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Herbert Eugene Walter papers

Scope & content

The Herbert E. Walter papers consist primarily of correspondence, and teaching materials by and relating to Herbert Eugene Walter (1867-1945), Professor of biology at Brown University. Items span from 1893-1948, ranging from Walter’s student notes, to his lectures, letters and syllabi on biology, zoology, and chemistry. His student notebooks from Harvard University include notes on courses taught by Edward Laurens Mark, William Ernest Castle, and George Howard Parker. His student notebooks form Freiburg University include notes on courses taught by Radi Emmanuel, Franz Keibel and Hofrat Steinman. Correspondence and notebooks are of both a personal and academic nature. The collection also includes Walter’s early drafts of biology textbooks and correspondence related to his mentor Hermon Carey Bumpus, also a professor at Brown.

Collection includes extensive material on the study of eugenics, then a branch of biology, including correspondence, teaching materials, notes, pamphlets, published materials, and ephemera from eugenics-related professional organizations. Eugenics materials are present throughout the collection; explicitly eugenics-related materials are physically housed in their own series.

Other significant materials include family papers from Walter’s parents, grandparents and extended family who lived primarily in Vermont. There are penmanship instruction books from the 1840s-1850s created by Walter’s father, Augustus Porter Walter (d.1872), who was a penmanship instructor in Vermont. Betsie Ann Brockway Walter described in detail her experience working in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts during 1860-1861 in letters she wrote to her future husband Augustus P. Walter. There is also extensive correspondence written by Walter to his students who were serving in the military during World War I in Europe.