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Noah Porter papers

Call Number: MS 1131

Scope and Contents

The Noah Porter Papers consist of correspondence, writings, and miscellaneous papers brought together in 1980 from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Yale Treasurer's Records, and the autograph collections and miscellaneous collections in this department. There is much Porter material remaining in other collections, especially the Woolsey Family Papers.

Series I, CORRESPONDENCE, consists mainly of letters to and from Noah Porter, professor of moral philosophy and metaphysics and president of Yale College. About three-fourths were written while he was serving as president, and the rest were written earlier. There is hardly any continuity in this correspondence, but most letters deal with Porter's responsibilities as professor and president. Besides his correspondence, there are five letters by his father, the Rev. Noah Porter of Farmington, and a few letters to his father and his wife.

Series II, WRITINGS, consists of sermons, lectures, and notes of President Noah Porter, mainly originating during his presidency but including a few items from his student days at Yale. These are mainly manuscripts of published and unpublished works.

Series III, OTHER PAPERS, is a miscellaneous gathering of personal, professional, and presidential papers by Noah Porter and others.


  • 1781-1889


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Noah Porter Papers were brought together in 1980 from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Yale Treasurer's Records, and the autograph collections and miscellaneous collections in Manuscripts and Archives.


Arranged in three series: I. Correspondence. II. Writings. III. Other Papers.


1.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence, notes, sermons, lectures, teaching materials, and memorabilia of Noah Porter. The major part of the correspondence, as well as of the other papers, deals with Porter's responsibilities as professor and president at Yale College. The few family letters are from his father, Rev. Noah Porter of Farmington, and from his wife, Mary Taylor Porter. His writings include lectures and sermons delivered at Yale College, 1871-1886. Also documenting his academic career are grade books, reports of Yale College committees, including one on the location of college buildings (1866), and papers relating to the American Education Society (1874-1889).

Biographical / Historical

Noah Porter: Congregational clergyman, educator, president of Yale College; B.A., Yale, 1831; studied at the Yale Divinity School with Nathaniel W. Taylor; ordained in 1836; from 1843-1846 pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts; president of Yale from 1871-1886.

Guide to the Noah Porter Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Susan Grigg
June 1980
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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Sterling Memorial Library
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