V. Valta Parma (Pratt, Albert Houghton), 1878-1941 (Papers and Collection of Thomas Lake Harris Materials)

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V. Valta Parma (Pratt, Albert Houghton), 1878-1941 (Papers and Collection of Thomas Lake Harris Materials)


Basic Information

Creator: Parma, V. Valta (Pratt, Albert Houghton), 1878-1941
Title: Personal Papers and Collection of Thomas Lake Harris Materials
Quantity: 3 Boxes (3 linear feet) and 60 Books
Identification: 0000.9
Location: Box Shelves; Rare Book Room; Library Stacks


V. Valta Parma, born Albert Houghton Pratt, was born in Brooklyn, NY on 31 March 1878 and died in Washington, DC on 31 October 1941. He attended prepatory school at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and Hamilton College (2 years, and honorary A.M., 1941) and Cornell University (A.B., 1901). From 1901 to 1915 he was a member of the publishing firm of Houghton-Mifflin Co.; from 1915 to 1927 he did editorial work on children's literature; from 1927 to 1940 he was Curator of Rare Books at the Library of Congress.


Thomas Lake Harris a Christian mystic and poet, was born in Ferry Stratford, England on 15 May 1823 and died in New York, NY on 23 March 1906. At the age of five his family emigrated to American and settled in Utica, NY. Although raised in a strict Calvinist family he was converted to Universalism in 1843, whereupon he entered the ministry and was pastor of the Fourth Universalist Society in New York City. In New York Harris became acquainted with Andrew Jackson Davis who introduced him to mysticism. He wrote numerous articles on the topic and founded a monthly journal, The Herald of Light (1857 - 1861). After travels and lectures in England he returned with Lady Oliphant to upstate New York and founded a spiritual community called "The Use". "The Use" went west to Santa Rosa, CA in 1875 and founded a vineyard, "Fountain Grove". In 1891, after the death of his second wife, he married his secretary and moved to New York City where he spent the remainder of his life.


Contains personal and professional letters to Parma; scrapbooks of articles on Parma and his exhibitions at the Library of Congress. The majority of the collection consists of: Thomas Lake Harris' personal letters from his family; professional letters and documents regarding the Fountain Grove vineyards; photographs of Harris; publications and manuscripts of Harris' sermons, expository and creative writing.

Indexing Terms

"Brotherhood of the New Life"
"Children of Hymen"
"Hope and Cheer -- 'Conversation in Heaven'"
Davis, Lady
Fountain Grove
Harris, Thomas Lake
Hart, Mary E.
Library of Congress -- Rare Book Collection
Mysticism -- Christian-19th Century
Nagasawa, Kanaya
Pearce, I.D.
Use, The


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