Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid for the Hamilton Bail Harvard Collection, 1643-1950 (bulk 1800-1940)
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (162.07 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Expanded Biographical/Historical Narrative
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hamilton Bail Harvard Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1643-1950
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1800-1940)
    Collection number: 1617
    Creator: Bail, Hamilton Vaughan
    Extent: 16 boxes (8.0 linear ft.) 1 oversize box
    Abstract: The Hamilton Bail Harvard collection consists of books, ephemera, and assorted printed material relating to the history of Harvard College.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Purchase, Seven Gables Bookshop, 1957.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Hamilton Bail Harvard Collection (Collection 1617). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 1720392 

    Expanded Biographical/Historical Narrative

    Harvard College was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown. Harvard was a young minister who, upon his death in 1638, left his library and half of his estate to the new institution. In its early years, the College offered a classic academic course based on the English university model, but consistent with the prevailing Puritan philosophy of the first colonists. Although many of its early graduates became ministers in Puritan congregations throughout New England, the College was never formally affiliated with a specific religious denomination. The 1708 election of John Leverett, the first president who was not also a clergyman, marked a turning of the College toward intellectual independence from Puritanism. As the College grew in the 18th and 19th centuries, the curriculum was broadened, particularly in the sciences, and the College produced or attracted a long list of famous scholars. The 19th century brought the development of several graduate schools, including the Law and Medical schools, and transformed the College into a world class research university.
    Hamilton Vaughan Bail was a Harvard alumnus who avidly collected ephemera and rare printed works relating to the history of the college. He also wrote several articles about his undergraduate institution, and remained active in alumni organizations. The Hamilton Bail Harvard collection reflects Bail's passionate interest in Harvard as a uniquely American educational and social institution.

    Scope and Content

    The Hamilton Bail Harvard collection consists of rare books, ephemera, periodicals, reprints, and articles relating to Harvard College and the development of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Notable items include an early printed tract by Cotton Mather, 17th and 18th century sermons by Boston ministers relating to the College, a pamphlet bound in a rare Thomas Hollis binding from Hollis' personal library, and commencement, class day, and alumni ephemera such as class songs, printed theses, and exhibition day programs. Other interesting items include an invitation to President Abraham Lincoln's funeral (addressed to the Harvard student body), manuscript and print materials relating to presidents Edward Everett and Charles Eliot, ephemera from student clubs and alumni organizations, and material related to the student uprisings of 1807 and 1834. (Published works have been included in the finding aid; in addition, full catalog records for books in Series I can be found in the UCLA Library online catalog by performing a keyword search on the phrase, “Hamilton Bail Harvard collection” in the UCLA Library catalog.)

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Books, 1643-1937.
    2. College ephemera, 1790-1947, subseries A-E as follows:
      1. Buildings and memorials.
      2. Class ephemera.
      3. Clubs and organizations.
      4. Commencement, anniversaries and ceremonies.
      5. Miscellaneous printed materials.
    3. Harvard periodicals, 1856-1945.
    4. Reprints and articles, 1876-1950.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Harvard University--History--Archival resources.
    Harvard College (1636-1780)--History--Archival resources.
    Universities and colleges--Massachusetts--Cambridge--Archival resources.