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J. Raymond Brackett collection

Identifier: COU:223

Scope and Contents

Personal Correspondence includes letters to J.R. Brackett and between members of the Brackett Family written primarily between 1912 and 1929. Topics include a trip taken by J.R. Brackett in 1912 and peer recommendations for J.R. Brackett. Personal Items and Family History includes marriage announcements, IOUs, notes on photography, articles and lectures by J.R. Brackett, and a diary belonging to Nancy Jane Brackett dated 1854. Personal Checks and Receipts includes checks, receipts and checkbooks from 1884 – 1930. Notes on Interests and Trips includes programs, invitations, newspaper clippings and several notebooks about topics in literature and the arts. Personal Reference Files is a large collection of various newspaper clippings, pamphlets and scholarly articles relating to a wide variety of topics in literature, photography, art and politics. These files are arranged alphabetically. Pamphlets, Journals, Catalogues, Brochures, Books includes various academic journals, an address on Phi Beta Kappa entitled “Brackett of Maine,” and brochures from several cities. Books includes several hardcover and paperback books belonging to J.R. Brackett. Notebooks includes several personal notebooks concerning topics in literature and the arts as well as classes taught by Dr. Brackett. Lecture Notes and Student Papers consists of notes to be used for class lectures and papers written by students of Dr. Brackett. Graduate School and University of Colorado consists of information regarding the University of Colorado and its graduate school. Included are applications to the graduate school for the 1909 – 1910 school year, notices of examination for PhD, papers by CU professors, photographs and pamphlets regarding the University of Colorado. University of Colorado Boulder Campus Photographs are the photographs and glass negatives produced by J. Raymond Brackett which show scenes of the University of Colorado from 1890 to 1915. While being cataloged, 16 images and negatives were found that were not in envelopes and their origins were uncertain. Initially assumed to be the works of Brackett, Mr. Laurence Paddock of the Boulder Camera and the Boulder Historical Society suggest that they are in fact the work of Thomas C. Black. His negatives are distinguished by the BL, but otherwise are cataloged the same as and along with the Brackett negatives. In subseries one there are two copies of the commission and grant funded project, which contains a five volume photograph print set. Our second copy was acquired from History Colorado.


  • 1854 - 1930

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


James Raymond Brackett was born in Raymond, Maine on April 1, 1854 to Rev. Levi and Nancy J. Brackett. He spent most of his youth in Lewiston and attended Bates College. He graduated in the class of 1875 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and received a Master of Arts degree in 1878. Brackett received his Doctor’s degree in 1880 from Yale. Following his education, Brackett went on to serve as the Principal of Montpelier High School in Vermont for three years and North Adams for one year. In the fall of 1884, Dr. Brackett became a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Colorado. He was made Dean of the University in 1909. His efforts were instrumental in developing the school into one of the large and important universities of the West. Besides being a professor of literature, Dr. Brackett was an art lecturer and photographer. He travelled extensively in Europe and Asia, spending time in Japan to study Japanese art. Dr. Brackett married Miss Lottie S. Rolfe of Auburn, a teacher in the Lewiston high school. They had one son, William R. Brackett, who taught at the University of Colorado and Kansas Agricultural College. Dr. Brackett died of heart complications on July 9, 1922 following a severe attack of influenza in the winter. During the early 1970s Prof. Albert A. Bartlett, CU Dept. of Physics and member of the Centennial Commission of the University, and George Kupfner, University Photographic Services, discovered Dr. Brackett’s glass negatives in the basement of Macky Auditorium. Some of which have been attributed to Thomas C. Black. Five sets of prints in 5 volumes were produced and deposited into various libraries, museums and archives in the area. Prof. Bartlett arranged and described the prints in notebooks. The project was supported by the University of Colorado Centennial Commission, Eugene H. Wilson, Chairman, and funded by a grant from the E. Floyd Thompson Centennial Fund. Thomas C. Black. Black was born in Alabama in 1877 and was a railroad engineer for C. & N.W. in Boulder before going into photography. He was a professional photographer and later did commercial developing and printing. His studio was over the Bergheim store for 20 years and most of his negatives went to the Boulder Daily Camera.


19 linear feet (31 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Dr. James Raymond Brackett was a Professor of English and Comparative Literature from 1884 to 1909, and Dean of the University of Colorado from 1909 to 1919. This collection consist of personal correspondence, receipts, checks, photographs, and reference files on the University of Colorado Graduate School. Also included are a set of photographs of the University of Colorado Boulder campus from a project that was supported by the University of Colorado Centennial Commission.


This collection is arranged in 11 series, one of which has been further arranged into two subseries. The contents of Series 1 and 3 have been grouped by subject then sorted chronologically; Series 2, and 4-10 have been grouped by subject when warranted. Series 11 has been arranged according to the numbers on the original glass plate negatives that group images of the same subject. For example the images of the University Anatomy building were all given the first number of 1 then each image was numbered thereafter sequentially (1-1, 1-2, etc.). Series 10, Subseries 1 consists of the prints and Subseries 2 are the original glass plate negatives which the prints have been derived. The negatives initially were not cataloged or arranged in any particular order before Prof. Bartlett and Mr. Kupfner imposed this order. Series 1, Personal Correspondence Series 2, Personal Items and Family History Series 3, Personal Checks and Receipts Series 4, Notes on Interests and Trips Series 5, Personal Reference Files Series 6, Pamphlets, Journals, Catalogues, Brochures, Books Series 7, Books Series 8, Notebooks Series 9, Lecture Notes and Student Papers Series 10, Graduate School and University of Colorado Series 11, University of Colorado Boulder Campus Photographs Subseries 1, Photographic Prints Subseries 2, Glass Plate Negatives

Partially re-processed and uploaded in to ArchivesSpace by Jennifer Sanchez, January 2018.
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States