Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding aid to the H. Morse Stephens papers, [ca. 1890-1919]
BANC MSS C-B 926  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (163.24 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: H. Morse Stephens Papers,
    Date (inclusive): [ca. 1890-1919]
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 926
    Creator: Stephens, H. Morse (Henry Morse), 1857-1919
    Extent: Number of containers: 8 boxes, 8 cartons and portfolio, 1 oversize folder
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence, manuscripts of articles and books, lecture notes and clippings, mainly relating to his career as professor of history, University of California, and to his activity in the acquisition of the Bancroft Library.

    Also included: material relating to Rudyard Kipling, and some papers of Stephen's sister, Amy Ellen
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library 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 by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], H. Morse Stephens papers, BANC MSS C-B 926, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936
    University of California (1868-1952). Dept. of History
    Bancroft Library
    Manuscripts for publication
    Lecture notes
    Stephens, Amy Ellen


    Henry Morse Stephens, professor of history and founder of the University of California Extension, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 3, 1857. He attended Radley College School, then studied with a private tutor while in France. He later entered Haileybury College, which he left after five years to go to Balliol College, Oxford, where he took a "first" in History in treats. He married in 1880, shortly after completing his studies at the University. He coached at Oxford for a short time, leaving to complete research for his book on the history of the French Revolution. During this period he also wrote many articles for various weekly newspaper, reviewing books, exhibit, concerts, opera and theatre. After a serious breakdown of his health he moved to the country and traveled extensively in Europe, particularly in France. At this time he wrote Albuquerque, edited a two volume work on the orators of the French Revolution, and published Portugal as part of the series of the History of the Nations. He returned to Oxford to work on India, and gave his first history lectures, which were immediately successful. He soon joined the university extension lectures, offering history courses in southern England and on the Isle of Wight. He also became an editor of "India", a new monthly, and at this time accepted a position as lecturer in Indian history at Cambridge.
    Invited by Cornell University, Stephens came to America in 1894, as professor of modern European and English history. While in Ithaca he formed a devoted group of students, founded the Kipling Club and an American version of the famed British Savage Club.
    At the invitation of the president of the University of California, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, a former colleague at Cornell, Shepherd became Sather professor of history in Berkeley in 1902. He was able to put his experience of extension education to good advantage as director of the University Extension from 1902-1909. Virtually the Extension's sole lecturer in the early days, Stephens spent a great part of hit working week traveling over all of California, giving courses in history supplemented by detailed syllabi.
    Stephens found a congenial group in the Bohemian Club, of which he was an active member, and for which he wrote his play, St. Patrick at Tara. He enjoyed summers in the Grove from early May through July, often its sole inhabitant.
    He was renowned as a stimulating teacher, attracted brilliant students, gave generously of his time and assistance, read voraciously and produced solid scholarly works. Stephens particularly emphasized the importance of using original source material for research, stressing historical accuracy based on fact. Because of this passion for accurate source material he sent many of his students to Europe, and even instigated scholarships for research, especially in Spain, where he had many transcripts made from hitherto unavailable archives of Seville and Madrid.
    Stephens was very vocal in expressing his opinions on the importance of acquiring the Bancroft Library collection, and for many years was intimately connected with its preservation and with the housing of its resources.
    Stephens was active in the American Historical Association, and engineered meetings and lectures for the Pan-American History Conference held during the San Francisco International Exhibition in 1915.
    Stephens died suddenly on April 16, 1919, while returning from the funeral of Phoebe Apperson Hearst in San Francisco.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers in this collection, willed to the University by Stephens, and transferred from Archives in March 1966, contain correspondence, much of it from students and scholars, relating to historical pursuits manuscripts of articles, books, lectures and plays; material concerning Kipling, and the Kipling Club, transcripts and clippings.
    A key to arrangement follows, and a partial list of correspondents is appended.