Skip to main content

Jonathan Pearson papers

Identifier: SCA-0115

Content Description

The Jonathan Pearson Papers consist primarily of his correspondence while serving in various roles at Union College (primarily treasurer). Other material includes scrapbooks and research relating to Schenectady Academy and Union College history. A set of 16 diaries contain hand-written accounts of Pearson’s travels in New England and through parts of the United States, and documents his time as a member of the College administration.


  • Creation: 1804 - 1888

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Jonathan Pearson (1813-1887) was a notable Union College graduate, instructor and administrator. He received his early education in New Hampshire. He graduated first in his class in 1835 and returned to the school in the fall of 1836 as a tutor. In 1839 he became a professor of chemistry and natural history, and later taught botany and agriculture. He served as the college's librarian for more than 40 years and was also the school treasurer from 1854 to 1883. Along with his career at Union and maintaining his diary, Pearson produced five works on local history, most notably “The History of the Schenectady Patent.”


18.2 Cubic Feet

36 Boxes

16 Volumes

Language of Materials



Series I. Correspondence, 1851-1888. Series II. Diaries, 1828-1875. Series III. General, 1804-1875.

Preservica Internal URL

Preservica Public URL

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Pearson’s son, John Magoun Pearson, gave the first ten volumes of the diary to Schaffer Library in 1934. The additional volumes were donated by Jonathan Pearson III in 1953.

Related Materials

Pearson's diaries are cataloged in the Union Collection. See also the Treasurer's Office Records (RG04.019.003).

Processing Information

In 2018, collections 115 (Mss UJ52 1851), 189 (Mss UC1 1854), 272, 279, 289, and 647 were combined with part of accession 2012.019 and volumes 7-15 of the correspondence cataloged in the Vault Collection as UB9. In 2021, two folders from the Document Collection (SCA-1101) were added and all Pearson correspondence in the Letter File (SCA-1024) removed and added to this collection as part of accession 2021.011. The diaries which were previously cataloged as [q] UT P361d were intellectually reunited and are described within this resource record.

Jonathan Pearson papers
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Union College
807 Union Street
Schenectady NY 12308 United States