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Guide to the Henry R. Luce Papers
1894-2004 (bulk, 1932-1967)
 MS 3014

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Aleksandr Gelfand

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 04, 2018
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series IV. Family Correspondence and School Records , 1898-1973 (bulk, 1898-1948). 8.2 Linear Feet

Arrangement Note

The series is arranged mostly chronologically with the files divided into prominent periods of HRL's life consisting of his time as a child in China (1898-1907); his trip to the United States (1906-1907); family vacation at Iltus Huk, China (1908); Chefoo School (1908-1912); journey from China to attend school in St. Albans, England and his subsequent travels around Europe (1912-1913); Hotchkiss School (1913-1916); the summer he spent working for the newspaper the Springfield Republican prior to his entry into Yale (1916); his time at Yale (1916-1920), with a break for summer vacation when HRL worked on a farm (1917), and his military service at Camp Jackson, South Carolina and Camp Taylor, Kentucky (1918); studies at Oxford and travels around Europe (1920-1921); and working in Chicago and Baltimore before leaving for New York with Briton Hadden to work on the creation of TIME (1921-1922).

Scope and Contents Note

Series consists of original correspondence from Henry R. Luce (hereafter HRL) sent to his father, mother, jointly to his parents, sisters Elisabeth ("Beth"), Emmavail ("Vail") and to his brother Sheldon. In addition to the correspondence there are original poems, stories, sermons, doodles, stamps, as well as exams, essays, report cards and other school ephemera from his time in Chefoo, Hotchkiss, and Yale. Some of HRL's correspondence contains notes added by his parents and by others. A transcription manuscript of the original correspondence, which was part of a project undertaken in 1972-1973, is available within the series. There are also multiple sets of Photostatic positives and negatives at the end of the series. Originals, transcriptions and Photostats have not been fully reconciled. A small amount of correspondence in the series was not written by HRL and is indicated where found.

Additional correspondence and other materials related to HRL's family members are located in series III, subseries A, filed under individual names of the Luce family.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: - Folder : - Original Letters
Box: 71 Folder : 6 Letters from the Beginning, 1898-1907

Scope and Contents

Includes a set of pages from what appears to be a baby album containing the announcement of HRL's birth, his weight and the bestowal of his name; handwritten notes about HRL, a sketch of a house plan, letters to his father and to Dr. Kingdom which were dictated to his mother and signed by HRL, drawing of a flag and shapes, arithmetic and grammar test with a grade, a blank Chefoo school form, a report card from Chefoo Preparatory School, handwritten prayers, poems, the sermon "The Story of David," a short story "A Story of a Cat and Dog," drawing of two trees, apology note to his mother, and two valentine cards made by HRL for his father and mother.

circa 1898-1907
Box: 71 Folder : 7 Letters, 1906-1907 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes a letter sent from Pelham Manor, NY with a drawing of a steamship, sermons, Sunday school lessons written on the back of a large calendar page, letter to HRL's mother Elizabeth Luce from her Aunt Clara, and a letter of gratitude from Uncle Charlie in Scranton, PA.

circa 1906-1907
Box: 71 Folder : 8 Letters, 1906-1907 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes a drawing, notes on a sermon, and a plan to start a poultry farm.

circa 1906-1907
Box: 71 Folder : 9 Iltus Huk and Chefoo, 1908 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes a sketch of a house plan, and the compositions written by HRL "Work, Bless, Preach and Pray: A Missionary Hymn by Henry Robinson Luce written in 1908" and "Jesu Domminus." Pages from two of the letters are missing.

