TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of Collection

Restrictions

Administrative Information

History of the Morris Academy

Scope and Content of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Container List

Finding Aid to the Morris Academy Records, 1792-1914.

The Morristown and Morris Township Library
1 Miller Road
Morristown, NJ 07960




Finding Aid to the Morris Academy Records, 1792-1914.


Overview of Collection

Creator: Morris Academy
Title: Finding Aid to the Morris Academy Records, 1792-1914.
Call Number: HM51 MSS Morris Academy
Date: 1792-1914; not dated
Quantity: 1 linear feet in two oversized boxes

Restrictions

Important Information for Users of the Collection

This collection is open for research under the conditions set forth in the North Jersey History and Genealogy Center archives access policy. All archival material should be handled with care and kept in its original order; notes may only be taken in pencil or with a computer, and food and drink are prohibited in the Reading Room. Records may be copied for scholarly or personal research using the edge scanner or a digital camera without flash; however, researchers must obtain copyright permission prior to publishing material from the collection.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Finding Aid to the Morris Academy Records, 1792-1914. HM51 MSS Morr Acad

Processing Information

Described and encoded by Jeffrey V. Moy, Archivist. May 2018.

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History of the Morris Academy

Founded on November 28, 1791, the Morris Academy was formed by twenty-four citizens in order to provide a classical education for Morristown's college-bound youth. The founding Board of Proprietors included Jabez Campfield; Caleb Russell; Gabriel Ford; Nathan Ford; Daniel Phoenix, Jr.; and Joseph Lewis. The school was built on a lot between what is now 52-56 South Street and opened on November 5, 1792 with thirty-three students; by 1795 enrollment had blossomed to 269, comprised of 196 boys and 73 girls. Typical courses included English literature; arithmetic; geography; philosophy; and Greek, Latin, and French. Male graduates usually proceeded to attend either Yale or Princeton University.

The Morris Academy operated from its founding location until it closure in 1869 when the Maple Avenue School opened, but the Academy reopened in 1878 when it merged with the newly opened Morristown Library and Lyceum. New York architect, George Post designed the massive new building constructed of granite with a large slate roof, which contained a 50,000 volume library, a public reading room, ball room, and an 800-seat auditorium. The Academy operated out of the Library and Lyceum until February 22, 1914 when an uncontrollable fire tore destroyed the building; among the items lost were approximately half the book collection, many historic manuscripts, and numerous old newspapers. Although the Library was rebuilt three years later, the Morris Academy never reopened.

References:

Cavanaugh, Cam. In Lights and Shadows: Morristown in Three Centuries. Morristown: The Joint Free Public Library of Morristown and Morris Township, 1986.

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Related materials in this Repository

PVM - Photograph and Image collection - Morristown Photographs

HM51 Morr Acad - The Morris Academy: A Brief Record of Its History until merged in the Library and Lyceum. Morristown: The Jerseyman, 1905.

HM51 Morr Acad Mul - Diary of Daniel Mulford, 1801-1807

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Scope and Content of the Records

The records contains legal and financial papers, student handbooks, event programs, student and school publications, lists of students, and other ephemera related to the school's operations and history. The remnants of two school publications include The Morris Avalon. Volume 1 Numbers 6, 1879 and The Academy Mirror, Volume 5 numbers 6-11, 1896.

After the Library and Lyceum was destroyed in a 1914 fire, this small collection of papers were all that survived of the Morris Academy’s 123-year history. Many of the papers suffered significant fire and smoke damage, and researchers must be very careful when handling these materials as they may be extraordinarily fragile.

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Arrangement of the Records

The papers are arranged into five series: I. Administrative Records, II. School Publications, III. Student Publications, IV. Student Work, V. Artifacts. Since the original order was lost following the Lyceum fire, materials are generally organized within each series according to record type.

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Container List

Series I: Administrative Records, 1792-1848

Box Folder
1 1 Account Book, 1792-1857
2 Account Ledger, 1792-1848
3 List of Students, 1807, 1808
4 List of Students, 1815-1833
5 Minutes of Board of Proprietors, 1839-1867 (with gaps)
6 Legal and Financial Documents, 1792-1882
7 Handbooks, 1886-1914 (with gaps)

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Series II: School Publications

Box Folder
1 8 Invitations and Programs, 1870-1896 (with gaps)
9 Miscellaneous printed ephemera, 1865-1912 (with gaps)

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Series III: Student Publications

Box Folder
1 10 "Morris Avalon", June 1879
11 "The Academy Mirror", March 1892, February 1896
12 "The Morris Academy Mirror" (including various fragments), June 1898

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Series IV: Student Work

Box Folder
1 13 Essay or Lesson: "What Employment in Life is Most Happy?", 1802

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Series V: Artifacts

Box Folder
2 1 Morris Academy pin ("Morris Academy, MDCCXCI")
2 Morris Academy Stars 1908 Champions, silver cup presented by A.G. Spalding

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