© 2006 University of Chicago Library
Tolman, Albert Harris. Notebooks
5 linear ft. (10 boxes)
Special Collections Research Center
Albert Harris Tolman, Professor of English at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1925. His notebooks contain notes for research and teaching on English language and grammar; Shakespeare; ballad and epic poetry; literary periods and individual authors They reveal how courses were organized, how they were taught, what approaches were taken, and what materials were used.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Tolman, Albert Harris. Notebooks, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Albert Harris Tolman was born in New Englands' Berkshire Hills in 1856. Tolman acquired his BA from Williams College in 1877. He then earned his. Ph.D. at Strassburg University, 1889. First serving as the principal of Chicopee Falls High School, in Massachusetts (1878-1882) Tolman then acted as a Professor of English at Ripon College (1884-1893) before moving to the University of Chicago as an Assistant professor (1893-1907). At the University of Chicago Tolman then assumed the position of Dean of the College (1895-1900) before rising to Associate Professor (1907-1914) and then full professor (1914-1925).
Tolman was an expert on Shakespeare and ballad and epic poetry with a special interest in song.
Tolman attended Williams College during the era of Mark Hopkins, the college Pastor and professor of Moral philosophy. Hopkins' philosophy was that education should prepare the student to make the proper moral decisions in life and this idea had a large impact on Tolman's teaching style. Tolman focused on directing the students toward philosophical questions that would help them to grow as scholars and as individuals. Although Tolman was friendly and generous in scholastics he was known for being independent and preferred to address people as individuals. Serious, stern, and severe in demeanor, Tolman preferred to pursue knowledge on his own abilities.
Tolman's colleague, Gerald B. Smith described the professor as "…a high-minded descendant of the Puritans set down in the very un-puritanic city of Chicago. His real home was the realm of scholarship." Smith saw Tolman as a righteous man defending his ideals against an increasingly corrupt world.
Tolman passed away on the 25th of December in 1928.
The Tolman notebooks have been divided into five series, reflecting Tolman's class duties and research interests.
Series I, English Language and Grammar, consists primarily of Tolman's well-organized notes for English 33, a course in grammar, and the manuscript of an untitled study of English grammar. Shorter studies include "The Laws of Tone-Color in the English Language" and "Sign-Words and Pro-Words in Modern English."
The bulk of the Shakespeare section, Series II, is made up of notebooks in which Tolman prepared his class assignments and lectures. The same Shakespeare play may appear in a number of notebooks, for Tolman's approach would vary from course to course and year to year. Tolman's own numbering system has been followed in the organization of these notebooks. The manuscript of Tolman's Questions on Shakespeare is also included in this section, as is some incidental material that can be identified in the Index.
Series III comprises notebooks of lectures on epic and Old English poetry and a number of studies of dialect songs, popular ballads, and folk songs.
Series IV includes notebooks which cover a wide range of literary periods and authors. Most of these notebooks seem to have been prepared for particular courses, although the course is not always specified. There is additionally, in Box 9, some material of a miscellaneous nature. Of particular interest here are some notes on the theory of fiction and an essay entitled "Some Suggestions about Method in the Teaching of English Literature."
Series V is a typescript of Edward T. Owen's "Linguistic Aberrations."
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
Frederick Ives Carpenter. Papers
Edward K. Putnam. Notebooks
Series I: English Language and Grammar
|Box 1 Folder 1|
English 33. English Grammar. Sections I-XIV
|Box 1 Folder 2|
English 33. English Grammar. Sections XV-XX
|Box 1 Folder 3|
English 33. English Grammar. Sections XXI-XXIV
|Box 1 Folder 4|
English 33. English Grammar. Sections XXV-XLIII
|Box 1 Folder 5|
English 33. Examination questions; bibliography; letter from W. A. Craigie
|Box 1 Folder 6-8|
Study of English Grammar (in manuscript and untitled)
|Box 2 Folder 1|
Study of English Grammar
|Box 2 Folder 2|
Study of English Grammar Typed chapters
|Box 2 Folder 3|
"The Laws of Tone-Color in the English Language" (in manuscript and bound)
|Box 2 Folder 4|
"Sign-Words and Pro-Words in Modern English"
Series II: Shakespeare
|Box 2 Folder 5-7|
English 73. Problems in Shakespeare. Lecture Subjects
|Box 2 Folder 8|
"Do We Possess a MS Written by Shakespeare's Hand?"