circa 1908
Box: 72 Folder : 1 Iltus Huk and Chefoo, 1908 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Contains a letter to Dr. Vail together with a large number of stamps in envelopes labeled 1.China (3 stamps); 2. Hong Kong (5 stamps); 3.China?-Kewriang (1 stamp); 4. Japan (6 stamps); 5.China?-Kiautschou (4 stamps); 6.China Deutsches Reich (1 stamp); 7.China - Shanghai (1 stamp); 8. China (7 stamps). Additional stamps in unnumbered envelopes consist of China - Hankow, Chefoo (2 stamps); Great Britain (4 stamps); Japan (3 stamps); Italy (1 stamp); Bavaria (1 stamp); Austria (4 stamps); Argentina (1 stamp); United States (1 stamp); Cape of Good Hope (1 stamp); Australia - Western Australia, New South Wales (3 stamps); Egypt (2 stamps); Netherlands (5 stamps); Siam (2 stamps); Belgium (2 stamps); Denmark (1 stamp); France (1 stamp); Sweden (1 stamp); Switzerland (1 stamp); Portugal (1 stamp); and Miscellaneous (6 stamps).

circa 1908
Box: 72 Folder : 2 Chefoo, 1909

Scope and Contents

Pages of some of the letters are missing.

1909
Box: 72 Folder : 3 Chefoo, 1910

Scope and Contents

Includes letters with stories "How the Crow Got It's Streak White" and "How the Man Became Master." One of the letters includes a set of pictographic riddles on well known books.

1910
Box: 72 Folder : 4 Chefoo, 1911

Scope and Contents

Includes HRL's letters from Peking, Tientsin and Tsing Tau. One of the letters includes an outline of work HRL has to do in school. Two of the letters discuss the Chinese Revolution.

1911
Box: 72 Folder : 5 Chefoo, 1912 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes an extract from HRL's letter to Mrs. Linen written in Mrs. Luce's hand, a handwritten notice announcing a debate where HRL will preside as chairman and his opening statement at the debate, the essay "The Use and Abuse of Fiction," a letter dated 24 March 1912 discussing a plan to start a school newspaper with HRL as Editor- in-Chief, and a letter from HRL to Miss Dolph.

1912
Box: 72 Folder : 6 Chefoo, 1912 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes the poem "Longing" written by HRL on the day before his 14th birthday, the poem "To a Missionary," and letter sent from Tengchow and Iltus Huk.

1912
Box: 72 Folder : 7 Trip to Suez, England, Europe, USA to Hotchkiss (folder 1 of 3)

Scope and Contents

Contains letters sent from Tientsin Puko Railroad, Nanking, Shanghai, Penang, Malaysia, ship Prinz Eitel Friedrich; Hong Kong, Singapore, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Port Said, Egypt, Naples and Genoa, Italy. Includes a passport photograph of HRL, a letter from Ella R. Shields to Mrs. Luce regarding HRL, a letter sent from Sri Lanka with two tree leaves taped to the front page. Pages of some of the letters are missing.

1912-1913
Box: 72 Folder : 8 Trip to Suez, England, Europe, USA to Hotchkiss (folder 2 of 3)

Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence sent from St. Albans, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and aboard the Hamburg-Amerika Line ship "Patricia." Includes HRL's poem "Idolatry." Part of one of the letters is missing.

1912-1913
Box: OS-Medium Trip to Suez, England, Europe, USA to Hotchkiss, 1912-1913 (folder 3 of 3) - oversize

Scope and Contents

Contains a map, likely of Brussels with HRL's text on the back describing his trip to Germany and Belgium.

1912-1913
Box: 72 Folder : 10 Hotchkiss and Yale Orations, Speeches, etc. 1913-1920

Scope and Contents

Includes the Van Dyck prize oration "Through Precedent to Liberty," the "Tentative 1916 Class Poem," "Kenneth Grahame," an untitled essay in competition for a prize, oration on the armament of the United States, the play "The Fortunes of War," the poem "Herod: Thus Spake Herod the Great," speech given before the Forum Literary Society titled "The Causes of the European War," the oration "Patches of Light," clipping of HRL's "Class Poem -1920," a Hotchkiss School Class Day Exercises Program; HRL's poem "Hotchkiss, Thy Blue and White!," and the oration "Individualism and Conviction." Also includes correspondence regarding HRL's address at Duke University in March of 1946.

