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Henry S. Pritchett publications and speeches

Identifier: MC-0558

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Scope and Contents

The collection consists of speeches and publications of Henry Smith Pritchett, who was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1900 to 1907.


  • Creation: 1891 - 1924


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Biographical Note

Henry Smith Pritchett, 1857-1939, A.B., Pritchett College, 1875; Ph.D., University of Munich, 1895, was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1900 to 1907. Between 1875 and 1880 he worked as an astronomer and from 1881 to 1897 was professor of mathematics and astronomy at Washington University in St. Louis. He traveled to New Zealand for the Transit of Venus expedition of 1882. He served as superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1897 to 1900.

As president of MIT Pritchett created the office of the Dean, and also appointed the Institute’s first registrar, recorder, and medical advisor. He abolished intercollegiate football and substituted Field Day for Cane Rush after the annual sophomore-freshman donnybrook resulted in a death. He is perhaps best known for his unsuccessful efforts to negotiate a merger between MIT and Harvard in 1904, defeated by a court decision in 1905.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

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Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Guide to the Publications and Speeches of Henry S. Pritchett
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • 2021 October 8: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
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