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Guide to the Benjamin Ide Wheeler papers, 1854-1927
BANC MSS C-B 1044  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Benjamin Ide Wheeler Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1854-1927
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 1044
    Creator: Wheeler, Benjamin Ide, 1854-1927
    Extent: Number of containers: 11 boxes, 2 cartons, 1 portfolio, 1 oversize folder and 1 volume
    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: Personal correspondence of the President of the University of California; his writings and speeches (Mss. and printed); genealogical material on the Wheeler and Ide families; and clippings relating mainly to the University of California, 1912-1913.

    A small group of papers of his father, Benjamin Wheeler, is included.
    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], Benjamin Ide Wheeler papers, BANC MSS C-B 1044, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    Benjamin ide Wheeler, Greek scholar, philologist and president of the University of California, was born July 15, 1854 at Randolph, Massachusetts. He attended Thornton Academy and Colby Academy prior to entering Brown University. Upon his graduation in 1875, he taught in Providence High School for two years, then became a tutor at Brown from 1879 to 1881. He continued his studies in Germany, at Leipzig, Heidelberg, Jena and Berlin from 1881 to 1885, obtaining his doctorate, summa cum laude, at Heidelberg in 1885. After travelling in Greece during the spring and summer of 1885, he went to Harvard as instructor in German and Latin. In 1886 he accepted a professorship at Cornell, teaching Greek and comparative philology, and publishing many related articles. In 1895 he was a member of the staff of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
    Wheeler turned down tempting offers from Colgate University and other schools to accept the presidency of the young University of California in 1899. This post he held until his resignation twenty years later in 1919, having seen the University expand in students, staff and physical structure. After his retirement, he resumed his teaching career, and in 1920 travelled to Japan as a member of a commission appointed by the Board of Trade on the Pacific Coast to attempt to strengthen relationships between Japan and the United States. Wheeler died in 1927.
    Included among his publications are: Alexander the Great; Dionysus and Immortality; The Greek Noun Accent; and Introduction to the Study of Language.

    Scope and Content

    The papers, transferred to the Bancroft Library from Archives in March 1966, consist mainly of personal correspondence prior to and during his presidency of the University of California; some of his writings and speeches (manuscript and printed); miscellaneous subject files relating for the most part to academic life; correspondence and papers relating to the genealogy of the Ide and Wheeler families; and clippings, mainly from 1912 and 1913, concerning the University of California.


    Note: The Bulk of Wheeler's Personal Papers were Destroyed in Berkeley Fire of Sep. 1923.
    A key to the arrangement of the papers follows.