1913-1920, 1946
Box: 73 Folder : 1 Hotchkiss and Yale Poems 1913-1920

Scope and Contents

Some of the poems were written by HRL before attending Hotchkiss and Yale. Poems include "August the Twenty Nine," "Life," "A Salvation Army Hymn," "Reflections on 'Twenty-Fourth of September,'" "Consecration," "Hotchkiss Thy Blue and White!," "La Fin," "Immortality," "To China," "Stanzas," "Shadows," "In Heaven," "Sacrifice," "God in the Eventide!," "Reveille!," and a handwritten version of "Class Poem - 1920."

circa 1908-1920
Box: 73 Folder : 2 Hotchkiss and Yale - Tests and Examinations (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes a letter from Professor Edgar Eugene Robinson sending HRL his Yale thesis "Theodore Roosevelt," and various blue book exams.

1913-1920, 1960
Box: 73 Folder : 3 Hotchkiss and Yale - Tests and Examinations (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes HRL's Greek exams, and a blue book with the highest mark ever given at the time on a final exam in English, and a December 1915 issue of The Hotchkiss Literary Monthly where HRL served as editor.

1913-1920
Box: 72 Folder : 9 Hotchkiss, 1913

Scope and Contents

Includes two of HRL's graded school papers "One of My Public Projects" and "A Lesson Taught Me by Franklin," a letter from HRL describing arrival in the United States and his preparations to go to school, and a clipping from a Hotchkiss publication mentioning HRL.

1913
Box: 73 Folder : 4 Hotchkiss, 1914 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes a detailed chart of miles walked by HRL, members of his family, and others, an untitled Christmas poem, and a letter sent from Chicago.

1914
Box: 73 Folder : 5 Hotchkiss, 1914 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes clippings from The Hotchkiss Record, a note added to one of HRL's letters by his mother to his father, letter to HRL from his father, notes on humility and forgiveness, a program for the Agora vs. Forum annual debate, a physical training department card with HRL's data, report cards, a prayer meeting card, honor roll cards, a ticket to the football game between Harvard and Yale, a ticket for the literary contest between Agora and Forum societies, and correspondence sent to HRL as editor of  The Hotchkiss Record and  The Hotchkiss Literary Monthly.

1913-1915
Box: 73 Folder : 6 Hotchkiss, 1915 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes the words for a school song by HRL "The White and Blue."

1915
Box: 73 Folder : 7 Hotchkiss, 1915 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes letters sent by HRL from Mill Valley, California, the West Coast and Chicago during his summer vacation.

1915
Box: 73 Folder : 8 Hotchkiss, 1916

Scope and Contents

Includes the first typewritten letter sent by HRL to his parents, a letter from Knox Hat Company to HRL regarding advertisement in The Hotchkiss Literary Monthly, and a letter from H. G. Buehler, headmaster of Hotchkiss, to Henry W. Luce complaining about HRL.

1916
Box: 74 Folder : 1 Summer of 1916 at Springfield, before Yale

Scope and Contents

Includes a note to HRL from his father regarding Dr. Buehler, a letter regarding journalistic opportunities in China, and letters from Linair and Williams Club in NY. Part of a letter is missing.

1916
Box: 74 Folder : 2 Yale, 1916-1917 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes two typed letters to HRL from his father, HRL letters sent from NY and Chicago, and HRL's report card.

1916-1917
Box: 74 Folder : 3 Yale, 1916-1917 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a typed letter to HRL from his father giving his son advice on classes, fraternities and other matters pertaining to Yale.

1916-1917
Box: 74 Folder : 4 Summer of 1917 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents Note

Letters from Linair where HRL spent the summer working on a farm.

1917
Box: 74 Folder : 5 Summer of 1917 (folder 2 of 2)
1917
Box: 74 Folder : 6 Yale, 1917-1918 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes an Alpha Delta Phi fraternity card addressed to HRL and the poem "Le Credo Patriotique" by Henry Lavedan.

