Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / Henry Johnson Papers

Henry Johnson Papers, 1870-1915

11.0 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M99

Series List:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
Henry Johnson (1855-1918) graduated from Bowdoin in 1874, and continued his studies in Europe until 1877. He then returned to Bowdoin as instructor of modern languages, was appointed professor in 1881, and held the Longfellow Chair in that discipline from its establishment in 1882 until his death.

During that time, Johnson also served as Librarian of the College (1880-85), Curator of the Museum of Art (1881-87; 1892-1914), and Director of the Museum of Art (1914-18).

Johnson published several books of poems, a descriptive catalogue of Bowdoin's art collections, a variant edition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, an edition of Schiller's Ballads, and a highly acclaimed English translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.

Johnson married Frances Robinson in 1881; they had two children. Volumes from Johnson's collection of rare books, including many Bibles and editions of Dante and Shakespeare, came to the Library in the 1940s and 1970s.

Scope and Content:
The collection contains correspondence, notes, drafts, documents, lectures and other material concerning the life and career of Henry Johnson (1811-1945). It includes extensive correspondence with family members, publishers (including the Yale University Press and D.C. Heath & Co.), artists, including Kenyon Cox, Abbott Thayer and Elihu Vedder, and Bowdoin friends and colleagues; drafts and notes for his published works; documents relating to his family; photographs of Industry, Maine, the Johnson ancestral home; and records relating to his years at Bowdoin.

Cite as: Henry Johnson papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library
Access Restrictions: None.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288