This is a catalogue of and guide to the Charles S. Peirce
Papers which are presently housed in the Houghton Library,
the rare book and manuscript library at Harvard University.
The papers were for the most part received by the Harvard
Philosophy Department from Peirce's widow in the winter
of 1914-15, less than a year after his death. These
are the papers which have been worked on over the years
by several scholars, initially by Josiah Royce, who
unfortunately died before much progress was made, more
recently by Charles Hartshorne, Paul Weiss, and Arthur
Burks, as editors of the Collected Papers,* and most
recently by Max H. Fisch, in connection with the preparation
of an intellectual biography of Peirce.
* Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Vols. I-VIII, Harvard University Press, 1931-1958.
served well the needs of Peirce scholars who sought
to examine the contents of those boxes and, although
incomplete, it came as close as was possible at that
time to putting Peirce's papers into some kind of final
order. Later John F. Boler contributed an eleven-page
addition which dealt more effectively than McMahan's
catalogue had with Peirce's book reviews.
The third distinguishable part of the Peirce Collection the correspondence had been kept mostly with the "Archives" material and had been partially organized by McMahan at the time he was working on his catalogue. But since then, in 1960 to be specific, the collection of family correspondence, formerly in the Benjamin Peirce Papers in the Archives had been transferred to the Charles Peirce Collection by authorization of Charles Peirce's niece, Miss Helen Ellis. Subsequently, more family correspondence found its way into the Collection, again, by authorization of Miss Helen Ellis. By this time, the whole of the correspondence had been completely reorganized.
In addition to the Peirce material noted above, there were miscellaneous manuscripts that had been listed separately in the catalogues of Widener and Houghton; various collections of articles on or by Peirce, some of the articles being annotated; annotated books from Peirce's library; public documents and photographs; and much unedited, scraplike material, to mention only some of the items which needed to be integrated with the rest. The present catalogue is the attempt to gather several collections and miscellaneous items into one collection. Unquestionably, the fact that so much of the Peirce manuscripts and correspondence had already been ordered or partially ordered, greatly facilitated my own efforts at integration. Clearly, if it were not for the fast that the cataloguing of the Peirce Papers had a history, this catalogue could not have been produced, most certainly not in the time it took to produce it.
Having noted the history of the cataloguing of the Peirce Papers, I would be remiss if I did not mention the contributions of W. F. Kernan and V. F. Lenzen.* Kernan's "List of C. S. Peirce Manuscripts," a nine-page
* For interesting accounts of the early history of the Peirce Papers, see V. Lenzen's "Reminiscences of a Mission to Milford, Pennsylvania," Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, I, X (Spring 1965) pp. 3-11 and W. F. Kernan's "The Peirce Manuscripts and Josiah Royce A Memoir Harvard 1915-1916," Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, I, 2 (Fall 1965) pp. 90-95.
typescript, was prepared at the time he was assisting Royce in organizing Peirce's papers and collaborating with him on an article entitled "Charles Sanders Peirce" which appeared in the Journal of Philosophy, December 21, 1916, a memorial issue devoted to Peirce. Lenzen's "Notes on Papers and MSS. in The Charles S. Peirce Collection," a twenty-page typescript, is an evaluation of the contents and the physical condition of the manuscripts which, at the time (December 1917), were sorted into eighty-three boxes. The Kernan and Lenzen typescripts, along with the catalogues of Boler and McMahan, are kept with the Peirce Papers, and are available for consultation.
Needless to say, I am indebted to all those who have
shared in the ordering and cataloguing of the Peirce
Papers. Nor is my indebtedness limited to those who
were actively engaged in cataloguing per se. My indebtedness
extends to the several editors of the Collected Papers
who were engaged, along with the others, in the work
of identifying, classifying, and uniting papers which
had become separated. With very few exceptions, the
readers of this catalogue and of the microfilm edition
of Peirce's papers which has recently been made available,
and even the persons who may in the future use this
catalogue as a guide to the original papers themselves,
will get only a very inadequate sense of the years
of labor that have gone into this sort of preliminary
editorial work. For this and other reasons I want to
record my indebtedness to those who most recently have
been and still continue to be engaged in that same
work of identifying, classifying, and reassembling.
Besides Max H. Fisch, for whom a special word of gratitude
is reserved, I wish to mention especially the contributions
of Carolyn Eisele to the mathematics and the history
of science sections of the Catalogue, of Ruth B. Fisch
to the biography and correspondence sections, and of
Don D. Roberts who ordered and provided a page-by-page
index of the important Logic Notebook (MS. 339) and
who had done considerable work on a number of logic
manuscripts. Although each of the persons mentioned
had areas of spe-cial interest, their efforts in behalf
of the Catalogue were not confined only to those areas.
Over the past few years earlier drafts of this catalogue
were in active use, and this afforded opportunity for
correction and am-plification. The present catalogue
is the beneficiary of both. So to those persons mentioned,
I owe much of what is valuable in this catalogue; for
its failures, I alone am responsible.
This catalogue would not have been possible had it not been for the generosity of the Department of Philosophy of Harvard University, not only for consenting to and encouraging the cataloguing project but also for contributing very substantial financial assistance along the way. Specifically, I want to acknowledge a grant for the academic year 1960-61, wich allowed me to prepare the ground for the Catalogue, and other grants which enabled me to complete the project. I want also to acknowledge my gratitude to Professors Morton G. White and Donald C. Williams, who made up the Peirce Committee of the Harvard Philosophy Department, for their cordial cooperation throughout the years I was engaged on the project; to the Department for permission to quote from the unpublished manuscripts; and to the Department, again, for its generous subsidy that cleared the way for publication of the Catalogue.
I also wish to express my gratitude to the Henry P. Kendall Foundation for a grant-in-aid which got me through one summer and to the Mount Holyoke College Grants Committee for a research grant which helped to defray the cost of preparing the manuscript for publication. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the librarians, both at Harvard and Mount Holyoke College, whose cooperation contributed to the success of this project, but in particular to Miss Carolyn Jakeman of the Houghton Library and to Dr. William Bond, its Director. I would also like to express my thanks to Leone Barron, Director of the University of Massachusetts Press, for her unfailing enthusiasm and valuable editorial advice; to several Mount Holyoke College students for help in various ways, but principally to Miss Diane Goldberg for her help in connection with Appendix II and the General Index; and finally to my wife for her help at different stages in the preparation of the Catalogue.
South Hadley, Massachusetts RICHARD S. ROBIN June, 1967