Holmes, Oliver Wendell papers, 1838-1890 (inclusive). GA 38

Dublin Core


Holmes, Oliver Wendell papers, 1838-1890 (inclusive). GA 38


Includes several letters from Holmes; an 1890 letter from Annie Fields to Sarah Orne Jewett about Holmes; Holmes' essay on medical education, 1870; a Boston Society for Medical Improvement notice for an 1838 meeting and a verse about the Society. Most of the letters are to Jared Sparks concerning Harvard Medical School lectures and related matters; also includes an 1882 letter addressed to Holmes' first class (1885) in the Medical School. There are also copies of Holmes' letters and verse (originals are housed in other libraries). Additional accession includes an 1863 letter addressed to William Hunt regarding his son, Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1841-1935.

Collection Items

The celebration of Oliver Wendell Holmes's seventieth birthday
The famous "Atlantic Breakfast," given by the publishers of The Atlantic monthly on December 3, to honor Holmes at 70 and his contributions to the success of the magazine, was covered in local newspapers. Guests at the event included literary figures…

Watercolor autocrat of the breakfast-table
A watercolor illustration that accompanied an 1890 version of Oliver Wendell Holmes' (1809-1894) The autocrat of the breakfast-table

Classified index to specific medical periodicals
As part of his dedicatory address at the Boston Medical Library, Holmes praised, in particular, the development of periodical indexes. “This idea has long been working in the minds of scholars, and all who have had occasion to follow out any…

Address on medical education
Despite Harvard’s renowned faculty members and array of courses, the students themselves in the mid-19th century were often poorly trained. Few of the matriculants had formal college degrees upon entering the school, the required course of…

Letter from Oliver Wendell Holmes to William Hunt
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., abandoned his studies at Harvard College to join the Massachusetts Volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil War. He was wounded on October 21, 1861, at the battle of Ball’s Bluff, in Virginia, and attended by a…

Letter from Annie Fields to Sarah Orne Jewett
Annie Fields was the wife of James T. Fields, the publisher of The Atlantic monthly, and a close friend of Holmes. Here, in this letter to novelist Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), she describes a visit with Holmes who speaks of his reverence for the…
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