Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Creator
Johnson, Henry, 1855-1918
Title
Henry Johnson papers
ID
M099
Date [inclusive]
1870-1915
Extent
11.0 linear feet
Language
Abstract
The collection contains correspondence, notes, drafts, documents, lectures and other material concerning the life and career of Henry Johnson (1811-1945).

Preferred Citation

Henry Johnson papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.


Biographcial/Historical 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.


Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288
scaref@bowdoin.edu

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.


Collection Inventory

 M099.1 Early family records, 1811-1873   0.25 linear feet

Series Description:

Letters, deeds, receipts, agreements and other documents (1811-69) relating to Johnson's ancestors and family; followed by financial records (1838-73). Much of the earliest material relates to the town of Industry, Maine, its school and the family members living there. Later material concerns Professor Johnson's father, Richard Elliot Johnson, his father's family and his early education.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Box Folder
1 1-6

1811-1869, undated 

    1 7-8

    Financial material, 1838-1873 


       M099.2 Correspondence, 1870-1918, undated 1870-1918, undated   3.75 linear feet

      Series Description:

      Johnson's correspondence (1870-1918) includes personal, family and professional letters filed chronologically, beginning with his college years. It includes a regular, almost weekly, exchange with his father; letters from his fianceeā€š (1880-81); correspondence with publishers and with Bowdoin officers and colleagues. There are also letters from three of the four artists involved in decorating the rotunda of the Walker Art Museum: Kenyon Cox, Abbott Thayer and Elihu Vedder. A detailed chronological list and alphabetical name index of non-family correspondence is available for in-house use.

      Arrangement:

      Arranged chronologically.

      Access Restrictions:

      No restrictions.

      Box Folder
      1 9-13

      1870-1874 

        Box
        2

        1875-1878 

          3

          1879-1885 

            4

            1885-miscellaneous 

              5

              1886-1888 

                6

                1888-1890 

                  7

                  1890-1891 

                    8

                    1892-1894 

                      9

                      1895-1897 

                        10

                        1898-1900 

                          11

                          1901-1904 

                            12

                            1904-1905 

                              13

                              1906-1908 

                                14

                                1909-1911 

                                  15

                                  1912-1913 

                                    16

                                    1914-1915 

                                      17

                                      1916-1918 & undated 


                                         M099.3 Personal records, 1870-1945 1870-1945   2.25 linear feet

                                        Series Description:

                                        Records relating to Johnson and his immediate family, including diaries, financial material, documents, essays, notes and genealogies; grouped by type, the material is arranged alphabetically. Sections include college themes, including his commencement part; scattered diaries and journals (1870-1905); documents (1881-1945), among them marriage certificates, deeds, wills, etc.; material concerning his immediate family (for more information see the Chase-Johnson Papers); financial records (1870-1914), including bank and royalty statements; notes and notebooks; travel records (1875-1913); and ephemera (1871-1917).

                                        Arrangement:

                                        Arranged alphabetically.

                                        Access Restrictions:

                                        No restrictions.

                                        Box
                                        18

                                        College themes 

                                          19-21

                                          Diaries and journals, 1870-1905 

                                            Box Folder
                                            22 1-4

                                            Documents, 1881-1945 

                                              22 5-13

                                              Ephemera, [ca. 1871-1900] 

                                                23 1-5

                                                Ephemera, [ca. 1907-1917 and n.d.] 

                                                  23 6-10

                                                  Family material 

                                                    Box
                                                    24

                                                    Financial, [ca. 1870-1917] 

                                                      Box Folder
                                                      25 1

                                                      Financial, [ca. 1910-1914] 

                                                        25 2-11

                                                        Miscellaneous 

                                                          26 1-6

                                                          Notes and notebooks 

                                                            26 7-10

                                                            Travel records, [ca. 1875-1913] 


                                                               M099.4 Professional records, [ca. 1880-1915], undated [ca. 1880-1915], undated   4.25 linear feet

                                                              Series Description:

                                                              Notes, drafts, lectures, proofs and other materials, mostly undated, relating to Johnson's career as professor, author, and member of the Bowdoin College staff. It includes scholarly notes on various subjects; lectures read before various groups; essays, poems and book drafts, published and unpublished. Grouped by material type (i.e. poems, essays, notes, or translations), it is arranged alphabetically. Special sections on the works of Dante and Shakespeare, his two major subjects of study, combine all types of material.

