Archives > Online Collection Guides

ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS

Office of the Provost Records. Charles C. Harrison Administration
1854-1943 (bulk 1891-1927)

UPA 6.2H

5.5 Cubic feet
Prepared by Kaiyi Chen, revised by J.M. Duffin
March 2000

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

 

PROVENANCE

The collection is formed from the gifts of George L. Harrison, son of Charles Custis, 1936 - 1952, and George Harrison Talbot and the family of Margaret Harrison Robbins, 2010. Part of the University Museum of Archæology and Anthropology series was previously classified as the records of the University Museum (UPB 65.1, Box 3). 

 

Return to the top

ARRANGEMENT

The Charles Custis Harrison files of the Office of the Provost are organized into eight series. They are University of Pennsylvania (1892 - 1929); University Museum of Archæology and Anthropology (1891 - 1927); Fundraising records (1887 - 1926), Speeches (1895 - 1926), Memoirs (1925), Memorabilia (1892 - 1910), Personal papers (1858 -1929), Family papers (1854 - 1943). All series are arranged alphabetically by topic and then chronologically. 

 

Return to the top

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Charles Custis Harrison was born in Philadelphia on May 3, 1844, the son of George Leib and Sarah Ann (Waples) Harrison. His early education was at the private school of Miss Tatham on Pine Street in Philadelphia and the parish school of St. Luke's Episcopal Church before entering Episcopal Academy. He received the Bachelor of Arts in 1862, the Masters of Arts in 1865, and an honorary LL.D. in 1911 from the University of Pennsylvania. As the co-owner of a very profitable sugar refinery, he became a Trustee of the University in 1876 and continued in this capacity until his death in 1929. In 1894, at the urging of his colleagues, he became the Provost of the University. His years as Provost, 1894-1910, were a time of expansive growth for the University, especially in the number of buildings added to the campus. Using his extensive personal contacts from his business and political associates, Harrison raised funds (making large contributions himself) for dormitories as well as Houston Hall, the University Museum, the Medical Laboratory, the Law, Engineering, and Dental School buildings from the wealthy of Philadelphia society. After stepping down as Provost, he continued his involvement with the University as the Vice President and later, President, of the Board of the Managers of the University Museum (1911-1929). During this period, joint expeditions with the British Museum were planned and carried out and many works of art were procured for the Museum. Harrison won the Philadelphia Award in the year 1924. He died in Philadelphia on February 12, 1929. He married Ellen Nixon Waln in 1870. 

 

Return to the top

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Charles Custis Harrison Files of the Office of the Provost Records document his activities as Provost of the University of Pennsylvania and as Vice President and President of the Board of Directors of the University Museum. This collection though part of the Office of the Provost Records, includes material from almost all aspects of Harrison's career with the University of Pennsylvania. It will aid research in the history of the University Museum, University fundraising, and the development of the university in the United States. 

The Charles Custis Harrison Papers contain outgoing correspondence from his years as Provost of the University of Pennsylvania (1894-1911). The correspondence relates to his job duties as Provost: budgetary, program development, building construction, and faculty hiring. Frequent correspondents include William Draper Lewis, Edward W. Mumford, Charles H. Frazier, J. Hartley Merrick, Josiah Harmar Penniman, and William Otto Miller. There is a collection of letters sent to him from a variety of leaders in the field of education, philanthropy and the University on the occasion of his retirement. 

The collection also includes correspondence concerning the formative years of the University Museum of Archæology and Anthropology and its academic arm - the Department of Archæology and Palæology. There are copies of the minutes of the Board of Managers of the Museum as well as correspondence with key figures, such as Sara Y. Stevenson, Clarence H. Clark, E.W. Clark, John Henry Haynes, H.V. Hilprecht, Morris Jastrow, Jr. Typescript copies of the Museum's first excavation project at Nippur in present day Iraq complement the correspondence. In addition to these early records, the collection contains correspondence about the museum's management and collections in the 1920s during Harrison's final years as President of the Board of Managers. 

Information on Harrison and his family can be found in the personal and family papers series. It includes newspaper clippings and some correspondence concerning the business career of Charles Custis as well as some of the family's interest in the arts, such as his purchase of "Breaking Home Ties" by Thomas Hovenden (and includes a photograph of the artist painting the picture). There is a small amount of material relating to Harrison's wife Ellen Nixon Waln and her interest in history and the Colonial Dames. 

Researchers should note that more records regarding Harrison's term as Provost of the University can be found in the Archives General Collection (UPA 3).

