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Hugo Münsterberg Collection

Call Number: MS Acc 1501-2500
Bakewell, Charles M. (Charles Montague), 1867-1957 autograph letter signed to Hugo Münsterberg, New Haven Conn., 04 March 1906
Bakewell, Charles M. (Charles Montague), 1867-1957 autograph letter signed to Hugo Münsterberg, New Haven Conn., 04 March 1906

Scope and Contents

The Hugo Münsterberg Collection contains roughly 3,000 letters, invitations, and newspaper clippings which collectively represent Münsterberg's professional network comprised of leading American and German scholars, scientists, businessmen, politicians, writers and philanthropists. The majoirty of the collection, which covers the period 1892-1916, is made up of letters between Münsterberg and his colleagues in philosophy and experimental psychology and bear on various facets of academic life including personal debates, intellectual disputes, lecture invitations, and gossip. In addition, there is correspondence with publishers, representatives of professional societies, and independent organizations, as well as correspondence relating to administrative matters at Harvard where Münsterberg was Director of The Psychological Laboratory and faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and Psychology. In addition, Münsterberg's prominent place in the German-American cultural politics of the period and the impact of World War I on his personal and professional life are also documented. Also of interest is correspondence related to the organization of the 1904 International Congress of Arts and Sciences in St. Louis, and the founding of the “Amerika-Institut” in Berlin around 1910. Stemming from his interests in applied psychology after 1906 are numerous exchanges with businessmen from various industries ranging from the railroad and electrical utilities to film.


  • 1890-1916
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/1944


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Hugo Münsterberg (June 1, 1863-December 16, 1916) was born in Danzing, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in  physiological psychology in 1885 and his medical degree in 1887. Münsterberg met William James in 1891 and in 1892 James invited him to a three-year term in the psychological laboratory at Harvard. Münsterberg returned to Germany for two years, but went back to Harvard in 1897 where he spent his entire career.


3000.00 Items

Language of Materials



Arranged into eleven series:

1. Correspondence

2. Correspondence Supplement

3. Applied Psychology

4. Addresses, Articles, Reports

5. Amerika-Institut

6. St. Louis Congress and Souvenirs

7. Supplemental Letters to Hugo Münsterberg, 1901-1916

8. Related Material: Addresses, Ephemera, Telegrams and Newspaper Clippings

Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Boston Public Library by Mrs. Hugo Münsterberg in 1944.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Rare Books and Manuscripts Department staff.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.

Hugo Münsterberg Collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Revision Statements

  • 2012: Updated by Jeremy Blatter in 2012.

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

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