Harris (William Torrey) papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
0184
Finding Aid Author
Sue Luftschein; data entry by Carly Rustebakke
Finding Aid Date
2014 April
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Dates

  • 1857 – 1909 (Creation)

Extents

  • 1.88 Linear Feet (Whole)
    5 boxes

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], William Torrey Harris papers, Collection no. 0184, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

  • Acquisition

    Gift of Edith Davidson Harris, 1951, 1954, 1957, 1967.

  • Biographical note

    William Torrey Harris (1835-1909) was an American educator, lexicographer, and philosopher. Born in Connecticut, Harris graduated from Phillips Andover Academy and enrolled at Yale University, but left in his junior year. He moved to St. Louis, where he accepted a position as a teacher of shorthand in the St. Louis public school system. He eventually rose to become the superintendent of schools in that city, a post he held from 1867 to 1880. Shortly after his arrival in St. Louis, Harris became interested in modern German philosophy, specifically the work of Hegel. From 1867 to 1893, Harris edited the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the quarterly publication of the St. Louis Philosophical Society (of which he was co-founder) and the first such journal to be published in the United States and in English. In 1873, Harris, with Susan E. Blow, founded the first permanent public school kindergarten in St. Louis. In 1880, Harris moved to Concord, MA where he helped establish the Concord School of Philosophy; he lectured at the School until 1889, when he accepted the position of United States Commissioner of Education, a post he held until 1906. In 1906, he was awarded the first meritorious award by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He published many books on both education and philosophy, including "The Psychological Foundations of Education" (1898).

  • Custodial History

    Originally housed in the USC Hoose Library of Philosophy; transferred to Special Collections in late 1990s.

  • Abstract

    The William Torrey Harris papers, 1857-1909, consists of letters, manuscripts, typescripts, notes, and leaflets collected and created by noted 19th century educator, philosopher and lexicographer William Torrey Harris. In addition to letters from major philosophers of the period, including John Dewey, Josiah Royce, William James, and George H. Howison, the collection also contains manuscripts and notes penned by Harris and material related to the Philosophical Union of the University of California. Harris (1835-1910) was the editor of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and one of the founders of both the "St. Louis Movement" and the Concord School of Philosophy. A prolific author, he also edited and published early work by William James, Josiah Royce, and John Dewey, and introduced Hegel to the American intellectual scene.

  • Related Archival Materials

    See: University of Southern California School of Philosophy records, 1889-1978, 1988, Collection no. 5095, University Archives, Special Collections, University of Southern California

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

  • Scope and Content

    The William Torrey Harris papers consists of letters, manuscripts, typescripts, notes, and leaflets collected and created by William Torrey Harris, 1857-1909. In addition to letters from major philosophers of the period, including John Dewey, Josiah Royce, William James, and George H. Howison, the collection also contains manuscripts and notes penned by Harris and material related to the Philosophical Union of the University of California.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Components