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Frederick Jackson Turner Papers
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains the papers of American professor and historian Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932). Subjects covered: Turner's education; family affairs; business affairs, particularly with his publisher Henry Holt and Co.; ideas about the frontier, sectionalism, historical scholarship, professional matters generally, and politics; Turner's activities and experiences at Johns Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Harvard and the Huntington Library; teaching career; work with the Harvard Commission on Western History; work with the Dictionary of American biography project; and his role in the American Historical Association, particularly the "Bancroft insurrection" of 1915.
Background
American professor and historian Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932) was born November 14, 1861, in Portage, Wisconsin, the son of Andrew Jackson Turner, a journalist, politician, and local historian. After study at the University of Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins, Turner embarked on a teaching career in American history, first at the University of Wisconsin (1889-1910) and later at Harvard University (1910-1924). With the publication in 1893 of his essay "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," containing his thesis that American society owed its distinctive characteristics to experience with an undeveloped frontier, he became a figure of national importance historically. Though he wrote little, he was active in American Historical Association, and he was a guide and mentor to the future historians who passed through his classroom. His final years were spent in research at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, where his activities became increasingly curtailed as his health deteriorated. He died in Pasadena, California, on March 14, 1932.
Extent
Approximately 20,000 items in 259 boxes plus miscellaneous volumes. About 7,500 catalogued letters and documents; photographs; maps; lantern slides; 5 boxes of papers written by his students; 34 file drawers of his working notes and other data.
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.