The collection contains personal and professional correspondence of American philosopher and psychologist William James (1842-1910). Most of the letters are written by him, including over 1,300 to his wife Alice (1849-1922) and over 400 to his brother Henry (1843-1916). The collection further includes compositions including manuscripts, drafts, and notes on psychology, philosophy, religion, and Herbert Spencer (1820-1903); as well as addresses, lectures, articles, diaries, 1865-1910 (with gaps), address books and notebooks with reading lists, sketches, and notes James took as a student. The collection also contains correspondence of James's parents and wife, early James family papers, daguerreotypes and photographs of the James family, an account book, scrapbooks, clippings, and miscellaneous material. Further included are manuscripts by others, including student notes from his classes, and articles on his work; letters to Ralph Barton Perry (1876-1957) from James's students and correspondence concerning Perry’s The Thought and Character of William James(1935); correspondence of Henry James III (1879-1947) in his search for William James letters; and printed material about William James. Also included are letters from Mary Temple (1845-1870) to John Chipman Gray (1793-1881).
These pages are from a diary kept by James while he was in Brazil in his early 20s. Advice to keep a record of one's experiences while travelling has a long history that extends back to the early modern period.