|Box 2 Folder 9|
"The Structure of Shakespeare's Tragedies."
|Box 2 Folder 10|
|Box 3 Folder 1|
"Questions on Shakespeare" (MS of book)
|Box 3 Folder 2|
"Questions on Shakespeare" (cont.)
|Box 3 Folder 3|
Book review of Shakespeare's England
|Box 3 Folder 4|
|Box 3 Folder 5|
|Box 3 Folder 6|
|Box 4 Folder 1|
|Box 4 Folder 2|
|Box 4 Folder 3|
|Box 4 Folder 4|
|Box 4 Folder 5|
Lecture Notes. Julius Caesar; How to Read a Novel; Coriolanus; King Lear; Macbeth
Series III: Ballad and Epic Poetry
|Box 5 Folder 1|
Lectures on Epic Poetry (four notebooks)
|Box 5 Folder 2|
English 91. Epic Poetry. Class Work
|Box 5 Folder 3|
Old English Poetry. Lectures
|Box 5 Folder 4|
Dialect Songs in English Poetry; Popular Ballads of England and Scotland, I, II; folk songs found by students
|Box 5 Folder 5-6|
"The Folk-Songs of England"
|Box 5 Folder 7|
Long Words in Poetry; Quantity in English Verse.
Series IV: Part IV. Notebooks on Literary Periods and Individual Authors
|Box 6 Folder 1-2|
|Box 6 Folder 3|
Spenser Memoranda; Spenser Bibliography; Spenser Class Plans
|Box 6 Folder 4|
English 40. Introduction to English Literature. Notes
|Box 6 Folder 5-6|
English 42. 1557-1599
|Box 7 Folder 1|
English 43. 1599-1642
|Box 7 Folder 2|
English 47. 1798-1832
|Box 7 Folder 3|
English 48. 1832-1892
|Box 7 Folder 4|
English 74. Ben Jonson
|Box 7 Folder 5|
English 84. Drama, 1500-1600
|Box 7 Folder 6|
English 85. Drama in England, 1580-1642
|Box 8 Folder 1|
Art of the Canterbury Tales; Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney
|Box 8 Folder 2|
Elizabethan Fiction; Voyages of Discovery and Adventure; English Drama before Elizabeth; Notes on John Heywood
|Box 8 Folder 3|
Outlines of Elizabethan Plays
|Box 8 Folder 4|
|Box 8 Folder 5|
Bacon and other 17th Century Topics
|Box 8 Folder 6|
Introduction to English Romantic Poetry; Poetry of Keats
|Box 8 Folder 7|
|Box 9 Folder 1|
|Box 9 Folder 2|
Arnold, Swinburne, Rossetti
|Box 9 Folder 3|
|Box 9 Folder 4|
Nature and Laws of Allegory; Religious Element in English Literature; English Folk-Drama
|Box 9 Folder 5|
Theory of Fiction. Class notes
|Box 9 Folder 6|
Romanticism and Classicism in English Literature; Theory of the Drama; the Iliad and the Egoist; The study of Literature; Some Suggestions about Method in the Teaching of English Literature
|Box 9 Folder 7|
Bernhard ten Brink as an Historian of Literature; Poetic Extracts
|Box 9 Folder 8|
Lydus and Claudia (poem by Tolman)
|Box 10 Folder 1-4|
Edward T. Owen. "Linguistic Aberrations" (typescript of book)