|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in three series: Series 1: Writings; Series 2: Gesenius lexicon galley proofs; and Series 3: Correspondence.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains the manuscript originally entitled "Biblical Researches in Palestine and the Countries in the South," appendices of English-Arabic lists and language exercises, travel itineraries, a guide to Arabic pronunciation, and supplementary materials relating to travel; galley proofs of the Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius lexicon with handwritten annotations by Robinson and possibly others; as well as two plastic-bound transcripts, indexed, of letters exchanged between Edward Robinson and Moses Stuart between 1826 and 1830.
Burke Library record group:
Union Theological Seminary Archives: UTS 1, papers of faculty and students
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, UTS1: Edward Robinson papers, 1826-1838, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
The Internet Archive holds a freely accessibly digital copy (original held at the University of Michigan) of the second edition of Robinson and Smith's publication, published in 1856 in two volumes and re-titled Biblical Researches in Palestine, and in the Adjacent Regions: Journal of Travels in the Year 1838: https://archive.org/details/biblicalresearc02smitgoog
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Material was previously bound in library boards and inscribed as being a gift to Union Theological Seminary on behalf of Edward Robinson, date unknown.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Some material was cataloged by Lynn A. Grove on 1988-07-13. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. The Kiepel manuscript was enclosed in an acid-free folder and a preservation photocopy made for reference. The finding aid was created by Rebecca Nieto in 2016 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2022.
2022-02-22 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Edward Robinson was born in Southington, Connecticut on April 10, 1794, a town where his father preached as a Congregational minister for 40 years. Robinson was educated at Hamilton College between 1816 and 1818 where he studied law and worked as a tutor in mathematics and Greek. He pursued his religious education at Andover Theological Seminary between 1822 and 1825 and was ordained with the Third Presbytery of New York on November 15, 1841. Robinson taught briefly as a Hebrew instructor at Andover from 1823-26 before pursuing further ancient language studies at the Universities of Berlin and Halle between 1826 and 1830. Upon his return to the States, he was Professor of Greek and Oriental Languages and Literature at the University of the City of New York (1832-1833) before moving to Union Theological Seminary, where he taught in the department of Sacred Literature from 1837-1863. Aside from teaching, Robinson was a career translator, beginning translations of religious and classical texts as early as 1821, and publishing a number of them, including a translation of Friedrich Gesenius' Hebrew Lexicon, a Greek New Testament, and edited a Greek translation of The Iliad. Robinson would remain at Union in several capacities over the years, including as librarian from 1841 to 1850. Robinson's career was significantly marked by his international travels, in Europe during his studies and later conducting extensive research trips to describe landscapes and identified religious sites in the Holy Land and surrounding regions between 1837-1838 accompanied by Reverend Eli Smith, and again from 1851-1852. During these travels, Robinson fastidiously documented his experience of the topographic, sociocultural, linguistic and intellectual elements that distinguished the Middle East at that time. Robinson's extensive fieldwork in the then-Ottoman ruled Palestinian region has earned him the title "father of Biblical geography" in some circles. While the original manuscript of "Biblical Researches" is present in this collection, subsequent editions and copies are in existence, distributed by Boston-based publisher Crocker and Brewster. Robinson's knowledge of several languages and complementary interests in the religious and cultural landscape of Palestine are well-documented through "Biblical Researches", as well as supplementary notebooks and journals Robinson kept throughout his travels, and religious works written by others but that Robinson translated or otherwise engaged with in his scholarship. Edward Robinson eventually also received a Doctorate of Divinity from Dartmouth College, and would be involved with Union Theological Seminary until his death in New York City on January 27, 1863.