William Inglis Morse Manuscript Collection

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William Inglis Morse Manuscript Collection

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  • Cartographic material
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  • Textual record

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Physical description

1 m of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

William Inglis Morse was born in Paradise, Nova Scotia on June 4, 1874. He graduated from Acadia College in 1897 and the Episcopal Theological School in 1900. Morse preached in Connecticut and Massachusetts until 1929 and then devoted himself to historical research. He collected maps, books, and manuscripts relating to Nova Scotia and Canada and donated the materials he collected to Acadia University, Dalhousie University, Harvard University, and Yale University. Morse died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on June 4, 1952.

Custodial history

The manuscripts were collected by William Inglis Morse during his his lifetime and donated to Dalhousie University as part of the William Inglis Morse Collection. Morse purchased the manuscripts from dealers and collectors in North America and Europe, with many coming from France.

Scope and content

The collection assembled by William Morse reflected his research interests and his ideas on what works should be available for consultation by serious scholars. The exploration and early settlement of Acadia, the history of the Maritimes, the evolution of printing, the book arts, important classics in both the humanities and the sciences, the works of Bliss Carman and George Santayana, works about General James Wolfe, and Norse legends are the major research fields represented in the collection.

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Physical condition

Most of the manuscripts are in very good condition.

Immediate source of acquisition


The collection has been arranged according to the Catalogue of the William Inglis Morse Collection, compiled by Eugene Archibald. Series include:





Language of material

  • Multiple Languages

Script of material

Language and script note

The collection contains manuscripts in French and English.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Many of the manuscripts have been edited and transcribed by William Inglis Morse and published in Acadiensia nova : new and unpublished documents and other data relating to Acadia (London: B. Quaritch, 1935).. Transcriptions of other letters appear in the Catalogue of the William Inglis Morse Collection prepared by Eugenie Archibald.

The Archives and Special Collections also have photocopies of most of the manuscripts that will preferably used for reference purposes.

Restrictions on access

All records are open to researchers, but photocopies and transcriptions will be preferred for reference purposes.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A complete catalogue of the Dalhousie William Inglis Morse Collection was compiled by Eugene Archibald. Many of the documents are fully described and transcribed in Acadiensia Nova by William Inglis Morse.

Associated materials

The Nova Scotia Archives holds the papers of Joseph Howe (MG 1, vol. 1706; microfilm reels 10 301). Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections also holds a small collection of Joseph Howe papers (MS-2-340).

William Inglis Morse also made major donations to Acadia University between 1926 and 1931, Harvard University in 1944, and Yale University in 1946.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], William Inglis Morse Collection, MS-6, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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This collection description comes from the Dalhousie University Archives Catalog. The complete, original description is available there.

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