1917-1918
Box: 74 Folder : 7 Yale, 1917-1918 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents Note

6 May 1918 letter includes HRL's opinions of marriage.

1917-1918
Box: 74 Folder : 8 Yale Daily News (Special File), 1918

Scope and Contents Note

Includes clipping announcing HRL's election to the editorial board of the News, a note on a telegram form from HRL's father? regarding HRL having been elected, and other correspondence regarding HRL's chairmanship of the  News.

1917-1918
Box: 75 Folder : 1 Wartime Letters from the Summer of 1918 to January 1919 and Return to Yale

Scope and Contents Note

Includes HRL's military pass, transparencies of some of the letters, a letter to Aunt Flo, a letter to Mrs. McCormick, a letter to HRL from Dean of Yale, Frederick S. Jones, and a sketch of Camp Taylor? Part of a letter is missing.

1918
Box: 75 Folder : 2 Yale, 1919-1920 (folder 1 of 2)
1919
Box: 75 Folder : 3 Yale, 1919-1920 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes an invitation to the Yale graduation ceremony and a letter sent from the Republican National Convention in Chicago.

1919-1920
Box: 75 Folder : 4 Europe and Oxford, July 1920-June 23, 1921 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes a letter from Geneva, Switzerland describing HRL's experiences at the League of Nations, and a letter regarding his smoking and drinking habits.

1920-1921
Box: 75 Folder : 5 Europe and Oxford, July 1920-June 23, 1921 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes letters sent from Germany, postcards of Oare Church and Lynmouth Bay, and an account of HRL's trip on the Orient Express.

1920-1921
Box: 75 Folder : 6 Chicago, Baltimore and New York, 1921-1922

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence regarding HRL's working on and being fired from The Chicago News, a detailed letter from HRL to his father regarding the selection of the name "TIME" for the new magazine, potential slogans, and its development and financing.

1921-1922
Box: 76 Folder : 3 Letters Regarding TIME, 1925-1938 & 1947-1948

Scope and Contents

Includes a letter dealing with the purchase of Time Inc. stock from the Hadden estate, a clipping with a caricature of HRL at the Banff Conference, a letter dealing with prohibition of liquor advertisements, a letter to HRL's father from Corinne Thrasher with an attached memo regarding a speech HRL made at the Yale Barn affair on the degradation of civilization. Also includes a carbon copy of a letter to Winston Churchill and a letter from HRL to his mother apologizing for a TIME article on Amsterdam.

1925-1938, 1947-1948
Box: 75 Folder : 7 Unsorted Letters, 1923-1939 (folder 1 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes letters mentioning a meeting with Conde Nast, wedding to Lila Luce, the birth of Henry Luce III and Peter Paul Luce, and a letter from Lila Luce to HRL's mother.

1923-1939
Box: 75 Folder : 8 Unsorted Letters, 1923-1939 (folder 2 of 2)

Scope and Contents

Includes a postcard of the Haleakala Crater in Maui, a letter sent to Kay and Reese Taylor, letters sent from HRL's first round the world trip in 1932, a letter from Lila Luce to HRL's mother with paper notes used by HRL to communicate with his wife and a nurse when he was undergoing a medical procedure, a letter discussing his appointment to have tea with Franklin D. Roosevelt, and an invitation to an exhibition and sale of items brought from England by Miss Florence T. Gay.

