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Harvey Denison Kitchel Micrographical Notes

Identifier: SC MS 0270

Scope and Contents

Each of the eight volumes measure 20 x 13 cm and vary in thickness. They are bound in mottled brown and tan paper over board with black or burgundy leather spines with gold horizontal bands. The front of each volume has 5.5 x 7 cm paper label bearing the title of each volume. The pages are blue lined. Much of the writing is small and compact in purple ink with beautifully hand colored penciled drawings. Tucked in among the pages are extra handwritten notes.


  • Creation: 1880 - 1886


Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Harvey Denison Kitchel was born 1812 in Whitehall, Washington County, New York. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1835 and from Yale Divinity School in 1838. In 1865 was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from Yale University. He was a Congregationalist minister and served as president of Middlebury College, Vermont, from 1866-1875. He had three wives. He and his first wife, Ann Sheldon Kitchel (1815-1858), had six sons and a daughter. First wife and daughter died in 1858. Their first son, Harvey Sheldon (1839-1915) was assistant treasurer and secretary to the Trustees (1901-1915) of Lehigh University. He married Elizabeth K. Reed (1849-1923) of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Their first son, Harvey Denison Kitchel (1877-1878) was born in Bethlehem. His wife was related to the Sayre family. Another relative, Robert Reed Kitchel, attended Lehigh University and graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree Class of 1892. Another son of Rev. Kitchel and Ann Sheldon (possibly the fourth son), Stanley, had a son also named Stanley who attended Lehigh University in the Class of 1911 but he died in 1910. Rev. Kitchel and Ann Sheldon had a granddaughter, Anna Sheldon Kitchel who married John Archibald Bole, a German professor. Anna Kitchel Bole graduated from Smith College in 1895 in German studies. It is possible that Anna Kitchel Bole (aka Mrs. John A. Bole) is the one who donated her grandfather’s “Micrographical Notes” to Lehigh University since there is the connection of other relatives and possibly a grandson to Lehigh, John Clark Bole, Jr., Lehigh Class of 1925. Rev. Kitchel’s second wife was, Ophelia Kimberly Sayre Kitchel, and they had a daughter Ophelia Sayre. This Sayre name is possible a connection to Lehigh’s Robert H. Sayre. The second wife and daughter died in1864. Reverend Kitchel and his third wife, Harriet Tyrrell Smith, had no children. Reverend Kitchel, an intrepid traveler and orator throughout the United States, was an avid diarist. Lehigh has the “Micrographical Notes” dated 1880-1886 in eight volumes but there also is another set of eight volumes of notes from his travels dated 1870 to 1873 including a visit to Mauch Chunk and the Switchback Railway, as noted in “Reverend Kitchel’s Manuscript Journal.” (see Associated Titles). It appears from notation in some of these volumes that Rev. Kitchel and his mircroscope came to Bethlehem for a long visit.


1 Linear Feet : 8 notebooks in 1 manuscript box

Language of Materials



Fascinating notations of an amateur scientist whose profession and training was as a man of the cloth who acquired a fine microscope and was very diligent in making observations of algae, mosses and blood of animals and humans. Reverend Kitchel made beautiful colored illustrations of his observations and consulted with others regarding his observations. He classed his observations as field notes. He and his family had a number of connections to Lehigh University.


The collection consists of eight volumes dated chronologically from 1880-1886: Vol. I, II, V, VI, VII Algae; Vol. III, IV Mosses and Hepaticae, Vol. VIII Microscopic Memoranda. Accession numbers: 220401 to 220408

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The eight volumes were acquired November 8, 1942 from Mrs. John A. Bole, nee Anna Sheldon Kitchel Bole, who is believed to have been a granddaughter of Harvey Denison and Ann Sheldon Kitchel.

Harvey Denison Kitchel Micrographical Notes
Eleanor Nothelfer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)