Return to the top

CONTROLLED ACCESS HEADINGS

Corporate Name(s)

  • National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
  • University of Pennsylvania. -- General subdivision--Administration.;
  • University of Pennsylvania. -- General subdivision--Buildings.;
  • University of Pennsylvania. -- General subdivision--Curricula.;
  • University of Pennsylvania. -- General subdivision--Faculty.;
  • University of Pennsylvania. -- General subdivision--Finance.;
  • University of Pennsylvania. University Museum.
  • Washington Memorial Chapel (Valley Forge, Pa.).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Nippur (Extinct city)

Personal Name(s)

  • Clark, Clarence H., (Clarence Howard), 1833-1906
  • Clark, Edward W., 1828-1904
  • Fisher, Clarence Stanley, 1876-1941
  • Frazier, Charles H., (Charles Harrison), 1870-1936
  • Gordon, G. B., (George Byron), 1870-1927
  • Harrison, Charles Custis, 1844-1929
  • Harrison, Ellen N., (Ellen Nixon), 1846-1922
  • Haynes, John Henry, 1849-1910
  • Hilprecht, H. V., (Hermann Vollrat), 1859-1925
  • Hovenden, Thomas, 1840-1895
  • Jastrow, Morris, 1861-1921
  • Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949
  • Merrick, J. Hartley, (James Hartley), 1869-1946
  • Miller, William Otto, 1877-1931
  • Mumford, Edward W., (Edward Warloch), 1868-1941
  • Penniman, Josiah Harmar, 1868-1941
  • Peters, John P., (John Punnett), 1851-1921
  • Stevenson, Sara Yorke, 1847-1921

Subject(s)

  • College buildings--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.

Return to the top

 

INVENTORY

 

University of Pennsylvania 

Box

Folder

Letterpress books 

December 1899-December 1901 

1

1

December 1901-October 1903 

1

2

October 1903-November 1904 

1

3

October 1904-November 1905 

1

4

November 1905-July 1906 

1

5

July 1906-October 1907 

1

6

October 1907-November 1907 

1

7

November 1907-March 1910 

1

8

March 1910-September 1911 

1

9

General correspondence 

 1899-1900 

1

10

 1902-1903 

1

11

 1904 

1

12

 1905 

1

13

 1906 

1

14

 1907 

1

15

 1908-1910 

1

16

 1921 

2

1

 1922 

2

2

 1922 

2

3

 1923 

2

4

 1928-1929 

2

5

n.d. 

2

6

Subject files 

Alumni clubs and organizations 1901-1908 

2

7

Astronomical Observatory 1894 1903 

2

8

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 1906 

2

9

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 1907 

2

10

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 1907-1908 

2

11

Department of Hygiene 1892 1904 

2

12

The Dormitory System (publication) 1895 

2

13

George Leib Harrison Foundation 1895-1897 

2

14

George Leib Harrison Foundation, history 1906 

2

15

German Department 1894-1897 

2

16

Law School Cornerstone Laying 1899-1900 

7

1

Library Committee 1892-1897 

2

17

Library Committee 1898-1907 

2

18

Physical Laboratories 1893-1899 

2

19

Prizes 1895-1896 

2

20

Psychology Department 1891-1907 

2

21

Retirement as Provost, 1910-1911 (vol. 1) 

A-C 

7

2

D-F 

7

3

G-I 

7

4

J-L 

7

5

M-N 

7

6

O-R 

7

7

7

8

T-Z, Index 

7

9

Retirement as Provost, 1910-1911 (vol. 2) 

Newspaper clippings 

(1) 

7

10

(2) 

7

11

(3) 

7

12

Correspondence 

(1) 

7

13

(2) 

7

14

Scholarships 1893-1904 

2

22

Scholarships, Hideyo Noguchi 1903 

2

23

Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology 1893-1899 

2

24

Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology 1900-1906 

2

25

Scrapbooks of news items relating to Harrison 

Includes honorary degree news for Theodore Roosevelt and Kaiser Wilhelm 1905 

8

1

General 1905-1907 

5

36

Return to the top

 

University Museum of Archæology and Anthropology 

Box

Folder

Department of Archæology and Palæontology 

 1891-1894 

2

26

 1894 

2

27

 1895 

2

28

 1896-1897 

2

29

 1898-1899 

2

30

 1900-1901 

2

31

 1902-1904 

3

1

 1905-1908 

3

2

Hilprecht Peters Controversy 

(1) 1905 

3

3

(2) 1905 

3

4

Committee to Investigate 

Correspondence and reports 1905 

6

1

Transcript, pp. 1-76 

6

2

Transcript, pp. 77-135 

6

3

Transcript, pp. 106-117 

6

4

Transcript, pp. 136-163 

6

5

Transcript, pp. 165-178 

6

6

Transcript, pp. 179-221 

6

7

Transcript, pp. 179-221 (copy 2) 

6

8

Transcript, pp. 222-335 

6

9

Transcript, pp. 222-335 (copy 2) 