                                                              Arrangement:

                                                              Arranged alphabetically.

                                                              Access Restrictions:

                                                              No restrictions.

                                                              Box
                                                              27

                                                              Course material 

                                                                Dante 

                                                                Box
                                                                28-29

                                                                Divine Comedy (draft on cards) 

                                                                  Box Folder
                                                                  30 1-9

                                                                  Divine Comedy 

                                                                    Ovsz-Box
                                                                    41

                                                                    Proofs 

                                                                      Box Folder
                                                                      30 10-11

                                                                      Notes 

                                                                        30 12-14

                                                                        La Vita Nuova 

                                                                          Box
                                                                          31

                                                                          Essays 

                                                                            Lectures 

                                                                            Box
                                                                            32

                                                                            Notes 

                                                                              32

                                                                              Ambition - Teaching 

                                                                                33

                                                                                History of Art 

                                                                                  Box
                                                                                  34

                                                                                  Museum of Art - catalog draft 

                                                                                    35

                                                                                    Notes and outlines 

                                                                                      Poems 

                                                                                      Box
                                                                                      36

                                                                                      Ca. 1877-1917 

                                                                                        Box Folder
                                                                                        37 1

                                                                                        On Sacred Themes 

                                                                                          37 2-3

                                                                                          Seer and Other Poems 

                                                                                            37 4-5

                                                                                            Where Beauty Is 

                                                                                              Shakespeare 

                                                                                              Box Folder
                                                                                              38 1-2

                                                                                              Lectures 

                                                                                                38 3

                                                                                                Macbeth 

                                                                                                  38 4-5

                                                                                                  Merchant of Venice 

                                                                                                    38 6-11

                                                                                                    A Midsummer Night's Dream 

                                                                                                      38 12

                                                                                                      Much Ado About Nothing 

                                                                                                        38 13-14

                                                                                                        Notes, 1879-1884 

                                                                                                          38 15

                                                                                                          Sonnets 

                                                                                                            38 16-21

                                                                                                            Venus and Adonis 

                                                                                                              Box
                                                                                                              28

                                                                                                              Venus and Adonis (draft on cards) 

                                                                                                                Translations and Foreign Language Works 

                                                                                                                Box
                                                                                                                39-40

                                                                                                                Translations and foreign language works 

                                                                                                                  Volume
                                                                                                                  1

                                                                                                                  "Harmony of Greek New Testament with English version by HJ with the collaboration of Harry de Forest Smith," 1891 


                                                                                                                     M099.5 Clippings, 1873-1945, undated 1873-1945, undated   0.25 linear feet

                                                                                                                    Series Description:

                                                                                                                    Clippings on various subjects, both dated (1873-1945) and undated. Broken very broadly, they are largely unarranged, and include obituaries of Johnson, his family members and friends; articles and poems by Johnson; reports of art exhibits; reviews of his published works; and information on his hometown of Industry, Maine.

                                                                                                                    Arrangement:

                                                                                                                    Not arranged.

                                                                                                                    Access Restrictions:

                                                                                                                    No restrictions.

                                                                                                                    Box
                                                                                                                    41

                                                                                                                    1873-1945, undated 


                                                                                                                       M099.6 Photographs, undated Undated   0.25 linear feet

                                                                                                                      Series Description:

                                                                                                                      Photographs of Industry, Maine, the ancestral home of the Johnson family which is referred to in the early family records. The images, many of which are cyanotypes, record the town's buildings, daily life and people. The photographer is unknown.

                                                                                                                      Arrangement:

                                                                                                                      Not arranged.

                                                                                                                      Access Restrictions:

                                                                                                                      No restrictions.

                                                                                                                      Box Envelope
                                                                                                                      42 2/210-2/228

                                                                                                                      Industry, Maine 

                                                                                                                        42 3/1-3/48

                                                                                                                        Industry, Maine