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James Gates Percival collection

Call Number: YCAL MSS 703
Scope and Contents

The James Gates Percival Papers consist of writings, notebooks, personal papers, correspondence, maps, and other papers. Writings are autograph manuscripts of poetry and prose compositions on linguistics, geology, and geography, including several drafts of his Report on the Geology of Connecticut, as well as chemistry notes by West Point professor James Cutbush. Percival's notebooks contain writings and notes on a broad range of topics in addition to classroom notes from school, college, and his medical school days. Personal papers include contracts, agreements, and subscriber lists related to his publications, inventories and invoices documenting his large library collection, and other financial papers, primarily bills for personal expenses including room, board, and clothing. Correspondence files hold letters to and from many prominent colleagues and scholars such as Benjamin Silliman and Edward C. Herrick in New Haven, friends including George Hayward in Boston, his publishers Sidney Babcock, Samuel G. Goodrich, and Samuel Walker, and editors such as Eliza Leslie and Louisa C. Tuthill. Percival was a member of the New Haven Sing-Song Club and the collection documents his contributions to that organization. Also present is a portrait painting of Percival by his brother Edwin Percival, and small groups of papers regarding Percival's life and work complied by J. H. Ward, Herbert E. Gregory, and others, including a memoir of him by Caroline Howard Gilman.

Language of Materials

Most materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The James Gates Percival Collection 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 Julius H. Ward (Yale 1860), after 1866. Other acquisitions are noted at the folder level.


Organized into six series: I. Writings, 1800-1854. II. Notebooks and Notes, 1807-1840. III. Personal Papers, 1819-1851. IV. Correspondence, 1816-1856. V. Printed Material, 1822-1856. VI. Maps and Artwork, 1830-1840. VII. Other Papers Related to Percival and His Work, 1859-1944.

1800 - 1944
Majority of material found within 1820 - 1850
5.34 Linear Feet ((16 boxes) + 1 broadside folder, 1 art)
Related Names
Percival, James Gates, 1795-1856
Cutbush, James, 1788-1823
Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888
Gregory, Herbert E. (Herbert Ernest), 1869-1952
Percival, Edwin, 1793-
Ward, J. H. (Julius Hammond), 1837-1897
Language of Materials
Language of Materials