6

10

Transcript, pp. 336-552 

6

11

Transcript, pp. 336-552 (copy 2) 

6

12

Transcript, pp. 336-552 (copy 3) 

6

13

Nippur Expedition Reports 

 1893 

3

5

 1894 

3

6

 1895 

3

7

 1895-1896 

3

8

Museum 

 1911-1916 

3

9

"Sundry 'papers' concerning Museum troubles" 1914-1917 

3

10

 1917-1920 

3

11

 1921 

3

12

 1922 

3

13

 1923 

3

14

 1923 

3

15

 1924 

3

16

 1924 

3

17

 1925 

3

18

 1925 

3

19

 1926 

3

20

 1926 

3

21

 1927 

3

22

 1927 

3

23

 1927 

3

24

n.d. 

3

25

Letterpress book May 1912-November 1919 

4

1

Letterpress book November 1919-December 1924 

4

2

Museum building plans 1895 1922 

4

3

Board of Managers Minutes (copies) 

 1895-1900 

4

4

 1901 

4

5

 1902 

4

6

 1903 

4

7

 1904 

4

8

 1905 

4

9

 1906 

4

10

 1907 

4

11

 1908 

4

12

Return to the top

 

Fundraising records 

Box

Folder

Subscription ledgers 

 1897-1901 

4

13

No. 2 1897-1907 

4

14

No. 3 1907-1906 

4

15

Subscription books 

Dining Hall 1895 

4

16

General fund/endowment 

 1892-1895 

4

16

 1896-1900 

4

17

 1900-1902 

4

18

 1903-1911 

4

19

Five-year pledges 

 1897 

4

20

 1898 

4

21

 1902-1903 

4

22

Increase in salary fund 1916 

4

23

New dormitories 1903-1904 

5

1

New Law School building 1899 

5

2

New Medical Laboratories 1898 

5

3

New Engineering Departments 1901-1906 

5

4

School of Architecture equipment 1897 

5

5

University Library 1887-1888 

5

6

University Publication Fund 1907 

5

7

University Museum of Archæology and Anthropology 

$250 pledges 1911-1921 

5

8

$500 pledges 1912-1926 

5

9

$1,000 pledges 1912-1926 

5

10

$5,000 and above pledges 1911-1926 

5

11

$100,000 pledges 1924-1927 

5

12

Loose correspondence and papers from books 1896-1900 

5

13

Loose reports from books 1908 

5

14

Return to the top

 

Speeches 

Box

Folder

 1895-1900 

5

15

 1901-1912 

5

16

Return to the top

 

Memoirs 

Box

Folder

 1925 

5

17

Return to the top

 

Memorabilia 

Box

Folder

Dinner of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania to Provost Harrison, menu 1906 

5

18

Dinner of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania to Provost Harrison, program 1906 

5

19

Dinner by the Committee of the Babylonian Exploration Fund to the Rev. John P. Peters 1892 

5

21

Graduate Department for Women Formal Opening, program 1892 

5

20

History the University of Pennsylvania during the administration of Charles C. Harrison 1910 

5

22

"The Minute of the Board of Trustees upon Mr. Harrison's Resignation and Other References...", special bound book of reprints 1910 

5

23a

Return to the top

 

Personal Papers 

Box

Folder

Correspondence 

Latta, William J. 1886-1895 

5

24

Memorials regarding Harrison's death 1929 

5

25

Scrapbook of correspondence, photographs and newspaper clippings 

Scrapbook pages 1885-1894 

8

2

Loose items 

Clippings 

8

3

Student notes, letters 1858-1892 

8

4

Letters, tableau vivant instructions 1892-1893 

8

5

Letters, interior photograph of house (Locust Street), photograph of William Penn grave 1892-1894 

8

6

Washington Memorial Chapel, Valley Forge 1921-1926 

5

26

Student work, University of Pennsylvania 

Accounts of expenses for clothing 1860-1861 

5

27

Student papers and reports 1858-1862 

5

28

Return to the top

 

Family Papers 

Box

Folder

Ellen Nixon Waln Harrison 

Correspondence 

Burk, Jesse Y. 1891-1900 

5

29

Campus grounds 1902-1906 

5

30

Gordon, George B., regarding Lenape Club c. 1907 

5

31

Harrison, Charles C.; University of Pennsylvania; Mount Vernon 1894, 1909-1911 

7

15

Houston Club, University of Pennsylvania 1905 

5

32

Hughes, Charles E. 1910 

5

33

Society of Colonial Dames and Independence Hall 1894-1895 

7

16

George L. Harrison 

Promissory notes 1854-1866 

5

34

Recollections of father Charles C. Harrison 1942-1943 

5

35

Return to the top