Collection ID: LMC 2375
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Collection context


Perry, Ralph Barton, 1876-1957
The Perry mss., 1896-1961, consists of the writings, correspondence, and memorabilia of Harvard philosophy professor Ralph Barton Perry.
621 items
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Perry mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Scope and Content:

The correspondence series includes professional correspondence related to Perry's speaking engagements and publications, arranged chronologically from 1928-1961.

The writings series consists of drafts of speeches, notes, and articles, a great deal of it from the World War II period. It is arranged chronologically where possible. The longer works subseries contains book drafts, including Perry's unfinished autobiography and his unpublished book about Nazi ideology.

The memorabilia series includes awards and degrees, photographs, copies of Perry's published works, and newspaper clippings by and about Perry.

Biographical / Historical:

Ralph Barton Perry (1876-1957) was a professor of philosophy at Harvard and a leading member of the school of New Realism.

Dr. Perry received his A.B. at Princeton University in 1896, his M.A. from Harvard in 1897, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1899. He began his career as an instructor of philosophy at Williams College from 1899-1900 and Smith College from 1900-1902 before moving to Harvard. He achieved full professorship at Harvard in 1913, where he worked until his retirement in 1946. Over the course of his career, he wrote 22 books, in addition to many edited volumes, articles, and collaborations with others. His two-volume biography of William James won a Pulitzer in 1936.

During the First World War, Dr. Perry served as a major in the US Army and executive secretary of the War Department Committee on Education and Special Training. During the Second World War, Dr. Perry was chairman of the American Defense Group of Harvard and chairman of the University's Committee on Post-War International Problems.

In 1905, he married Rachel Berenson, and they had two sons. His son Bernard Berenson Perry would go on to serve as the first director of the Indiana University Press.

Acquisition information:
Gift: 1964

This collection is arranged into the following series: I. Correspondence, II. Writings, and III. Memorabilia.



This collection is open for research.


[Item], Perry mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452