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Johns Hopkins University Josiah Royce collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0029
Josiah Royce (November 20, 1855 – September 14, 1916) was an American objective idealist philosopher. The Royce Collection spans the years from 1878 to 1916 and includes correspondence with members of the George B. Coale family (chiefly Mr. Coale, 1878 - 1887), his unpublished Hopkins dissertation, several manuscript compositions, photographs and lecture notes by a student in one of Royce's philosophy classes at Harvard.

Dates

  • 1878 to 1916

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.167 Cubic Feet (34 items)

Biographical Note

Josiah Royce was born on November 20, 1855 in Grass Valley, California. In 1866 the Royces moved to San Francisco where Josiah developed an interest in math that ultimately led to a B.A. at California (Berkeley) in 1875. Following a year of study at Gottingen and Leipzig, he joined the first goup of twenty Fellows at Johns Hopkins, receiving his PhD. in 1878. Upon his graduation Royce reluctantly returned to teach English at California, where he married Katherine (Kitty) Head in 1880.

In 1882 William James arranged for Royce to teach his courses at Harvard during his sabbatical, and Royce never left Harvard thereafter, becoming Professor of Philosophy in 1892. In 1885 he published The Religious Aspect of Philosophy, a statement of his post-Kantian idealism which emphasized some kind of metaphysical Absolute and reality as an act or experience of the mind. Other works followed including the popular Spirit of Modern Philosophy (1892), The Conception of God (1897) and his most systematic statement delivered in the Gifford Lectures at the University of Aberdeen, The World and the Individual (1900 - 1901). Late in life Royce returned to the subject of his early work in lectures at Manchester College, Oxford, published as The Problem of Christianity (1913). In this work the Absolute assumes the form of the "Beloved Community" to which the individual man was bound by patriotic fervor, loyalty and self- sacrifice. Royce died in Boston on September 14, 1916.

Scope and Contents

The Royce Collection spans the years from 1878 to 1916 and includes correspondence with members of the George B. Coale family (chiefly Mr. Coale, 1878 - 1887), his unpublished Hopkins dissertation, several manuscript compositions, photographs and lecture notes by a student in one of Royce's philosophy classes at Harvard.

The correspondence with the Coale family, with whom Royce became intimate while at Hopkins, concerns family matters (congratulations and condolences) reactions to California, discussions of current literature, philosophical musings and information related to the publication of The Religious Aspect of Philosophy which was dedicated to George B. Coale (Coale's inscribed copy is in Special Collections).

The Royce dissertation suggests his developing interest in philosophy, even though Hopkins had no formal training in the subject. His poem, "The Six Little Realists" suggest Royce's humor, and the lecture notes provide a clear picture of his style in the classroom.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The manuscript copy of Royce's dissertation was the gift of his widow, Katherine, in 1923. Mary B. Coale Redwood donated the Royce letters to her family in 1937 - 1938. Manuscript and typescript materials by Royce were given by Julius Loewenberg through George Boas in 1956, and by Frank Oppenheim in 1969.

Related Materials

Other Royce letters are found in the following collections: Daniel Gilman (30 letters to Gilman and 1 each to Thomas Ball (registrar), to J.M. Cross and to Edward H. Griffin); Arthur O. Lovejoy (4); Ira Remsen (3); Johns Hopkins Collection (2 to David Dewey); Basil Gildersleeve (1). The bulk of these letters are printed and all cited in John Clendenning, ed., The Letters of Josiah Royce.

Biographical material on Royce is available in the vertical file of the Ferdinand Hamburger Archives, Johns Hopkins University.

Reminiscenes of Royce by Mary Coale Redwood and Katherine Royce are in the Accession File for the Royce Papers.

The principal collection of Royce Papers is at Harvard University. Other institutions having Royce material include the Library of Congress and the University of California (Berkeley).

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Ben Primer in 1982.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA