COLLECTION GUIDES

1849-1981

Offsite Storage Inventory

Restrictions on Access

The bulk of the Ralph Lowell papers are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

Note: This collection is PARTIALLY PROCESSED.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the papers of Ralph Lowell, businessman, soldier, philanthropist, civic leader, and educational television pioneer. The collection includes letters, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, and printed materials concerning Lowell's long association with Harvard and A. Lawrence Lowell; Lowell's activities at Lee, Higginson & Co. and the Boston Safe Deposit Co.; and his charitable work for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and WGBH educational television.

Collection Description

Papers of Ralph Lowell (1890-1978), banker, soldier, philanthropist, civic leader, and educational television pioneer. They consist of letters, diaries of Ralph Lowell (80 volumes), scrapbooks, photographs (removed to photo archives), and printed material. The collection includes correspondence, notebooks, and essays detailing Lowell's undergraduate education at Harvard (class of 1912), as well as materials illustrating his long association with Harvard, especially as president of the Harvard Club, and as a cousin and friend of Harvard president A. Lawrence Lowell.

There are in addition papers concerning Lowell's activities at Lee Higginson & Co. and as president of the Boston Safe Deposit Co., and other papers related to his charitable efforts in behalf of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the WGBH Educational Foundation. There are also papers and miscellaneous printed materials relating to Lowell's involvement in the Plattsburg, N.Y. military training camp movement, 1915-1917, and the Military Training Camps Association, 1940-1948.

Ralph Lowell married in 1917 Charlotte Loring (b. 1897) and the couple had 7 children: Charlotte (1918-1927), John (b. 1919), Ralph (b. 1923), Mary Emlen (b. 1925), Lucy (b. 1928), Susan (b. 1932), and James Hale 2nd (b. 1937). There are some papers in the collection of Charlotte Loring Lowell and some of the children, as well as genealogical papers and earlier materials relating to ancestors of Ralph Lowell.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Ralph Lowell, July 1979, with additions, 1981.

Restrictions on Access

The bulk of the Ralph Lowell papers are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

Note: This collection is PARTIALLY PROCESSED.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.

Restrictions on Use

The Massachusetts Historical Society does not claim ownership to the literary rights (copyright) of letters and documents written by individuals other than Charlotte Loring Lowell and Ralph Lowell in this collection. The Massachusetts Historical Society cannot give permission to publish or quote from documents by individuals for whom it does not hold copyright. Use of these materials does not imply permission to publish. It is the sole responsibility of the researcher to obtain formal permission from the owners of the literary rights (copyright) to publish or quote from documents in this collection.

Photocopies are for personal use only. Personal use photocopies may not be donated or deposited in other libraries or archives, or made available to other researchers without the written permission of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Summary Description of the Collection

Carton 1SH 14YR P
Misc. writings, ca. 1902-1940
Carton 1SH 14YR P
Correspondence, 1849-1912
Carton 2SH 14YS Q
Correspondence, world tour, 1912-1913; 1913-1944
Carton 3SH 14YT R
Correspondence, 1945-1977
Carton 3SH 14YT R
Obituaries, 1978
Carton 3SH 14YT R
Letters of condolence, 1978
Carton 3SH 14YT R
Guest book from Ralph Lowell's funeral, 1978
Carton 3SH 14YT R
Charlotte L. Lowell correspondence, 1969, 1978
Carton 3SH 14YT R
WGBH
Carton 3SH 14YT R
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Carton 3SH 14YT R
Interview with Ralph Lowell by Daniel M. Fox, 30 Jan. 1964
Carton 4SH 14YU S
Harvard University papers and notes, 1908-1912
Carton 4SH 14YU S
A. Lawrence Lowell correspondence, 1937-1942
Carton 4SH 14YU S
Harvard Coll. Board of Overseers, 1943-1952
Carton 4SH 14YU S
Harvard War Memorial Comm., 1946-1948
Carton 4SH 14YU S
Harvard Club, 1940-1947
Carton 5SH 14YV T
WWI military training camps, corresp. & papers, 1916-1918
Carton 5SH 14YV T
Military Training Camps Assoc., 1940-1948

