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Frederic Mayer Bird papers

Ms. Coll. 1116

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Bird, Frederic Mayer, 1838-1908
Title:
Frederic Mayer Bird papers
Date [inclusive]:
1859-1908
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1116
Extent:
2.4 linear feet (2 boxes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Frederic Mayer Bird (son of the author Robert Montgomery Bird) was a Lutheran minister, later Episcopalian priest, and professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He wrote and published extensively on sacred topics, most notably on hymns and hymnology, and also wrote novels and other secular texts. He contributed to many periodicals and served as editor for Lippincott's Magazine, a Philadelphia-based literary magazine. These papers represent a range of Bird's drafts in manuscript and proof form, supplemented by a modest amount of correspondence. Best represented are his sermons and his contributions to  Lippincott's Magazine.
Cite as:
Frederic Mayer Bird papers, 1859-1908, Ms. Coll. 1116, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Frederic Mayer Bird was born in 1838 to the writer Robert Montgomery Bird in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1857 and the Union Theological Seminary in 1860, Bird moved around from post to post, serving as (Lutheran) pastor, army chaplain, and (Episcopalian) rector in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa. From 1881 to 1887, he settled down once more in Pennsylvania to teach at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, and after that served as editor for Lippincott’s Magazine, a Philadelphia-based literary magazine. Throughout his career he wrote and published extensively on sacred topics, especially on hymns and hymnology. Notable titles include  The Story of Our Christianity (1893), and co-edited volumes such as  Hymns for the Use of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1865) and  Songs of the Spirit (1871). He also wrote novels, including  A Pessimist in Theory and Practice (1888) which he published using the pen name “Robert Timsol.” Bird died in 1908.

For more detailed biographical information, please see the finding aid for UTS1: Frederic Mayer Bird Papers, 1846 – 1910, at The Burke Library Archives, Columbia University Libraries, Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists mainly of the writings of Frederic Mayer Bird, with a small amount of correspondence. The latter is gathered into the first series and most notably includes two letters from actor Edwin Booth. Condolence letters sent to Bird's family at the time of his death appear at the end.

The writings consist of clippings of Bird's texts in various periodicals, drafts of texts and reference material relating to hymnology, various page and galley proofs, manuscript texts of sermons and speeches, as well as some unidentified material. Bird's contributions to periodicals are preserved most notably in an extensive run of page and galley proofs for Lippincott's Magazine, of which Bird was an editor. His sacred work can be seen in a run of sermons, which are well preserved in Bird's small, neat, and easily legible handwriting. At the top of each draft of the sermons, Bird recorded the dates and locations of his public deliveries of that particular text. In nearly all cases, the actual date of composition is unknown. The dates listed in the finding aid below reflect the dates of delivery recorded by Bird himself. A few of the sermons came grouped in folders labelled "Clarence Reynolds Phillips" and "George Brinkerhoof Shane" and have been left in these groupings in case this information proves significant. These sermons are integrated alphabetically in the Finding Aid with an indication that they can be found physically in one of these two folders within the larger folder of sermons. Also worth mentioning are the complete galley proofs for Bird's book,  The Story of Our Christianity, as well as an extensive unidentified draft, which appears to be a work of hymnology.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2015 September 4

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Ben Rosen

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At The Burke Library Archives, Columbia University Libraries, Union Theological Seminary, New York: UTS1: Frederic Mayer Bird Papers, 1846 – 1910

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Galley proofs
  • Sermons
  • Speeches
  • Writings (documents)
Subject(s)
  • Authors
  • Authors, American--19th century
  • Hymns--History and criticism
  • Religion

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Collection Inventory

I. Correspondence.

Box Folder

Booth, Edwin, 1868, 1873.

1 1

Downing, Robert, 1889 July 4.

1 1

French, W. P., 1901 September 9.

1 1

Fulbow [?], John, 1881 February 12.

1 1

Furness, Horace Howard, 1890 December 4.

1 1

Kennedy, J. P., 1851 April 25.

1 1

Lamberton, Robert Alexander, 1881 February 5.

1 1

McMichael, Morton, 1854 April 14.

1 1

Unidentified, 1886 September 16.

1 1

Condolence letters (to Mrs. Bird and Robert Bird, Jr.), 1908.

1 2

II. Writings.

A. Clippings.

Box Folder

"Bethlehem in Fiction", 1892 April 21.

2 1

Frazier, Benjamin W. (obituaries), 1905.

2 1

Ringer, Severin (article, obituaries), 1888, 1906.

2 1

Zeigler, C. C., undated.

1 3

B. Hymnology.

Box Folder

"Ecclesiasticism and Liberation", undated.