1923-1939
Box: 76 Folder : 1 Unsorted Letters, 1940-1948 (folder 1 of 2)
1940-1948
Box: 76 Folder : 2 Unsorted Letters, 1940-1948 (folder 2 of 2)
1940-1948
Box: - Folder : - Transcriptions
Box: 76 Folder : 4 Transcription Project Correspondence
1972-1973
Box: 76 Folder : 5 Index and Elm Excerpts
circa 1972-1973
Box: 76 Folder : 5 Index for Letters from HRL Covering Pages 218-583
circa 1972-1973
Box: 76 Folder : 6-9 Transcription Manuscript (4 of 7 folders)
circa 1972-1973
Box: 77 Folder : 1-3 Transcription Manuscript (3 of 7 folders)
circa 1972-1973
Box: - Folder : - Photostats and Negatives
Box: RC12 Folder : 10 From the Beginning
1898-1905
Box: RC12 Folder : 11 Letters
1906-1907
Box: RC12 Folder : 12 Iltus Huk and Chefoo
1908
Box: RC12 Folder : 13 Chefoo
1909-1910
Box: RC13 Folder : 1-2 Chefoo (2 folders)
1911-1912
Box: RC13 Folder : 3 Trip to Suez, England, Europe, USA to Hotchkiss
1912-1913
Box: RC13 Folder : 4-7 Hotchkiss (4 folders)
1913-1916
Box: RC13 Folder : 8 Hotchkiss and Yale Poems
1913-1920
Box: RC13 Folder : 9 Hotchkiss and Yale Orations, Speeches, etc.
1913-1920
Box: RC13 Folder : 10 Summer of 1916 at Springfield before Yale
1916
Box: RC13 Folder : 11 Yale
1916-1917
Box: RC13 Folder : 12 Summer of 1917
1917
Box: RC14 Folder : 1-2 Yale (2 folders)
1917-1920
Box: RC14 Folder : 3 Europe and Oxford
1920-1921
Box: RC14 Folder : 4 Chicago, Baltimore and New York
1921-1922
Box: RC14 Folder : 5 Personal Unsorted
1923-1939
Box: RC14 Folder : 6 Personal Unsorted
1940-1948
Box: RC14 Folder : 6 Personal Regarding TIME
1925-1938, 1947-1948
Box: RC14 Folder : 7 From the Beginning (2 folders)
1898-1905
Box: RC14 Folder : 8-9 Letters (2 folders)
1906-1907
Box: RC14 Folder : 10-11 Iltus Huk and Chefoo (2 folders)
1908
Box: RC14 Folder : 12-13 Chefoo (4 folders)
1909-1910
Box: RC15 Folder : 1-4 Chefoo (4 folders)
1911-1912
Box: RC15 Folder : 5-6 Trip to Suez, England, Europe, USA (2 folders)
1912-1913
Box: RC15 Folder : 7-12 Hotchkiss (6 folders)
1913-1916
Box: RC16 Folder : 1 Hotchkiss
1916
Box: RC16 Folder : 2 Hotchkiss and Yale Poems (2 folders)
circa 1905, 1913-1920
Box: RC16 Folder : 2-3 Hotchkiss and Yale Orations, Speeches, etc. (3 folders)
1913-1920
Box: RC16 Folder : 4 Hotchkiss and Yale Test and Examination Papers
1913-1920
Box: RC16 Folder : 5 Summer of 1916 at Springfield before Yale (2 folders)
1916
Box: RC16 Folder : 6-7 Yale (2 folders)
1916-1917
Box: RC16 Folder : 8-9 Summer of 1917 (2 folders)
1917
Box: RC16 Folder : 10 Yale (2 folders)
1917-1918
Box: RC17 Folder : 1-2 Wartime Letters and Return to Yale (2 folders)
1918
Box: RC17 Folder : 3 Yale Daily News Special File
1918
Box: RC17 Folder : 4 Yale (2 folders)
1919-1920
Box: RC17 Folder : 5-6 Europe and Oxford (2 folders)
1920-1921
Box: RC17 Folder : 7 Chicago, Baltimore, and New York
1921-1922
Box: RC17 Folder : 8-10 Personal Unsorted (3 folders)
1923-1939
Box: RC17 Folder : 11 Personal Unsorted
1940-1948
Box: RC18 Folder : 1 Personal Unsorted (2 folders)
1940-1948
Box: RC18 Folder : 2-3 Personal Regarding TIME Magazine (2 folders)
1925-1938, 1947-1948

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