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Charles Rockwell Lanman papers

Identifier: MS-0196

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Scope and Contents

The collection consists of lectures delivered by Lanman while at Johns Hopkins University from 1876 to 1880. The lectures cover various topics in the field of languages and linguistics, such as dialects, the development of certain sounds in Indo-european languages, Sanskrit, and Indian language and culture. Lanman was a philologist and what was then described as an "orientalist." These unpublished lectures, presented before the Johns Hopkins Philological Association, illustrate some of Lanman's earliest thoughts on historical linguistic studies.


  • Creation: 1876-1880


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.

Biographical Note

Charles Rockwell Lanman was born on July 8, 1850, in Norwich, Connecticut. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1871, and his Ph.D., also from Yale, in 1873. Lanman pursued post-doctoral studies in Germany from 1873-1876.

In 1876, Daniel Coit Gilman, president of the newly formed Johns Hopkins University, invited Lanman to become a Fellow at Hopkins. Lanman accepted, and in fall, 1876, taught a seminar in Sanskrit. In 1878, Lanman was appointed assistant professor of Sanskrit in the Department of Philology, and elevated to associate professor in 1879.

Although Lanman accepted an appointment for another year in May, 1880, Harvard University's generous offer, made 10 days later, of a full professorship, took Lanman from Baltimore to Cambridge. He remained at Harvard for the rest of his career.

At Harvard, Lanman was the founder and first editor of the "Harvard Oriental Series." He returned briefly to Hopkins in 1898 as the Percy Turnbull Memorial Lecturer in Poetry.

Lanman died in 1941 at the age of 91.


0.24 Cubic Feet (1 legal half-size document box)

Language of Materials



Charles Rockwell Lanman, born July 8, 1850 was a philologist in the late nineteenth and early twentienth centuries. The collection consists of lectures delivered by Lanman while at Johns Hopkins University from 1876 to 1880.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The lecture notes were originally part of Lanman's papers at Harvard University. The Custodian of the Harvard Archives, Clifford L. Shipton, offered them to Hopkins on two separate occasions. The first part of the material came in 1951, and the rest in 1952.

Related Materials

The bulk of Lanman's papers are at Harvard University.

Separated Materials

The manuscripts were integrated into an artificial collection, "The Johns Hopkins University Collection," MS.0137. In September 1987, it was decided by the Manuscripts Librarian that they properly formed an independent collection.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Margaret N. Burri in September 1987.

Liz Beckman revised the Scope and Content and Biographical notes, and an item title, in this finding aid in January 2024 to bring them into compliance with Johns Hopkins guidelines for inclusive and conscientious description (2023). The previous version of the finding aid is available upon request.

Charles Rockwell Lanman papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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