Guide to the Travel Diary and Photograph Album of William T. Pierce

Summary Information

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections
Pierce, William T.
William T. Pierce travel diary and photograph album
0.3 cubic feet (1 manuscript box)
Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.


William T. Pierce Travel Diary and Photograph Album, MC 47. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute Archives and Special Collections, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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William Thomas Pierce (1854-1906) was a civil engineer who practiced in Massachusetts. In 1902 he traveled to Europe from Boston and while traveling kept a written and photographic record of engineering structures and scenes that interested him. Prior to his death he was the chief engineer of the Metropolitan Park Commission of Boston, Massachusetts.

William Pierce resided in Watertown, Massachustts. He was the son of John Q. A. Pierce and brother of Charles Q. Pierce, Edward B. Pierce, Myron Pierce, and Henry B. Pierce.

In February 1907, in the year after he died, the C. F. Libbie and Company of Boston managed the sale of William Pierce's personal and professional library.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

William T. Pierce, a civil engineer in Boston, Massachusetts, traveled from Boston to Europe in 1902. On the trip he kept a diary and took photographs of views and gardens and important buildings, bridges, and other engineering structures in various locations in Europe. He recorded his observations in the diary which also includes descriptions of the photographs he took. The photographs are organized in an album.

The black and white photographs in the album are numbered and most have labels. Notes in the travel diary are keyed by number to photographs. Locations represented in the album are Brighton, England; Rouen, France; Paris, France; Geneva, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria; Nussdorf, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czechoslovakia; Dresden, Germany; Berlin, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Antwerp, Belgium; Brussels, Belgium; Oostende, Belgium; Dover, England; Canterbury, England; Richmond, England; Thames River, England; and Queenstown (Cork), Ireland.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections 1979

MIT Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-4307

Revision Description

  1979, 2015

Access note

The collection is open for research.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Institute Archives and Special Collections is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Photographs

Personal Name(s)

  • Pierce, William T.


  • Bridges--Design and construction--Photographs.
  • Civil engineering.
  • Diaries--Europe.
  • Europe description and travel
  • Urban planning and environment

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Collection Inventory


Handwritten diary of civil engineer William T. Pierce's trip to Europe 1902 August 19 to October 8 


Photograph album, companion to the diary of trip to Europe 1902 August 19 to October 8