Frederic Mayer Bird papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
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.
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.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Ben Rosen
- Finding Aid Date
- 2015 September 4
- 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.