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Marie Boisen Harvard University psychology lecture notebook

 Collection — Box: BW-6
Identifier: MS-0794

Content Description

Rewritten from dealer description:

This item is a notebook containing psychology lecture notes from Harvard University, created in 1899. The notebook was owned by Marie Boisen, one of the university’s early female students. Beginning with basic concepts of individual difference, her notes then report a series of lectures on physiological responses to mental activity making use of a series of experimental apparatuses: the sphygmograph, ergograph, and pendulum chronoscope to measure response during differing mental states (rest, computation, pain, laughter, and more). The notebook contains several diagrams, as well as numerous data outputs from laboratory devices and one cyanotype photograph affixed to the pages. This photograph depicts Boisen seated in a classroom with colleagues around a table of laboratory devices.

Psychology as a discipline at Harvard began as a branch of philosophy in the 1870s, with courses in the ‘new’ physiological psychology, but by 1892, Hugo Munsterberg had been appointed professor of experimental psychology and director of the psychological laboratory. According to one of the registers in this notebook, eight out of twenty students were women in this class held in 1899.

The notebook contains one hundred and forty pages, and measures 27 x 19 cm. It is bound in backed boards with brass paper fasteners. The inside front cover is labeled with: ‘University note covers’ and stamped by the manufacturer: ‘Charles W. Sever and Company, University Bookstore, - Cambridge, Mass”.


  • Creation: 1899-1900


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. 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.

Biographical / Historical

There is currently no additional biographical information avaiable on Marie Boisen.


.167 Cubic Feet (1 legal sized folder)

Language of Materials



This item is a Harvard University psychology lecture notebook. It was created in 1899 by Marie Boisen, an early female student at Harvard University. There is currently no additional information available on the creator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Justin Croft Antiquarian Books in March 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by Kristen Diehl in December 2017.


Guide to Marie Boisen Harvard University psychology lecture notebook
Kristen Diehl
December 2017
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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