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Henry Winters Luce Family Papers

Call Number: RG 203
Scope and Contents

This collection of Henry Winters Luce Family papers consists mainly of manuscript and typescript correspondence, (family, general and professional) as well as journals, original compositions, printed matter, clippings and a few photos. The papers trace Henry Winters Luce's work as a missionary in China and also follow the lives of his wife, his children and other family members. The collection provides a valuable resource for research related to Protestant higher education in China and the Luce family.

The papers were originally organized by archivists hired by the Luce family. The order in which the papers were received has been altered somewhat to meet Yale standards. The family's archivists compiled an index to correspondents, which is available in Box 1, Folder 1.

These papers should be consulted in conjunction with two other collections at the Yale Divinity Library:Record Group No. 11, Archives of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, contains extensive complementary documentation related to Henry Winters Luce's work at Shantung Christian University and Peking (Yenching) University. Also of interest is Microfilm Ms43, which includes Henry Winters Luce letters held by the Hartford Seminary Foundation. This microfilm includes 14 items from the period 1914-1916 and circa 136 items from 1928-1941, chiefly correspondence re. Kennedy School of Missions and Silver Bay seminars.

Series I, Family Correspondence, is divided into three subseries. The first subseries includes correspondence of Henry Winters Luce and his wife Elizabeth Root Luce to their parents, with each other, with their children, and with Mary Wood, cousin of Elizabeth Root Luce. Henry Winters Luce would often correspond with his son Henry's secretary, Corrine Thrasher, to confer about certain matters before taking up Henry's time. The second part of Series I includes correspondence of family members that is neither to nor from Henry Winters Luce or Elizabeth Root Luce. This section includes extensive thank you letters to HRL for the HWL Memorial volume that he had sent to many people.

Series II, General Correspondence, is divided into two subseries: correspondence of Henry Winters Luce with others, arranged chronologically, and correspondence of Elizabeth Root Luce.

Series III, Writings and Notes, includes writings by Henry Winters Luce and his son, Henry R. Luce. The Collected Materials of Series IV primarily relate to China, including documentation of Shantung Christian University and Peking (Yenching) University. Of particular note in Series V, Biographical Documentation, are a compilation of letters tracing the activities of the Luces from 1897 to 1904 and the tributes gathered for the memorial booklet published after HWL's death.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to Yale University

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Peter Paul Luce, 2006.

  1. I. Family Correspondence, 1887-1951
  2. II. General Correspondence, 1877-1948
  3. III. Writings and Notes, 1897-1948
  4. IV. Collected Materials, 1894-1941, no date
  5. V. Biographical Documentation, 1897-1948
1877-1951 1910-1941
Majority of material found within 1910 - 1941
5 Linear Feet (9 boxes)
Related Names
Luce, Henry Winters, 1868-1941
Language of Materials