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Philip Hale Papers, 1850s-1936
1 box (.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: 145

The Philip Hale papers contain writings of Hale's, letters to him and his correspondence with Walt Whitman, items related to his wife, Mrs. Philip Hale (Irene Baumgras), photographs of Hale and his homes. Included is a notebook from his student days at Yale University.

Terms of Access and Use: Restrictions on use:

Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

Mortimer Rare Book Room
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Philip Hale was born in Norwich, Vermont, on March 5, 1854, the son of William and Harriet Amelia (Porter) Hale. After his parents moved to Northampton, Mass., he studied organ and piano and became at age fourteen the organist of the Unitarian Church in Northampton. He studied at Phillips Exeter Academy and at Yale University (A.B., 1876), where he continued his musical studies. After an apprenticeship in the law office of his uncle in Albany, N.Y., Hale was admitted to the New York Bar in 1880 and practiced law for two years. At the same time he was organist of St. Peter's (Episcopal) Church and was music critic for the Albany Times. This was followed by five years of music study in Europe (1882-1887), largely in Berlin, Dresden and Paris.

Upon his return to the United States, he lived in Albany, N.Y., served as organist at St. John's (Episcopal) Church in Troy and served as music critic for a variety of newspapers. In 1889 he became the organist for the First Religious Society (Unitarian) of Roxbury, Mass., and held the position for seventeen years. In Boston he served as music critic for the Post (1890-1891) and the Journal (1892-1898). At the Herald (1903-1933) he served as music and drama critic and became known for his program notes for the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1901-1934).

Philip Hale married Irene Baumgras in Berlin, Germany, July 9, 1884, the daughter of Peter Baumgras of Washington, D.C. Hale died in Boston on November 30, 1934.

Hale was also the editor of Musical Record (1897-1901) and the Musical World (1901-1902) and edited or wrote introductions to various editions of music. After his death a compilation of his program notes was published: Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes, edited by John N. Burk (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1935).

[Sources: "Philip Hale," The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 14 (1917): 462-463; "Philip Hale," Groves Music Online (2006)]

Scope and contents of the collection

The Philip Hale Papers consist of .5 linear feet. The collection consists of primarily of letters and photographs.

The WRITINGS series contains a notebook used by Hale during his student years at Yale University and a brief manuscript by Hale. CORRESPONDENCE contains letters written to Hale by individuals, including Walt Whitman, and letters by Hale (photocopies) to Walt Whitman. SERIES III. Contains notes in Mrs. Philip Hale's hand on her husband and other items associated with her. PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORABILIA contain photographs of Hale as a child, during his student days at Yale and from his early days in Boston, as well as photographs of various homes associated with Hale. WRITINGS ON PHILIP HALE contains a few articles on Hale's writings.

Organization of the collection

This collection is organized into five series:

  • I. WRITINGS (1876)
  • II. CORRESPONDENCE (1871-1921)
  • III. Mrs. PHILIP HALE (Irene Baumgras) (1935)

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on use:

Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

History of the Collection

The Philip Hale papers were donated to the Smith College Libraries' Mortimer Rare Book Room by his wife, Mrs. Philip Hale, and his niece, Emily Hale (Smith College, Assistant Professor of Spoken English, 1936-1940).

Processing Information

Processed by Melvin Carlson, Jr., 2006

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886


Contents List

Notebook (commonplace book) from Hale's student days at Yale University,Includes poetry he copied out and notes on various subjects.

Box 1: folder 1
Manuscript entitled, "As the World Wags," Hale comments on Thomas De Quincey.

Box 1: folder 2

Letter (photocopy) from Philip Hale to Walt Whitman, Exeter, N.H.,The original is in the Library of Congress.
1871 Sep 14.

Box 1: folder 3
Letter (photocopy) from Philip Hale to Walt Whitman, New Haven, Ct.,Hale sent Whitman a copy of the Yale Lit that contains an article about him. He also tells Whiman that he has gained faith and courage from his books and that he wishes to meet him someday.
1875 Oct 7.

Box 1: folder 4
Letter from I. S. Gardner (?) to Philip Hale, Fenway Court,

Box 1: folder 5
Letter from James Gibbons Huneker to Philip Hale, Brooklyn, N.Y.,
1920 Oct 7.

Box 1: folder 6
Letter from Eleanor Melville Metcalf to Philip Hale, Wellesley Hills, [Mass.],Mrs. Metcalf was the daughter of Herman Melville, and she writes Hale to thank him for his articles on Melville's writings
1921 Oct 22.

Box 1: folder 7
Letter from Henrietta Dana Skinner to Philip Hale, Boston,
1912 Dec 26.

Box 1: folder 8
Letter from Walt Whitman to Philip Hale, Canden, N.J., The letter is in response to an order from Hale to Whitman in the amount of $10 for a copy of Whiltman's book "Leaves of Grass" (Candem, N.J., 1876). (This copy supplied by Whitman is now in the Smith College Mortimer Rare Book Room.)
[1876?] Jul 11.

Box 1: folder 9
SERIES III. Mrs. PHILIP HALE (Irene Baumgas)

Letter from Robert Smythe Hichens to Mrs. Philip Hale, Basel, Switzerland,Hichens was the author of Susie's Career (London: Cassell, 1935). In the novel Hichens portrayed Hale as "Stephen Harland." In the United States the novel was published as The Pyramid, a Novel (Garden City, N.J.: The Sun Dial Press, 1936).
1935 Oct 11.

Box 1: folder 10
Postcard from Mrs. Hale to a Miss Dunham,

Box 1: folder 11
Miscellaneous notes in Mrs. Hale's hand,

Box 1: folder 12

Childhood photograph of Philip Hale by Moore's of Springfield, Mass.,

Box 1: folder 13
Boyhood photograph of Philip Hale by Ingraham Bros., Northampton, Mass.,

Box 1: folder 14
Boyhood photograph of Philip Hale by Ingraham Bros., Northampton, Mass.,

Box 1: folder 15
Tintype portrait of Philip Hale when a student at Yale University with another man,

Box 1: folder 16
Philip Hale's "class picture" at Yale University by W. Notman,

Box 1: folder 17
Philip Hale's boyhood home in Northampton, Mass., on Round Hill, (2 separate views)

Box 1: folder 18
Philip Hale by W. Höffert,

Box 1: folder 19
Philip Hale photograph in Boston, Mass.,

Box 1: folder 20
Philip Hale photograph in Boston, Mass.,

Box 1: folder 21
"Tanglewild," Hale's summer home on Cape Cod,

Box 1: folder 22
Robert L. Hale [Philip Hale's uncle],

Box 1: folder 23
Leather pocket picture case

Box 1: folder 24
Lock of Philip Hale's hair,
June 1880

Box 1: folder 25

Writings on Philip Hale,

Box 1: folder 26

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Hale, Irene Baumgas
  • Hale, Philip, 1854-1934
  • Music critics-United States-Biography-Sources

  • Hale, Irene Baumgas
  • Hichens, Robert Smythe, 1864-1950
  • Metcalf, Eleanor Melville, 1882-1964
  • Skinner, Henrietta Channing Dana, 1857-1928
  • Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892

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