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Harry W. Tyler papers

Identifier: MC-0091

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection documents the career of Harry Walter Tyler. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Tyler was member of the MIT faculty in the Department of Mathematics from 1889 to 1930. The collection includes a biographical sketch, correspondence between Harry W. Tyler and his parents (1887-1889), and other family correspondence. There are journals about Tyler's travels to England and Germany (1887-1888), and notebooks from classes he took in Göttingen and Erlangen. Also included is a copy of A Short History of Science, which Tyler coauthored. Tyler's years at MIT are documented in correspondence with students about entrance requirements, and information about an article Tyler wrote for Technology Review, the MIT alumni magazine, about John D. Runkle's retirement in 1902. There are early records of the Department of Mathematics, including correspondence with faculty about appointments and biographical information about faculty members, and from his position as secretary of the faculty. The collection also contains correspondence and lists concerning Richard Maclaurin's inauguration as MIT president in 1909.


  • Creation: 1887 - 1939


Access note

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.


Harry Walter Tyler, 1863-1938, SB in chemistry, 1884, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was appointed assistant in mathematics at MIT in 1884, and instructor in 1886. He went abroad to study at Göttingen and Erlangen in Germany, and received a PhD in 1889. He returned to MIT and served as Secretary of the Faculty, 1889-1890, then resumed teaching as assistant professor of mathematics. He became associate professor in 1892, and professor in 1893. From 1891 to 1906 he was secretary of the Institute, clerk of the Executive Committee of the Corporation, and secretary of the faculty. He became head of the Department of Mathematics in 1902, and was named Walker Professor of Mathematics in 1910. He was chair of the faculty, 1913-1915. In 1907, with William T. Sedgwick, he began teaching an elective course on the history of science. They collaborated on the textbook A Short History of Science (1917). Tyler retired from MIT in 1930 as Walker Professor emeritus. He was a founding member of the College Entrance Examination Board in 1901, and contributed to the growth of the history of science movement by helping to found the History of Science Society in 1924.


1 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 2 microfilm boxes)

Language of Materials



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

Related Materials

MIT. Department of Mathematics reports (AC 123).

MIT. Department of Mathematics curricula (AC 480).

Collection of Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty publications (MC 305).

Robert Payne Bigelow Papers regarding A Short History of Science (MC 548).

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 Papers of Harry Walter Tyler
Ready For Review
Deborah Cozort, Joan Haas, Christina Tanguay
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
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