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Ezra Stiles Papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 1475
Scope and Contents
The Ezra Stiles Papers contain correspondence; autograph manuscript writings, many incorporating maps and drawings; personal papers and artifacts; family papers; and writings by others and printed material owned by Ezra Stiles or the Stiles family. Correspondence, 1740s-1795, consists of incoming letters, autograph manuscript copies of outgoing letters, and related family and third-party correspondence. Writings by Stiles, 1740s-1795, include research notes, drafts, and other works, with emphases on biblical scholarship and languages; New England history, church history, and population; Native American population, languages, and cultures; and astronomy, meteorology, and silk production. Other papers include diaries relating to his research and writing, 1769-1795; diaries containing notes on travel in New England and the middle-Atlantic region, 1760-1794; diaries of weather observation in Newport, Rhode Island, and New Haven, Connecticut, 1763-1795; and sermons, 1751-1789. Most materials date from Stiles’s years as a minister in Newport, Rhode Island, 1755-1777, or his career at Yale as a student and tutor, 1742-1755, and as president, from 1777 until his death in 1795. Also present is a small amount of manuscripts relating to New England history or the Stiles family, 1660s-1730s; family papers, 1790s-1830s; papers of later descendants, 1840-1940s; and printed material about Stiles and the Stiles Papers, 1950s-1990s. The Papers document Stiles’s career as a clergyman and educator, his intellectual interests, and his engagement with colleagues and contemporary events. The Papers are a resource for the study of Yale and New Haven history, Native Americans in New England, and colonial and American religion, education, politics, science, and intellectual and social life.

For more information about contents of the Papers, see: “Ezra Stiles and His Papers,” in A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Ezra Stiles Papers at Yale University, edited by Harold E. Selesky (New Haven: Yale University Library, 1978).
Online access (Yale University Library Digital Collections)
Language of Materials
Chiefly in English and Latin; some materials in Hebrew or French.
Conditions Governing Access
This material is open for research.

Items requiring conservation treatment: Restricted fragile material. Temporary removal forms have been filed in the Papers. Microfilm or paper reference surrogates may be available. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Conditions Governing Use
The Ezra Stiles Papers are 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
Bequest of Ezra Stiles (Yale 1746), 1805.

Additions acquired by gift and purchase from Stiles family descendants and other sources, circa 1805-2011. For more information, see Appendix 1: Provenance Additions to Stiles Bequest.
Organized into seven series: I. Correspondence, 1703-1903. II. Itineraries, 1760-1794. III. Literary Diary, 1769-1795. IV. Meteorological Journals, 1763-1795. V. Miscellaneous Volumes and Papers, 1667-1948. VI. Sermons, 1751-1794. VII. Information About Ezra Stiles and the Stiles Papers, 1957-1991.
Location of other archival materials
Edward Taylor Collection (GEN MSS 1476), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Records of early Yale College Presidents in: Records of the Treasurer, Yale University (RU 151), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. Yale University Corporation Records (RU 164), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

Objects in: Yale Objects Collection (RU 104), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

Paintings and objects in: Yale University Art Gallery.

Ezra Stiles Collection (MSS 7), New Haven Museum.

Second Congregational Church Records, Newport Historical Society.

Printed materials owned by Stiles may be found in the Yale University Library online catalog by searching "Stiles, Ezra" as a special collections subject.
Majority of material found within 1740-1795
40.23 Linear Feet ((89 boxes) + 3 broadside)
Related Names
Stiles, Ezra, 1727-1795
Language of Materials