Additions to collection, 1928-1977

Carton 5SH 14YV T
Ralph Lowell correspondence, 1928-1977
Carton 5SH 14YV T
DuPont-General Motors case, 1958-1959
Carton 5SH 14YV T
Bingham Associates Fund/New England Center Hosp., 1945-1956
Carton 5SH 14YV T
Essay on Labrador, n.d.
Carton 5SH 14YV T
Genealogical papers, some printed matter

Ralph Lowell diaries

Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 1
Line-a-day diary, 5-year type, 1904-1908
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 2
Line-a-day diary, 5-year type, only 1909 filled in, 1 Jan.-7 July, 1909, with gaps
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 3
Diary of trip to Chamberlain Lake, 6-13 Aug. 1907
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 4
Diary, vol. I, 13 Oct.-1 Dec. 1907
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 5
Diary, vol. II, camping trip, 2-7 Dec. 1907
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 6
Diary, vol. III, Arizona stay, 19 Jan.-12 Mar. 1908
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 7
Diary, camping trip, 24-26 Feb., 13 Mar.-12 Apr. 1908
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 8
Diary, 25 Apr.-8 May 1908
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 9
Diary, 9-17 May 1908
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 10
Diary, Arizona, vol. III, 19-30 May 1908
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 11
French notes with diary of camping trip, 28-30 June 1908
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 12
Diary, 21 July-23 Aug. 1908
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 13
Diary, camping trip, 2-5 Sep. [1908?]
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 14
Line-a-day diary, 1910
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 15
Line-a-day diary, 1911
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 16
Diary, vol. IV, 31 May-5 June [1911?]
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 17
Diary, [book I], 1-12 July 1911
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 18
Diary, book II, 12-20 July 1911
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 19
Diary, book III, 21-28 July 1911
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 20
Diary, [book IV], 28 July-6 Aug. 1911
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 21
Diary, book V, 6-18 Aug. 1911
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 22
Diary, [book IV], 18 Aug.-1 Sep. 1911
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 23
Diary, 1 July-1 Sep. 1911, typed with photographs
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 24
Diary, 1912, senior year at Harvard
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 25
Diary, trip around world, vol. I, 28 Nov. 1912-7 Jan. 1913
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 26
Diary, trip around world, vol. II, 8 Jan.-1 Mar. 1913
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 27
Diary, trip around world, vol. III, 1 Mar.-17 Apr. 1913
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 28
Diary, trip around world, vol. IV, 18 Apr.-29 May 1913
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 29
Diary, trip around world, vol. V, 29 May-11 June 1913
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 30
Diary, trip around world, vol. VI, 11 June-2 July 1913
Carton 6SH 14YW UVol. 31
Diary, trip around world, vol. VII, 2 July-1 Aug. 1913
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 32
Diary, trip around world, vol. VIII, 1-23 Aug. 1913
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 33
Diary, 4 Jan.-29 Dec. 1919, intermittent
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 34
Line-a-day diary, school year, Sep. 1914-June 1915
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 35
Line-a-day diary, school year, Sep. 1915-June 1916
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 36
Line-a-day diary, school year, Sep. 1916-June 1917
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 37
Diary, 6 Aug.-27 Nov. 1923
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 38
Diary, 2 Jan.-15 July 1928, with gaps
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 39
Diary, 26 June 1930-26 Dec. 1934, intermittent
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 40
Diary, 26 Dec. 1938-31 Dec. 1939
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 41
Diary, 1940
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 42
Diary, 1941
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 43
Diary, 1942
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 44
Diary, 1943
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 45
Diary, 1944
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 46
Diary, 1945
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 47
Diary, 9 Jan. and 8 Feb. 1945
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 48
Diary, 1946
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 49
Diary, 1947
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 50
Diary, 1948
Carton 7SH 14YX VVol. 51
Diary, 1949
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 52
Diary, 1950
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 53
Diary, 1 Jan.-16 Feb. 1951
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 54
Diary, 1951
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 55
Diary, 1952
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 56
Diary, 1953
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 57
Diary, 1953, "overflow diary."
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 58
Diary, 1954
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 59
Diary, 1955
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 60
Diary, 1956
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 61
Diary, 1957
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 62
Diary, 1958
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 63
Diary, 1959
Carton 8SH 14YY WVol. 64
Diary, 1960
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 65
Diary, 1961
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 66
Diary, 1962
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 67
Diary, 1963
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 68
Diary, 1964
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 69
Diary, 1965
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 70
Diary, 1966
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 71
Diary, 1967
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 72
Diary, 1968
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 73
Diary, 1969
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 74
Diary, 1970
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 75
Diary, 1 Jan.-14 Feb. 1971
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 76
Diary, 14 Feb.-31 Dec. 1971
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 77
Diary, 2 Jan.-20 Mar. 1972
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 78
Diary, 1974
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 79
Diary, 1975
Carton 9SH 14YZ XVol. 80
Diary, 1 Jan.-26 Sep. 1976

