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The Whitehead Research Project Archive

The Whitehead Research Project (WRP) is dedicated to research and scholarship on the texts, philosophy, and life of Alfred North Whitehead. As such, one of its major mandates is to collect archival materials that throw light upon Whitehead’s life and thought. Since the Critical Edition project was begun by Brian Henning in 2006, WRP has amassed the largest collection of archival Whitehead materials in the world. It includes:

  • Over 1,300 letters to or from Whitehead or his family. These include letters to or from Bertrand Russell, Gertrude Stein, Charles Lindbergh, Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard Haldane, G.E. Moore, J.J. Thomson, and others.
  • Over 7,000 pages of notes taken by students during Whitehead’s classes—mostly his lectures at Harvard between 1924–37, but also some from his lectures at Trinity College Cambridge. These include notes by Charles Hartshorne, W.V.O. Quine, Paul Weiss, Susanne Langer, Victor Lowe, and others.
  • Rare first editions of Whitehead’s books.
  • All of Whitehead’s known published articles.
  • Other miscellaneous notes and documents, including minutes of the Royal Society’s Wartime Executive Committee, a program for Whitehead’s Gifford lectures, notes of Martin Luther King on Whitehead, over a hundred contemporary reviews of Whitehead’s books, a program for Whitehead’s Order of Merit award ceremony, notes on the proceedings of Whitehead’s 70th and 80th birthday celebrations, various newspaper articles about Whitehead, etc.

Materials have been gathered from various university archives and private donors scattered through North America and Europe. The three largest sources of materials have been: the papers of Whitehead’s biographer—Victor Lowe—at Johns Hopkins University; the Harvard Libraries—where Whitehead taught for thirteen years—particularly Houghton Library and the Harvard University Archives; and, most recently, a donation of Whitehead’s personal papers to WRP by Whitehead’s grandson and heir.

Due to agreements with the various archives from which many of WRP’s materials were obtained, much of the collection is unavailable for public viewing. However, over five hundred archival items are available as free PDF downloads at the online Whitehead Research Library (WRL), and for any materials that we cannot share, we are happy to refer researchers to the relevant source archives. Contact WRP Chief Archivist Joseph Petek for more information:

The Whitehead Research Project aims to publish much of this unpublished material in the coming years as part of the Edinburgh Critical Edition of the Complete Works of Alfred North Whitehead, the first volume of which was released in early 2017 as The Harvard Lectures of Alfred North Whitehead, 1924-1925: Philosophical Presuppositions of Science, edited by Paul Bogaard and Jason Bell. The second volume, The Harvard Lectures of Alfred North Whitehead, 1925-1927: General Metaphysical Problems of Science, edited by Brian G. Henning, Joseph Petek, and George Lucas, was published in early 2021. WRP expects to publish six volumes of student notes, and two volumes of correspondence.

For more information on the Critical Edition of Whitehead project, visit this page on the Whitehead Research Project website. 

The Hartshorne Archive

During his life, Charles Hartshorne designated the Center for Process studies as the repository for his books, papers, and other scholarly material. The Hartshorne Archive is a catalogued collection of the published and unpublished academic material of Charles Hartshorne, his annotated personal library of books and journals, personal and professional correspondence stretching from his childhood forward, and other materials such as diaries, photographs, degree certificates, honorary degrees, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous material relevant to his life as a philosopher and a person. The collection mainly contains Hartshornes philosophical and theological works, although some of it includes works on ornithology.

Most of Hartshornes ornithological works, however, are now part of the Ornithology and Bioacoustics Collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.  Please contact the Collection Manager, Tom Webber, if you need further information (Ph. (352) 392-1721; Fax (352) 846-0287; or see the museum website:

The idea for creating a Hartshorne Archive was conceived by Rev. Herbert F. Vetter, D.D., a retired Unitarian Universalist minister who studied with Hartshorne at the University of Chicago. While a visiting scholar at the Center for Process Studies in 1996,  Rev. Vetter, who once said Hartshorne has long seemed to me to be the Einstein of religious thought, someone whose discoveries and insights will be influential for centuries, suggested that we try to procure a grant from the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program to archive the vast amount of uncatalogued Hartshorne material he found at the Center. With the help of Rev. William P. Zelazny, then minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church at Austin, we received a $12,000 grant for the project. The Center for Process Studies assisted with the work-study needed to implement the project.

While full access to the Hartshorne archive is limited to scholars who have been granted permission to access the materials in Claremont, limited listings of available materials are available below. If you would like to apply for access to the Hartshorne archive, please contact us.

The Beardslee Archive

The Beardslee Archive provides a complete collection of all published and unpublished writings and donated personal items of Dr. William Beardslee. Beardslee (1916-2000) was a renowned New Testament scholar and process theologian. He was in the forefront of those who introduced literary criticism to New Testament scholarship and a pioneer in applying process thought to New Testament study. A graduate of Harvard (A.B., 1937, magna cum laude), New Brunswick Theological Seminary (B.D., 1941), Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary (M.A 1948) and University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1951), Beardslee was known as a scholar of brilliance and productivity. He taught both Bible and Religion at Emory University from 1947 until his retirement when in 1983 he moved to Claremont to become Director of the Process and Faith . Beardslee was a member of the Revised Standard Version Bible Committee of the National Council of Churches, as well as editor or associate editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and Semeia, author or editor of eleven books and dozens of articles, book reviews and translations.

From 2001 the CPS had been working on the Beardslee Archive project with the help of William Beardslee Memorial Fund established by his family and friends. The Beardslee Archive provides an electronic database of the published and unpublished academic material of William Beardslee, his personal library of annotated books and journals, personal and professional correspondence and other references to Beardslee such as newspaper clippings, announcements of conferences, presentations, and etc.

The Beardslee Archive is composed of three sections: Beardslees primary bibliography, his personal library, and the Beardslee files. The primary bibliography provides Beardslees entire published and unpublished scholarly articles and essays, including his books. At present, the primary bibliography collection contains 11 authored and edited books, and 132 published and unpublished articles and essays. The personal library, which contains his annotated books and journals, is composed of 163 items. The Beardslee files provide personal and professional references, typewritten and handwritten notes, and miscellaneous material relevant to Beardslees life as both a biblical process scholar and a person. This section contains 205 items. The Beardslee Archive provides: (1) a physically preserved and easily accessible collection of Beardslee materials for research; (2) a formatted collection in a sophisticated database (Library Master Database) that is complete and organized according to type of document, subject matter, abstract, description, and date; and (3) a comprehensive index of all Beardslees correspondence. The Beardslee Archive Project is now completed and can be used for research by those with interests in Beardslees scholarship and personality.

The Daniel Day Williams Special Collection

Daniel Day Williams was associate professor of Christian theology in the Federated Theological Faculty of the University of Chicago and the Chicago Theological Seminary, then Professor of Theology at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

The Daniel Day Williams Special Collection consists of two major sections: primary bibliography and secondary bibliography. The primary material is made of Williamss own writings, which contain books, articles, book reviews, sermons, pamphlets, interviews, and tapes. At present, the CPS contains approximately 17 books, 200 published and unpublished articles and sermons, 85 book reviews, 4 interviews, and one audiocassette titled The Faces of the Demonic. The secondary material, which is written by other scholars on Williams’ thought, contains approximately 20 unpublished and published articles and books.