C. S. Peirce's Logic as Semeiotic Project (c.1896-1913):
On the Intellectual History of Computing and Semiotics
Primary Documents and Archival Sources

Martin Irvine
Georgetown University
[This site is in progress.]

Spreadsheet of Manuscripts and Documents Researched for Peirce's Logic as Semeiotic

This is a table of manuscripts and documents that I have researched, with notes and a graph of the distribution of the papers by date, for a book that will present a new intellectual history of computing in a Peircean semiotic framework. The main sources are the Peirce Papers at Houghton Library, Harvard University. The main sheet is sorted by catalog number assigned by Richard Robin (Annotated Catalogue of the Papers of Charles S. Peirce, 1968; and the "Supplementary Catalogue," 1971). Tabs at the bottom provide a sheet sorted by date, and other useful references. Scroll to the bottom of the sheet for the graph of papers by date.

I began these Google spreadsheets in 2014, as a way to keep track of the papers by Peirce that I was studying in the original manuscripts, so that I could update and consult the list wherever I was working. I am making these sheets available online now for anyone interested in this topic. [NB: For the source documents for my transcriptions, there are columns in the sheet for indicating which papers I have studied in person at the Houghton Library, and those which are available in pdf from the library. For all other papers, I have used the digitized microfilm versions of the papers.]

Dating of the papers is based on the current state of research, including my own research at Houghton Library and working with the digitized microfilm images of the papers. In many cases, we can confidently revise the earlier Robin dating and identification of contents of the papers, which was based on the current state of research when the catalog was published. Robin also left many papers cataloged as simply nd ("no date"), in these sense that Peirce had not dated them, or other empirical evidence was lacking at the time. Further, the pages of many papers were separated when first archived at Harvard, and thus assigned different catalog numbers, and most have been reunited and combined. Important dating revisions and notes on contents are provided by Christian Kloesel's annotated copy of the Robin Catalogue (Kloesel was an editor with the Peirce Edition Project), now available online from Houghton Library. Essential research on the papers is ongoing at the Peirce Edition Project (Indiana University).

Other sheets will include information on primary and archival sources by other writers who contributed to the whole intellectual history of computing and semiotics from Leibniz to the Internet.

Forthcoming Publications

I have cited a small sample of the unpublished Peirce Papers in my forthcoming book chapter, "Semiotics in Computation and Information Systems," in The Bloomsbury Companion to Semiotics, ed. Jamin Pelkey (London: Bloomsbury, 2022) [pdf of the final pre-publication draft]. A more complete study of the relevant papers will be included in a forthcoming book on the subject.

Catalogue of C. S. Peirce Papers, Harvard University Library, Houghton Library
(Robin Catalogue List with Descriptions as Plain HTML File)

This file is an earlier list of the Charles S. Peirce Papers, with the Robin Catalogue numbering and descriptions, prepared by Houghton Library, Harvard University, before Houghton migrated its archive data to to the main Harvard University Library platform (HOLLIS). I am making this earlier plain HTML file (last updated 2016) available here because it is still useful as a searchable, quick summary of the Peirce Papers. However, it does not include updates and corrections to the dating of the MSS since the Robin catalogue was published. Some notes from Christian Kloesel's annotated copy of the Robin catalog are included in the descriptions of the papers. Also, there are links to high-quality pdf versions of digital images of some of the papers (as of 2016), which can be downloaded for personal study.

Charles S. Peirce Papers, Harvard University, Online Archival Collection Catalog (HOLLIS)

This is the current online access to the Peirce Papers archive. Click on "Collection Inventory" and "Digital Material." The pdf versions of selected papers under "Digital Materials" are high-quality, and can be downloaded for personal study.

Resources for Peirce Manuscripts, Peirce Edition Project, Indiana University

Includes: The Robin Catalogue (online versions)

Digital Images of the Microfilm Edition (Harvard University Library)

Although the Microfilm Edition (Harvard University Library, 38 reels, 35 mm, 1966-70) of the papers is incomplete, the digital versions of the microfilm frames (in .jpg format) do provide researchers an important starting point for consulting the original papers, many of which have not yet been published. Many of the published papers also contain extensive drafts in the manuscripts, omitted in modern editing and publishing, but contain an important record of Peirce's development of ideas and terminology. For a fuller view of how Peirce worked, scholars and students should consult the drafts of papers (available in digital form) that have been published in recent editions.

The Digital Peirce Archive at Humboldt University (Berlin). Archive of digital microfilm images.

The Digitized Microfilm Images were also archived in folders by Terry Moore for the SPIN transcription project, and made accessible in a shared Google Drive (by the microfilm reel numbers). These files can be viewed online or downloaded for personal study. The transcription project is ongoing, and provides page images and transcriptions of many valuable papers.

The New Peirce Papers Digitization Project (Harvard Library)

Transcriptions of Important Papers

I will make available my transcriptions of important unpublished papers, especially from late 1890s-1912.