Special Collections: Hopkins History


Special Collections provides a wealth of information on the history of the Johns Hopkins University. The Ferdinand Hamburger Archives is the official archival repository for the Homewood Campus divisions. The Archives collection of Hopkins history is strong in the areas of governance, administration, academic affairs, student publications, clubs and organizations.

The Archives is rich with information on the early history of the university. For example, The Records of the Board of Trustees (RG 01.001) contain an original copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, signed August 24, 1867; Minutes of a Special Committee of the Board of Trustees set up to deal with the university's financial crisis in 1888-1889;  correspondence documenting and detailing the searches for new presidents, 1912-1913, 1934-1935, 1948; and correspondence with Trustees, 1874-1876. The Records of the Office of the President (RG 02.001) also supply a wealth of information, although only scattered files contain items from the years prior to 1903. Cash books and ledgers can be  found in The Records of the Office of the Treasurer (RG 09.001). For a list of all the archival record groups, click here.

The manuscript collections contain the personal papers of Hopkins' earliest presidents: Daniel C. Gilman; Ira Remsen; Frank J. Goodnow; Joseph S. Ames; and Isaiah Bowman; and the correspondence and other papers of early faculty members, especially the historian Herbert Baxter Adams, the classicist Basil L. Gildersleeve, and the physicist Henry A. Rowland.

One interesting collection is the Johns Hopkins University Collection 1870-1940. It is an artificial collection made up of manuscript material that was formerly part of the University History Collection. The University History Collection was begun as a catch-all for documents and manuscripts that related to the University's history. Johns Hopkins did not have a University Archives until 1974 so when archival material relating to the University's history was discovered, it was placed in the University History Collection.

Contact the Archives.