Burgess family papers, 1830-1968  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Burgess family; Burgess, Edward Sandford, 1855-1928; Burgess, Julia
Burgess family papers
23.5 linear feet, (32 containers)
4 unprocessed linear feet, (3 containers)  :  1 oversize folder, 1 half manuscript box, and 1 small photo box
Collection Number
Coll 209
The Burgess family papers primarily consist of the records of Chalon Burgess, a Presbyterian minister, his wife Emma, their sons Edward Sandford and Theodore Chalon, their daughter Sarah Julia Burgess (who went by Julia), as well as other family members. Collection material includes correspondence, school and professional papers, prose and poetry, travel material, financial and investment documents, material on the Burgess rare manuscripts and book collection, miscellaneous manuscripts and publications, scrapbooks, and photographs.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Access Restrictions

UNARRANGED COLLECTION. UNAVAILABLE FOR USE. For more information, please submit a Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections .

Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Burgess family consists of grandfather Jacob Burgess, his son Chalon Burgess and his wife Emma, their sons Edward Sandford Burgess (and his wife Irene) and Theodore Chalon Burgess (and his wife Laura May and their daughter Helena), and their daughter Sarah Julia Burgess who inherited and donated the family papers as well as her brother Edward's rare manuscript and book collection to UO Special Collections and University Archives.

Sarah Julia Burgess (who went by Julia) was born in Panama, New York in 1870. She graduated from Wellesley in 1894 and taught in western New York state public schools, in Westfield, Tonawanda, and Silver Creek. She earned her A.M. at Radcliffe in 1901. After the death of her mother in 1907, Julia accepted an assistant professorship in English at the University of Oregon where she taught until she retired in 1941. She wrote poetry and articles, supported women's suffrage and temperance, and made several private investments in land and timber claims around Eugene, Oregon. She was an avid traveler to Europe, Alaska, the Middle East, and New England and many of her photographs are preserved in the collection.

Sarah Julia Burgess produced two manuscripts, one a memorial to her brother Edward Sandford Burgess, and the other an unpublished catalog of the Burgess Collection of rare medieval manuscripts, incunabula, and rare or first edition books from the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries, now housed in the Rare Books collection of Special Collections and University Archives of the University of Oregon. She was the surviving member of her family and her estate included papers and possessions of her parents, brother's and other family members. It is these family records that formed the Burgess family papers.

Chalon Burgess (1817-1903) was a pastor who served towns in western New York from 1850-1898. He graduated from the State Normal School of Fredonia, New York in 1840 and received his diploma from Hamilton College in 1844. He taught school in Buffalo and Nunda, New York from 1846-1848, and then attended Auburn Theological Seminary and graduated in 1849. Chalon then began his long career as a Presbyterian minister.

Edward Burgess was the oldest child of the family and he left home when his sister was still an infant. He graduated from Fredonia in 1875, and received an A.B. in classical studies from Hamilton College in 1879. He taught at several schools for the next fifteen years, and then returned to college to earn a Ph.D. in botany at Columbia University in 1899. He was a professor at Hunter College from 1895-1925, becoming dean of the biology department. He published several books and articles on botany, anthropology, and Cape Cod history. He also collected rare books and manuscripts which were donated to UO Special Collections by his sister Sarah Julia Burgess and which now make up the Edward Burgess Manuscript Collection, the Edward Burgess Early Printed Book Collection, and the Edward Burgess 19th and 20th Century Book Collection

Theodore Burgess was the middle child of the family and also graduated from Fredonia (1879). He graduated from Hamilton with an A.B. and as valedictorian, and in 1886 he earned his A.M from the same college. Between 1883 and 1896 he was an instructor at Fredonia. In 1898 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. In 1897 he began a long career at Bradley Polytechnic Institute, starting as instructor, then dean, and finally, president of the Institute (1897-1925).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Collection material includes correspondence, school and professional papers, prose and poetry, travel material, financial and investment documents, material on the Burgess rare manuscripts and book collection, miscellaneous manuscripts and publications, scrapbooks and photographs.

Series I: (Sarah) Julia Burgess material contains correspondence, scholastic material, writings, travel materials, financial documents, biographical material, other material, and material regarding the Edward Burgess rare manuscripts and book collection.

Correspondence is separated into outgoing and incoming sections and organized alphabetically by last name. Scholastic material also includes correspondence as well as class material from Wellesley and Radcliffe and memoirs, syllabi, exams, essays, and notes from the University of Oregon. Materials from official and social functions at UO are also included (1913-1941).

