Gardiner, H. Norman (Harry Norman), 1855-1927

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Gardiner was born in Norwich, England and immigrated to the United states to attend Amherst College (A.B., 1878; M.A., 1885). He graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1881 and with a travel grant studied in Germany at Gottingen, Heidelberg and Leipiz. He joined the Smith College Philosophy Dept. in 1884 and remained there until his retirement in 1924. Gardiner was a founder of the American Philosophical Society and its president in 1907 and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Andover Theological Seminary. He was killed in an automobile accident on Dec. 29, 1927.

From the description of Harry Norman Gardiner papers, 1875-1927. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 52591032

Harry Norman Gardiner, circa 1897.

Harry Norman Gardiner was born on November 6, 1855 in Norwich, England. He received his primary education in Bristol and spent four years as a businessman in England before emigrating to the United States in 1874 with the hopes of becoming a minister. He graduated from Amherst College in 1878 with high honors and immediately entered Union Theological Seminary in New York. After graduating in 1881, his outstanding success and dedication to his studies earned him a fellowship in Europe. Two years later, he returned to Amherst College to pursue a Master of Art (1885).

Gardiner joined the Smith College faculty in 1884 as an instructor in mental and moral philosophy. During his career he became well known both in Northampton and in the philosophical and psychological academic community. Gardiner was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Association and became president of the organization in 1907. He was a charter member of the American Psychological Association and an advisory editor of the Psychological Review, a journal to which he frequently contributed. He also published in the Psychological Bulletin, Encyclopedia Americana, and Encyclopedia Britannica. His book titled Outlines in Modern Philosophy was published in 1892.

Gardiner was a member of the Century Club of New York, the Amherst College Club of New York, served as the vice-president and as trustee for the Nonotuck Savings Bank of Northampton and as a deacon at the First Church of Northampton. When Gardiner retired from Smith College in 1924, he had taught there for forty years and served as department chairman. Upon his retirement, Gardiner became the first man to be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters from Smith College. In 1926, one of the new dormitories in the quadrangle was named the Harry N. Gardiner House. Extremely proud of this honor, he would often bring guests to "his house" for dinner.

After his retirement, Gardiner still remained close to Smith and the surrounding community. He sometimes led morning chapel and looked forward to the opportunity to substitute teach a philosophy class. President William Allen Neilson and Gardiner collaborated upon a history of the college with the working title Smith College: the First Seventy Years. Although Neilson continued working on the manuscript after Gardiner's death, it was never completed.

On December 29, 1927 Gardiner had just finished a late afternoon tea date with President Neilson and was walking home to his Main Street apartment when he was struck by a oncoming automobile. A cracked skull caused the instant death of the seventy-two year old. He willed Smith College he willed his books and manuscripts on psychology and philosophy, his portraits of philosophers, and a Spanish crucifix. He was survived by his niece, Mrs. Hilda (Edwards) Hamlin (Class of 1912), who was his only living relative.

From the guide to the Harry Norman Gardiner papers 42., 1855 - 1927, 1870 - 1930, (Smith College Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Hyslop, James H. (James Hervy), 1854-. Papers, [ca. 1876]-1921. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn William James correspondence, 1856-1910. Houghton Library
referencedIn James, William, 1842-1910. Papers, 1803-1941 (bulk: 1862-1910) Houghton Library
referencedIn Thomas Davidson papers, 1857-1948, 1857-1902 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Gardiner, H. Norman (Harry Norman), 1855-1927. Harry Norman Gardiner papers, 1875-1927. Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Strong, Charles Augustus, 1862-1940. [Letter], 1904 Mar. 8, Lakewood, N.J. [to] Prof. Gardiner / C. A. Strong. Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Harry Norman Gardiner papers 42., 1855 - 1927, 1870 - 1930 Smith College Archives
creatorOf Welsh, Herbert, 1851-1941. Correspondence, on the Miles report, 1903. University of Michigan
referencedIn Harvard University. Autograph File, G. 1641-2009. Houghton Library
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Branch, Anna Hempstead, 1875-1937. Anna Hempstead Branch papers, 1780-1937 (bulk 1890-1937). Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIj, 1898-1988 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Seelye, Laurenus Clark, 1837-1924. Laurenus Clark Seelye papers, 1820-1995 (bulk 1875-1924). Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Laurenus Clark Seelye Papers RG 32., 1820-1995, 1875-1924 Smith College Archives
referencedIn Davidson, Thomas, 1840-1900. Thomas Davidson papers, 1857-1948 (inclusive), 1857-1902 (bulk). Yale University Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Branch, Anna Hempstead, 1875-1937. person
associatedWith Davidson, Thomas, 1840-1900. person
associatedWith Hamlin, Hilda Edwards. person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Hyslop, James H. (James Hervy), 1854- person
associatedWith James, William, 1842-1910. person
associatedWith Marshall, Henry Rutgers, 1852-1927. person
associatedWith Miller, Dickinson Sergeant, 1868-1963. person
associatedWith Myers, Charles S. person
associatedWith Neilson, William Allan, 1869-1946. person
associatedWith Royce, Josiah, 1855-1916. person
associatedWith Seelye, Laurenus Clark, 1837-1924 person
associatedWith Shand, Alexander F. (Alexander Faulkner), 1858-1936. person
associatedWith Smith College corporateBody
associatedWith Smith College. Department of Philosophy. corporateBody
associatedWith Stout, George Frederick, 1860-1944. person
associatedWith Strong, Charles Augustus, 1862-1940. person
associatedWith Welsh, Herbert, 1851-1941. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Philosophy--Study and teaching (Higher)


Birth 1855

Death 1927



Ark ID: w6kh1c97

SNAC ID: 70029778