Bond, William H. 1915–2005

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Bond, William H. 1915–2005

(William Henry Bond)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born August 14, 1915, in York, PA; died November 18, 2005, in Concord, MA. Librarian, educator, and author. Bond was a former librarian for the Houghton Library at Harvard University, where he retired as professor of bibliography. He was educated at Haver-ford College, where he completed a B.A. in 1937, and Harvard, where he earned an M.A. in 1938 and a Ph.D. in 1941. After a year as a research fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, seeing active duty through 1946 and achieving the rank of first lieutenant. Returning to Harvard, he was hired as an assistant librarian at the Houghton Library in 1946, becoming curator of manuscripts in 1948 and librarian in 1965. Beginning in 1964, Bond also began teaching, first as a lecturer, then as a professor from 1967 until 1986. Having retired as a librarian in 1982, he also retired as a professor emeritus in 1986. As a scholar, one of Bond's most notable accomplishments was deciphering the eighteenth-century poem "A Song to David" by Christopher Smart. The original manuscript, which the Houghton Library inherited, was long thought to be the nonsensical work of a deranged poet. Bond, however, found a pattern among the verses that, when rearranged, actually made sense; not only that, but the poem emerged as an accomplished work of literature. Bond also edited and published Smart's Jubilate Agno (1954). Among his other edited works are The Houghton Library, 1942–1967 (1967), Records of a Bibliographer (1967), Eighteenth-Century Studies in Honor of Donald F. Hyde (1970), and The Printed Catalogues of the Harvard College Library, 1723–1790 (1990), the last edited with Hugh Amory. Bond was the author of Thomas Hollis of Lincoln's Inn: A Whig and His Books (1990).



Independent (London, England), December 16, 2005, p. 38.


Harvard University Gazette Online, (December 8, 2005).