Writings by Julia Burgess are organized by subject and/or type and include a journal (1889-1890), poetry, writings from the UO, Wellesley, and from her travels, and writings about herself and her family. There are also memoirs, articles regarding the Burgess family, and eulogies by Julia Burgess under biographical material.

Travel materials include journals, expense ledger, notes, itinerary, brochures (ca. 1880s-1933), and travel writings. Financial documents include timber claims, deeds, property documents, maps, publisher correspondence, insurance documents, and other business transaction records.

Other materials include autograph and address books, invitations and announcements, suffrage literature, campaign literature, theater, church and school programs, greeting cards, and newspaper clippings.

The Burgess rare manuscripts and book collection materials detail the work done to identify and authenticate the rare materials and include book dealer correspondence, book and manuscript catalogs, inventories, appraisals, correspondence regarding collection, University of Oregon inventories, purchase orders, correspondence, articles and announcements. Also included are the manuscripts, drafts, and proofs that Julia Burgess created as she worked to produce a catalog to the Burgess collection.

Series II: Edward Sandford Burgess material includes correspondence, book collection material, writings, other material, and biographical material.

Correspondence is separated into outgoing and incoming sections and is organized alphabetically by name. Book collection material also includes correspondence and transactions with book dealers, notes, list of donation to Silver Creek library, and transcribed letters to the court of Louis XVI.

Writings include an anthropology series, articles and essays on botany subjects, poetry, speeches, genealogical and biographical material. Another section of biographical material contains wills, eulogies, and biographical manuscripts.

Other materials include news clippings organized by subject, notes on courses, and social club affiliations.

Series III: Chalon Burgess material includes genealogy, correspondence, and writings.

Genealogy material consists of Burgess family genealogy and chronology, and a chronology of Charon and Emma Burgess's marriage by Julia Burgess.

Correspondence is separated into outgoing, incoming and subject sections, all organized alphabetically by name. Included here are religious and political advertisements, appeals and pamphlets.

Writings include compositions, criticisms, notes, receipts, expense list, and Presbyterian Church member monographs.

Series IV: Jacob Burgess material contains a correspondence fragment and an account ledger (1833-1835; 1853).

Series V: Emma Burgess material consists of family correspondence, an account book, poetry writings, and Chautauqua miscellany.

Series VI: Theodore Burgess material contains correspondence organized by family member and by date (1854-1910), Bradley Institute miscellany, and eulogies.

Series VII: Irene Burgess (Edward's wife) material includes letters and a bequest to Julia Burgess, will correspondence, and genealogy.

Series VIII: Laura May Burgess (Theodore's wife) material contains letters to Julia Burgess and stories written by Laura May.

Series IX: Helena Burgess (Theodore and Laura May's daughter) material consists of letters to Julia Burgess and a story written by Helena.

Series X: Family genealogy and documents contains wills, poetry, essays, and genealogical material for other family members, including the Halsey, Johnston, and Sandford families.

Free-standing volumes include Burgess Genealogy, Edward Sanford Burgess, Memorial of the Rev. Chalon Burgess, as well as other books.

Photographs have been removed and are stored separately under the call number PH185 for preservation purposes. Photographs include negatives and prints of Burgess family members and friends, of Julia Burgess's travels to Europe, the Middle East, around New England and other parts of America, and of rare books and manuscripts.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Burgess family papers, Coll 209, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Book collectors--New York (State)
  • College students--Oregon--Eugene
  • College teachers--Oregon--Eugene
  • Manuscripts--Collectors and collecting--United States
  • Rare books--Collectors and collecting--United States
  • Women college teachers--Oregon--Eugene

Personal Names

  • Burgess, Chalon, 1817-1903
  • Burgess, Edward Sandford, 1855-1928
  • Burgess, Emma, 1830-
  • Burgess, Helena
  • Burgess, Irene
  • Burgess, Jacob, 1775-1855
  • Burgess, Julia
  • Burgess, Laura May
  • Burgess, Theodore C.

Corporate Names

  • University of Oregon
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Oregon. Libraries. Special Collections & University Archives

Family Names

  • Burgess family
  • Burgess family
  • Burgess family

Geographical Names

  • New York (State)--Genealogy
  • Oregon--Social life and customs

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Genealogies (histories)