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Henry Johnson papers (M099)

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

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

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

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.

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.

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.

1811-1869, undated

Box 1 Folder 1-6

Financial material, 1838-1873

Box 1 Folder 7-8

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 fiancee‚ (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.

1870-1874

Box 1 Folder 9-13

1875-1878

Box 2

1879-1885

Box 3

1885-miscellaneous

Box 4

1886-1888

Box 5

1888-1890

Box 6

1890-1891

Box 7

1892-1894

Box 8

1895-1897

Box 9

1898-1900

Box 10

1901-1904

Box 11

1904-1905

Box 12

1906-1908

Box 13

1909-1911

Box 14

1912-1913

Box 15

1914-1915

Box 16

1916-1918 & undated

Box 17

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.

College themes

Box 18

Diaries and journals, 1870-1905

Box 19-21

Documents, 1881-1945

Box 22 Folder 1-4

Ephemera, [ca. 1871-1900]

Box 22 Folder 5-13

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

Box 23 Folder 1-5

Family material

Box 23 Folder 6-10

Financial, [ca. 1870-1917]

Box 24

Financial, [ca. 1910-1914]

Box 25 Folder 1

Miscellaneous

Box 25 Folder 2-11

Notes and notebooks

Box 26 Folder 1-6

Travel records, [ca. 1875-1913]

Box 26 Folder 7-10

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.

Course material

Box 27

Divine Comedy (draft on cards)

Box 28-29

Divine Comedy

Box 30 Folder 1-9

Proofs

Ovsz-Box 41

Notes

Box 30 Folder 10-11

La Vita Nuova

Box 30 Folder 12-14

Essays

Box 31

Notes

Box 32

Ambition - Teaching

Box 32

History of Art

Box 33

Museum of Art - catalog draft

Box 34

Notes and outlines

Box 35

Ca. 1877-1917

Box 36

On Sacred Themes

Box 37 Folder 1

Seer and Other Poems

Box 37 Folder 2-3

Where Beauty Is

Box 37 Folder 4-5

Lectures

Box 38 Folder 1-2

Macbeth

Box 38 Folder 3

Merchant of Venice

Box 38 Folder 4-5

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Box 38 Folder 6-11

Much Ado About Nothing

Box 38 Folder 12

Notes, 1879-1884

Box 38 Folder 13-14

Sonnets

Box 38 Folder 15

Venus and Adonis

Box 38 Folder 16-21

Venus and Adonis (draft on cards)

Box 28

Translations and foreign language works

Box 39-40

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

Volume 1

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.

1873-1945, undated

Box 41

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.

Industry, Maine

Box 42 Envelope 2/210-2/228

Industry, Maine

Box 42 Envelope 3/1-3/48
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