1 4

Hymns, manuscript and typescript copies, undated.

1 5

Hymns, miscellaneous clippings, 1880, undated.

1 6

Tables of Hymns (manuscript notes), undated.

1 4

"Thomas Hornblower Gill", undated.

1 4

"Thomas Toke Lynch (1818-71) and the Rivulet Controversy", undated.

1 4

C. The Independent: "Hymn Notes", 1880-1889, undated.

Box
2
Folder
1

D. Lippincott's Magazine.

Box Folder

"As It Seems" series, 1892 January to 1892 December, undated.

1 7

"Back From Altruria", 1898.

2 2

"Bad Story-Telling", undated.

2 2

"Concerning Women", 1893 February.

1 8

"The Contributor His Own Editor", 1897 March.

1 9

"Don't", 1893 September.

1 10

"The Editor and the Contributor", 1896 January.

1 11

"Fact in Fiction", 1895 July.

1 12

"First Principles", 1892 April.

1 13

"Five Years of my Life by Alfred Dreyfus" (book review), 1901.

2 2

"Getting There", 1892 March.

1

2

2

14

"Hiram Powers in Washington", 1895 April.

1

2

15

2

"An Intercepted Heiress", 1892 May.

1 16

"Magazine Fiction", undated.

1 17

"Monarchies and Republics", 1898 September.

2 2

"No New Hands Wanted", 1898 April.

1 18

"Opposing View-Points", undated.

2 2

"An Organ and a Reform", 1893 February.

1 19

"An Overlooked Poet", 1896 May.

1 20

"Paralyzers of Style", 1896 February.

2 2

"Point vs. Truth", 1893 June.

2 2

"A Race by Rail", 1892 August.

1 21

"The Religion of 1492", 1893 April.

1

2

2

22

"Rudolf's Decision", 1898 November.

2 2

"Talks With The Trade" series, 1893 February to 1896, undated.

1

2

2

23

"A Three Volume Tract", 1893 November.

1 24

"Two Sides", 1896 November.

2 2

"With The Autocrat", 1895 January.

2 2

"The Young Girl", 1892 January.

2 2

Fragments and unidentified, 1893-1896, undated.

1 25

E. Literature: A Weekly Magazine.

Box Folder

"Bayard Taylor", 1888 December 8.

1 26

"Nathaniel Parker Willis", 1889 January 5.

1 26

"Theodore Winthrop", 1889 February 2.

1 26

F. The Nation.

Box Folder

"Letters of Thomas Edward Brown" (book review) (galley proofs), undated.

2 2

Letters to the editor, undated.

1 27

"Memoirs and Correspondence of Coventry Patmore" (book review) (galley proofs), 1900.

2 2

Unidentified (galley proofs), undated.

2 2

G. Sermons and speeches.

Box Folder

"The Beau Ideal of Life", 1859.

1 28

"The celebration of the national birthday...", undated.

1 28

"Convocation Missions", 1873 May 18.

1 28

"Do Justly" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1870-1900.

1 28

"Gird up they loins like a man" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1886-1903.

1 28

"God hath given us the spirit of a sound mind" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1880-1902.

1 28

"He Could There Do No Mighty Work" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1882-1899.

1 28

"His Righteousness hath He openly showed in the sight of the Heathen" [folder marked "George Brinkerhoof Shane"], 1877 October 28.

1 28

"How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?", 1862-1873.

1 28

"I find a law, that when I could do good, evil is present with me" [folder marked "George Brinkerhoof Shane"], 1871 October 21.

1 28

"If any man among you seem to be religious...", 1870 May 16.

1 28

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1875-1895.

1 28

"The king covered his face and cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!", 1869-1877.

1 28

"Learn of Me" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1878-1900.

1 28

"The man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1872-1902.

1 28

"My Dear Mr. Stoddart", 1890-1894.

1 28

"One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are bretheren", 1866-1873.

1 28

"St. Matthew's Day", undated.

1 28

"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him", 1869.

1 28

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1878-1899.

1 28

"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars hill and said, Ye men of Athens...", 1870-1885.

1 28

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace...", 1869-1873.

1 28

"Though shalt love thy neighbor as thyself", 1861-1878.

1 28

"To Love Mercy" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1881-1902.

1 28

"The ungodly is so proud that he careth not for God, neither is God in all his thoughts" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1883.

1 28

"What Must I Do To Be Saved?" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1880-1899.

1 28

"While I was musing the fire burned" [folder marked "Clarence Reynolds Phillips"], 1880-1895.

1 28

H. The Story of Our Christianity (galley proofs), undated.

Box
2
Folder
3

I. Unidentified manuscript drafts, undated.

Box
1
Folder
29