Other volumes

Carton 10SH 14Z1 0Vol. 81
Edward P. Hamilton diary, 1916
Carton 10SH 14Z1 0Vol. 82
Ralph Lowell Volkmann School lab notes, n.d.
Carton 10SH 14Z1 0Vol. 83
Ralph Lowell baseball score book, 1904, 1907
Vol. 84
Ralph Lowell Friday Afternoon Class, 1906-1907
Carton 10SH 14Z1 0
Ralph Lowell, loose diary pages, 1911, 1926-1927, 1930
Carton 10SH 14Z1 0
Ralph Lowell, "A Perfect Vacation," 1936
Carton 10SH 14Z1 0
Ralph Lowell, typed and photocopied misc. reminiscences
Carton 10SH 14Z1 0
Ralph Lowell, diary transcripts, Aug. 1907-May 1913
Carton 11SH 14Z2 1
Ralph Lowell, diary transcripts, June 1913-Dec. 1945
Carton 12SH 14Z3 2
Ralph Lowell, diary transcripts, 1946-1949
Carton 12SH 14Z3 2
Misc. typescripts of diary entries, addresses, essays, etc.
Carton 12SH 14Z3 2
John Lowell Jr. school papers, 1897, 1904-1905
Carton 12SH 14Z3 2
Misc. John Lowell papers, 1865-1921
Carton 12SH 14Z3 2
Misc. John and James H. Lowell items, 1929-1931
Carton 12SH 14Z3 2
Harvard University printed matter
Carton 13SH 14Z4 3
Printed matter, Plattsburg
Carton 13SH 14Z4 3
Misc. printed matter and newspaper clippings, unsorted
Carton 13SH 14Z4 3
Lucy Lowell trip overseas, 1981, postcards
Carton 13SH 14Z4 3
Cassette tape of "Grand Bostonians" show, 25 Apr. 1973

Scrapbooks

Carton 14SH 14Z5 4
Ralph Lowell, 1910-1912, Harvard
Carton 14SH 14Z5 4
Charlotte Loring Lowell, 1917-1918
Carton 14SH 14Z5 4
Charlotte Loring Lowell, 1917-1922
Carton 14SH 14Z5 4
Charlotte Loring Lowell, 1923-1932
Carton 15SH 14Z6 5
Charlotte Loring Lowell for Ralph Lowell, 1932-1935
Carton 15SH 14Z6 5
Charlotte Loring Lowell for Ralph Lowell, 1936-1939
Carton 16SH 14Z7 6
Charlotte Loring Lowell for Ralph Lowell, 1938-1944
Carton 16SH 14Z7 6
Charlotte Loring Lowell for Ralph Lowell, 1948-1950
Carton 17SH 14Z8 7
Charlotte Loring Lowell for Ralph Lowell, 1944-1948
Carton 18SH 14Z9 8
Charlotte Loring Lowell for Ralph Lowell, 1950-1953

Oversize Materials

1 oversize boxSTORED ONSITE at Ms. N-2077

Materials Removed from the Collection

Medals

Challenge Cup Boston Poultry Association medal [not in Storer]

Society of Mayflower Descendants medal, Charlotte Loring Lowell [not in Storer]

Society of Mayflower Descendants badge, Charlotte Blake Loring [not in Storer]

Park Memorial medal of Lowell Institute School [not in Storer]

Charlotte Lowell Memorial medal [not in Storer]

Ralph Lowell "Grand Bostonian" award medal [not in Storer]

American Legion 12th National Convention badge [not in Storer]

Ralph Lowell Award medal [not in Storer]

