Edward Holyoke (1689-1769) was the ninth president of Harvard College, serving for thirty-two years from 1737 to 1769. After attending Harvard (A.B. 1705, A.M. 1708), he served as a tutor at the College from 1712 to 1716 and as a Fellow of the Corporation in 1713. From 1709 to 1712, he also served part time as the College librarian. In 1716, he resigned his Harvard positions to become pastor of the Second Church of Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he served for the next twenty-one years. Holyoke returned to Harvard in 1737, when he was appointed president. He died in office in 1769.
Holyoke’s papers include sermons that he delivered as Pastor of the Second Church of Marblehead. They are written in shorthand, following a system developed by Thomas Metcalfe in 1645. There were many systems of shorthand marketed in England starting in the 17th century. See A Brief History of the art of Stenography: with a proposed new system of phonetic short-hand, by William P. Upham, 1877, p. 32. Here the two sermons in shorthand are thought to be Holyoke's, while the sermon in long hand is tentatively attributed to Henry Gibbs, minister in Watertown in the 1690s.