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Edwin Munsell Bliss papers

Call Number: MS 919

Scope and Contents

The Edwin M. Bliss Papers deal for the most part with experiences of Americans living and traveling in the Middle East in the mid and late 1800s. Approximately one third of the collection is made up of essays written by Bliss (included are manuscript and typed drafts and galley proofs; many of the essays were probably published) describing his travels in the Near East, as well as Near Eastern and Biblical history. More detailed accounts of his travels can be found in his journals and letters written during a trip from Constantinople to Mesopotamia, Georgia, and Persia in 1879 and an undated trip from Alexandria to Khanakhi (Al-Khanakah) in Egypt. The papers contain correspondence of Bliss with family members and fellow missionaries, and some correspondence of his parents, Isaac and Eunice (Day) Bliss. Included are a journal in the form of a letter from Eunice Bliss describing her voyage to Turkey in 1847, and letters from her husband describing his travels around Turkey in the summer of 1850. Most of the Edwin Bliss correspondence is contained in two letterbooks covering the period 1873-1883; many of these letters offer lengthy discussions of political and social conditions in Constantinople and of his missionary work in the Ottoman Empire. Finally, also in the collection are Edwin Bliss's passports and travel documents and a draft of the will of Marie Louise (Henderson) Bliss.


  • 1847-1912
  • Majority of material found within 1873 - 1883


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are 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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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.


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence, writings and travel journals kept during Edwin Munsell Bliss's travels in the Near East while an agent for the American Bible Society in the Levant (1872-1888). His writings are devoted to his travels, and letters from family and friends also describe their experiences as missionaries living and traveling in the Near East. Also included is the will of Bliss's first wife, Marie Louise Henderson Bliss.

Biographical / Historical

Edwin Munsell Bliss was born in Erzrum, Turkey, on September 12, 1848. He was the son of a minister sent to Constantinople by the American Bible Society for the Levant. He received an A.B. from Amherst College in 1871 and later studied at Yale Divinity School. He spent his life performing various jobs in the United States for the government and abroad with missionary organizations. He also worked for various newspapers, including a job at The Independent between 1891 and 1901. He was editor of the Encyclopedia of Missions. He was married to Marie Louise Henderson and after her death, to E. Theodora Crosby. He died on August 6, 1919.

Guide to the Edwin Munsell Bliss Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
November 1982
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

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