douglas, Queen Amelie, Prince de Joieville, Duc de Chattres, E. de Girarvin, Lina Sand, Prince Napoleon, George Sala, D'Agoult, Baron Ostensacken, Kitt Dit, M. Harrisse, Samuel L. M. Barlow, Baroness V. Hoffman, Angile Soule, Joseph B. Autin, Paul Berenger, L. Bouiehel, M. de Montholon, Couludo Ysanger, Claude Bernard, S. Antonio, Jenny Jerome, Duchess de Mouchy, Marguire de Galiffer, Madame Cordier, Colitte Dumas, and others.

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, October 2009

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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