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Alfred Lawrence Ripley papers

Call Number: MS 1082

Scope and Contents

The Alfred Lawrence Ripley Papers are composed of material kept by Ripley only in his service as alumni fellow of the Yale Corporation. Records of his professional activities as a banker, director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and trustee of Phillips-Andover Academy are not included. The papers are mainly correspondence with university officials, though occasional minutes of meetings, memoranda, reports, and press releases are also included. The papers are arranged in chronological order.

Ripley joined the corporation in 1899, but there are no papers prior to 1908 and there are no papers from 1911-1913. The papers primarily document Ripley's role as a consultant on questions of Yale finance, investing policy, and the use of estates and other gifts to the university. The 1909 and 1910 correspondence is between Ripley and Arthur Twining Hadley, John W. Bristol, George Parmly Day and Edward Salisbury Dana and largely concerns the Salisbury and Frank D. Allen estates. From 1914 to 1916 there is almost daily correspondence with Day concerning the trading of securities. In later correspondence there is discussion of the Alumni Committee on the Plan for University Development and the use of the John W. Sterling bequest (1918); the work of the Committee on Educational Policy (1919); the choice of a successor for Arthur Twining Hadley (1920-22); the Kellogg estate (1925); and the Hadley estate (1930-31). Throughout there are references to the development of professional schools such as law, forestry, medicine, and nursing. In the early 1930s there are discussions of investment policy in the face of the stock market crash and worsening economic conditions. Other correspondents include Anson Phelps Stokes, Thomas Wells Farnam, Robert M. Hutchins, and James Rowland Angell. The papers end with the termination of Ripley's term of service on the corporation.


  • 1908-1933


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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Alfred Lawrence Ripley, 1941.


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence, reports, memoranda, minutes, and press releases filed by Alfred Lawrence Ripley concerning only his service as alumni fellow of the Yale Corporation. The papers primarily document Ripley's role as a consultant on questions of Yale finance, investment policy, and the use of estates and gifts to the University. Primary correspondents include presidents and treasurers of Yale.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Lawrence Ripley, B.A. 1878.

Born November 6, 1858, in Hartford, Conn.; Died October 13, 1943, in Andover, Mass.

Father, George Ripley, president National Hide & Leather Bank of Boston; son of Franklin and Charlotte (Barrett) Ripley of Greenfield, Mass. Mother, Mary Elizabeth (Aiken) Ripley; daughter of John and Mary Means (Appleton) Aiken of Andover. Yale relatives include: Frank R. Shipman '85 (brother-in-law); and G. Ripley Cutler, '16 and Thomas L. Shipman, '28 (nephews).

Phillips-Andover. Berkeley Premium for Latin Composition Freshman year; philosophical oration appointment Junior year; high oration appointment and Scott Prize in German Senior year; Class baseball team and University Baseball Team Senior year; Class glee club and treasurer Class boat club Sophomore year; Junior Promenade Committee; member Delta Kappa, Hé Boulé, Phi Theta Psi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Scroll and Key, and Phi Beta Kappa. Graduate member Elizabethan Club.

Attended Yale Graduate School 1878-79 (on University Baseball Team), Harvard Medical School 1879-80; and the universities of Bonn and Berlin 1882-83; tutor in Latin Yale University 1880-82 and in German 1883-85, assistant professor of German language and literature 1885-88; banker in Boston 1888-1943; vice-president National Hide & Leather Bank 1890-1901 and consolidated State National Bank 1901-08, president 1908-12; first vice-president Merchants National Bank of Boston (merged with State National Bank) 1912-17, president 1917-29, and chairman of the board 1929-43; a director Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 1923-27, lecturer Amos Tuck School of Administration and Finance, Dartmouth College, 1905 and 1906; M.A. Hon. Yale 1888 and LL.D. 1935; LL.D. Dartmouth 1935; alumni fellow Yale Corporation 1899-1933 (member Prudential Committee 1901-33, Committee on Finance 1905-33, and Committee on Educational Policy 1919-23, 1928-30); trustee Peabody Museum of Natural History 1924-29; Class agent 1930-39 and Class treasurer 1930-43; president Yale Club of Boston 1923-25, Boston Clearing House Association 1924-33; trustee Phillips-Andover 1903-43 (president of the board 1908-29), Provident Institution for Savings 1917-43 (vice-president 1932-43), and Crocker, Burbank & Company Association 1934-42; moderator Andover town meetings; associate member American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Death due to bronchial pneumonia. Buried in Chapel Cemetery, Andover. Survived by a brother, Philip F. Ripley '97.

Mr. Ripley's gift of 500 books to Yale in 1898 formed the nucleus of the seminary library in the Department of German.

(Taken from Yale University Obituary Record, 1943-45, pp. 8-9).

Guide to the Alfred Lawrence Ripley Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane Ellen Kaplan and Andrew Stewart
February 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

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