Delta Kappa Epsilon medals (3), John Lowell, John Lowell, Jr. & Ralph Lowell [Storer 0868]

Harvard Polo Club medal, Ralph Lowell [Storer 0909]

Institute of 1770 medals (2), John Lowell, Jr. & Ralph Lowell [Storer 0920]

Pierian Sodality medal, Lowell Family [G.S.E..] [Storer 0936; Julian RF-11]

Signet Club medal, Ralph Lowell [Storer 0942]

Sphinx Club medal, Ralph Lowell [Storer 0946]

Stylus Club Medal, Ralph Lowell [Storer 0947]

Centennial Anniversary Battle of Bunker Hill medal [Storer 0990]

Bunker Hill Monument/ Warren medal [Storer 2053]

Museum Objects

LOWELL Button (matrix for) [MHS Artifact no. 1066.01-.02]

LOWELL Tray [MHS Artifact no. 0954]

LOWELL Knife, cake [MHS Artifact no. 0953]

LOWELL Tray [MHS Artifact no. 0952]

BOOTT Elizabeth Needlework picture (framed) [MHS Artifact no. 0745]

LOWELL Ralph / EMERSON COLLEGE Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0914]

LOWELL Ralph / BOSTON UNIVERSITY Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0907]

LOWELL Ralph / BOSTON COLLEGE Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0908]

LOWELL Ralph / NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY L.L.D. Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0909]

LOWELL Ralph / TUFTS UNIVERSITY L.H.D. Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0910]

LOWELL Ralph / BATES COLLEGE L.L.D. Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0911]

LOWELL Ralph / BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0913]

LOWELL Ralph / LOWELL TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0915]

LOWELL Ralph / BOSTON COLLEGE Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0916]

LOWELL Ralph / BOSTON UNIVERSITY Gown, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0917]

LOWELL Ralph / SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY Hood, academic [MHS Artifact no. 0912]

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Paper weight with seal [MHS Artifact no. 1077]

USS CONSTITUTION / GRAND BOSTONIAN AWARD Plaque [MHS Artifact no. 1078]

EDELWEISS Flower, pressed [MHS Artifact no. 1067]

LOWELL John / Fob, seal [MHS Artifact no. 1068]

LOWELL John / Ring, mourning [MHS Artifact no. 1069]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [Infantry] [MHS Artifact no. 1074.01]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [U.S. Reserves] [MHS Artifact no. 1071.07]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [Infantry] [MHS Artifact no. 1074.03]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [Infantry] [MHS Artifact no. 1074.02]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [Lt. Col.] [MHS Artifact no. 1073.01-.04]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [Maj.] [MHS Artifact no. 1072.01-.02]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [Maj.] [MHS Artifact no. 1072.05-.06]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [Maj.] [MHS Artifact no. 1072.03-.04]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [U.S. Reserves] [MHS Artifact no. 1071.08]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [Infantry] [MHS Artifact no. 1074.04]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [U.S. Reserves] [MHS Artifact no. 1071.06]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pins [U.S.] [MHS Artifact no. 1071.01-.05]

LOWELL Ralph / Insignia pin [U.S. Reserves] [MHS Artifact no. 1071.09]

LOWELL Ralph / WWI Flag, service [MHS Artifact no. 1316]

LOWELL Genealogy plaque plaque, engraved and framed [MHS Artifact no. 1315]

LOWELL Shoe ribbon [MHS Artifact no. 1070.01-.02]

AT&T/ CLARK, DODGE & COMPANY Cable [MHS Artifact no. 1076]

HARVARD TERCENTENARY/ LOWELL Ralph / Baton, Marshal's [MHS Artifact no. 1065]

Graphics

Ink drawing on [card stock?], [1973], "Favorite 'Group' - The Grand Bostonians." Left to right: Arthur Fiedler, David T.W. McCord, Samuel Eliot Morison, Archibald MacLeish, John W. McCormack, Paul Dudley White, Ralph Lowell. Framed.

Preferred Citation

Ralph Lowell papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Lowell, A. Lawrence (Abbott Lawrence), 1856-1943.

Organizations:

Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company
Harvard College (1780- ). Class of 1912.
Lee, Higginson & Co.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Harvard University. Board of Overseers.
WGBH (Television station : Boston, Mass.)

Subjects:

Military education.