Fonds - W. H. R. Rivers fonds

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W. H. R. Rivers fonds

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    • 1873-1919 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    6.5 cm of textual records and graphic material

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    Biographical history

    William Halse Rivers, psychologist and anthropologist, was born on 12 March 1864 in Luton, near, Chatham, Kent. He was educated at Tonbridge School and St. Bartholomew's Hospital. In 1897 he became a lecturer in psychology at Cambridge; in 1902 he was elected a fellow of St. John's College. He was most interested in the relationship between mind and body, playing a fundamental role in the establishment of both experimental psychology and social anthropology as academic disciplines in Britain. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1908 and won the Society's gold medal in 1914. He died on 4 June 1922.

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    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of letters and cards written to Rivers from C. L. Dodgson (1832-1898), mathematician and author, also known as Lewis Carroll; Sir Francis Darwin (1848-1925), botantist and son of Charles Darwin; Sir James George Frazer (1854-1941), social anthropologist and author of The Golden Bough; Andrew Lang (1844-1912), scholar, folk-lorist, and author; Bernard Shaw (1856-1946), playwright; Arnold Bennett (1867-1931), novelist and playwright; and Sir Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952), neurologist and Nobel laureate. The fonds also contains a letter from Arnold Bennett to Ellery Sidgwick, the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, introducing Rivers to him; an autograph of H. G. Wells (1866-1946), author, and other documents including two sketches, one in pencil and the other in pen and ink. There is also a typescript titled “Memories of Lewis Carroll” by Katharine Rivers, a sister of W. H. R. Rivers. The typescript was published in Library Research News, 3, no. 4 (January 1976).

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    Fonds was purchased at auction at Christies, April 1974 by Bertram Rota for McMaster University.


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        No further accruals are expected.

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