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Alexander Metcalf Fisher Papers

 Collection
Call Number: GEN MSS 1473

Scope and Contents

The Alexander Metcalf Fisher papers consist of correspondence, scientific and personal writings, school notes, eulogies, and other material by or about the Yale College student (Class of 1813) and Yale professor. Drafts and calculations for articles on mathematics, physics, astronomy, and other subjects published between 1817 and 1822, as well as scripts for forty lectures in natural philosophy, illustrate Fisher’s academic career in the context of contemporary scientific learning. Documenting the social, economic, religious, and emotional life of a young man living in New England during the Early Republic are extensive correspondence written by Fisher to his parents from 1809-1821, and eight personal and travel diaries. Correspondents also include other relatives, the Fisher family’s pastor Nathanael Emmons, and Yale affiliates. Also contained in the collection is a portrait of Fisher engraved on copper by Simeon Smith Jocelyn.

Dates

  • 1803 - 1898
  • Majority of material found within 1809 - 1822

Creator

Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Alexander Metcalf Fisher Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Willard J. Fisher, 1921.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. Correspondence, 1809-1825. II. Writings, 1803-1822. III. Personal and Family Papers, 1813-1898.

Extent

5.8 Linear Feet ((16 boxes) + 1 art)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.fisheram

Overview

The Alexander Metcalf Fisher papers consist of correspondence, scientific and personal writings, school notes, eulogies, and other material by or about the Yale College student (Class of 1813) and Yale professor. Drafts and calculations for articles on mathematics, physics, astronomy, and other subjects published between 1817 and 1822, as well as scripts for forty lectures in natural philosophy, illustrate Fisher’s academic career in the context of contemporary scientific learning. Documenting the social, economic, religious, and emotional life of a young man living in New England during the Early Republic are extensive correspondence written by Fisher to his parents from 1809-1821, and eight personal and travel diaries. Correspondents also include other relatives, the Fisher family’s pastor Nathanael Emmons, and Yale affiliates. Also contained in the collection is a portrait of Fisher engraved on copper by Simeon Smith Jocelyn.

Biographical / Historical

Alexander Metcalf Fisher was born in 1794 in Franklin, Massachusetts, to Caleb Fisher (1768-1862) and Sarah Cushing Fisher (1771-1835). Fisher studied at Yale College from 1809-1813, and at the Andover Theological Seminary in 1814, before returning to Yale in 1815 to serve as a tutor. He was later promoted to Adjunct Professor (1817) and Full Professor (1819) of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Before his premature death in the wreck of the ship Albion on 1822 April 22, Fisher was engaged to women’s education advocate Catharine Esther Beecher (1800-1878).

Separated Materials

Thirteen printed items received with the collection, consisting largely of sermons, religious pamphlets, eulogies, and scientific texts, were removed for separate cataloging in April 2018. In the library's online catalog, those items are identified by the local note "From the Alexander Metcalf Fisher Papers", and the subject heading "Fisher, Alexander Metcalf, 1794-1822 -- Ownership". They can be found in the catalog by searching the phrase "Fisher, Alexander Metcalf" in the Special Collections Subject field.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards. For more information, please refer to the Beinecke Manuscript Unit Processing Manual.

Former call numbers: MS Vault Fisher AM, MS Vault Section 5 Drawer 3, Z150.

The collection was first inventoried and verified in 1921-1922, and received partial arrangement and file description circa 1966 and 2015. Notes in typescript created circa 1966 were left in the folders with the material they describe. A collection file containing the original collection inventory can be found in Box 1.

Printed materials listed in the original inventory or legacy catalog records not found as of April 2018: Works of Virgil ("2 volumes bound together, London, 1794"), American Journal of Science and Arts (unspecified issues), and Catalogue of the members of the Connecticut Alpha of [the Phi Beta Kappa...] (1813).

Title
Guide to the Alexander Metcalf Fisher Papers
Status
Completed
Author
By Ève Bourbeau-Allard
Date
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.