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Howard Richards papers

Call Number: MS 1057

Scope and Contents

These papers consist primarily of correspondence, printed matter, and memorabilia related to Howard Richards' missionary work at Boone College (an institution supported by the Protestant Episcopal Church) in Wuchang, China, his position as secretary to Yale-in-China, and his writings about China. The papers were originally arranged by Richards in chronological order within a loose-leaf scrapbook, and after removal from the binder they have been left in the original order. The letters come from a wide variety of religious, educational, and philanthropic organizations, and from individuals interested in missionary work and in China. There are also some copies of letters from Richards. The printed matter and memorabilia include pamphlets, annual reports of the Yale Mission College in Changsa, several religious tracts in Chinese, and similar materials.

Also in the collection is a folder of letters exchanged between Richards and Joseph B. Eastman of the Interstate Commerce Commission concerning transportation facilities through the Pottsville Gap in Pennsylvania from 1937, and one of correspondence and printed matter, including a pamphlet and several newspaper clippings, relating to the American Metric Association, of which Richards was secretary. A copy of Richards' obituary completes the collection.

The provenance of this collection is unknown.


  • 1907-1959


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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Chiefly correspondence, printed matter, and memorabilia related to Howard Richards' missionary work at Boone College in Wuchang, China and his position as secretary to Yale-in-China. Also included is correspondence concerning transportation facilities through the Pottsville Gap in Pennsylvania and printed matter relating to the American Metric Association, of which Richards was secretary.

Biographical / Historical

Howard Richards, Ph.B. 1900.

Born June 27, 1877, in Elizabeth, N.J.; Died September 25, 1940, in Detroit, Mich.

Father, Howard Richards (Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Law 1859-62), a lawyer in New York City; son of Benjamin Wood Richards (B.A. Princeton 1815) and Sarah Ann (Lippincott) Richards of Philadelphia. Mother, Harriet (Mayo) Richards; daughter of Edward Carrington Mayo (B.A. 1811) and Adelaide (Marx) Mayo of Richmond, Va. Yale relatives include an uncle, William C. Mayo (B.A. 1852).

Lawrenceville (N.J.) School. Electrical engineering course; Freshman Football Team; University Football Team Senior year; Class deacon; Class Day Committee; member Yale Corinthian Yacht Club and St. Elmo and Delta Phi.

Associated with Metropolitan Street Railway Company 1900-01 and New York Edison Company 1901-02; attended Columbia University 1902-03 (E.E. 1903); secretary Earl Hall, Columbia University, 1903-04; attended General Theological Seminary a few months 1904; teacher of physics and chemistry and in charge science department Boone College, Wuchang, China, 1905-16; organized Metric Association of China 1910; made a study of provincial weights and measures and standardized them on metric standards for Chinese government; at request of Indian government did similar work for provinces of that country; an organizer American Metric Association 1916 and secretary 1916-40; contributed articles on metric weights and measures to periodicals; made Officier d'Académie République Française 1919; director Laurel Hill Cemetery; member Yale Engineering Association, Trade Executives Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society of Industrial Engineers, and Trinity Church (Episcopal), Pottsville.

Married December 7, 1912, in Philadelphia, Maud, daughter of John Ashhurst, Jr. (B.A. Univ. of Pennsylvania 1857, M.D. 1860), and Sarah Stokes (Wayne) Ashhurst. Children: Howard Ashhurst, ex-'36 S., John Ashhurst, '37 E., and Owen, '40 S.

Death due to pyonephrosis. Buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia. Survived by wife, sons, a sister, Miss Sara Lippincott Richards of Westport, Conn., and a brother, Edward C. M. Richards, '09 S., '11 F.

(Taken from Yale University Obituary Record, 1940-43, p. 198).

Guide to the Howard Richards Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
June 1983
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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