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The Diaries of Albert H. Munsell

A unique insight into his life's work

Franc Grum

Professor Albert H. Munsell

We are pleased to make these diaries available online. The links at left are individual PDFs, each in the range of 0.5 to 1MB. They represent all of volumes A and B in approximately twenty page increments. The index pages list the names of people mentioned in the diaries. Sorry, but there is no subject index. If you would like to create one, we will gladly publish it here!

Note that some PDFs are actually more than 20 pages. We grouped the tiles by the page number in the typed copies. Many pages were inserted with letter notation (4a, 4b, 4c, etc). Also, some of the handwritten pages are unnumbered. You may want to download the document before or after to make sure you get the desired pages.

Original cover sheet

Below is the text from the cover sheet in the diary binders as received. It was slightly edited for typographical errors. Links to PDFs of individual chapters are at right.

The diary hereby made available is one kept by A. H. Munsell during the years in which he was developing both the Munsell color system and apparatus and charts by which to explain it.

A typewritten copy was made at the Munsell Color Company in the years 1920-23 from 6 volumes of a handwritten diary kept by Professor Munsell. Drawings and sketches were all hand-traced, and handwriting was inserted where corrections or additions were made in the original. Volume A covers the period 1899 through May 1908; volume B, May 1908 through 1918.

In 1939 the Inter-Society Color council, with permission from the Munsell family and company, deposited a bibliofilm negative of this typed material with the American Documentation Institute, their Document No. 1307. Early documents of this Institute now filed with the photo-Duplication Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., from which photoprints of microfilm positives may be ordered.

This copy of the Munsell Diary is one of three photocopied by Hunter Associates Laboratory in the spring of 1973 from the original typed copy loaned to Dorothy Nickerson by the Munsell Color Company. The three copies are filed with Miss Nickerson, the Rochester Institute of Technology through Milton Person (these copies are now at the Munsell Color Science Laboratory), and the Hunterlab library.

Reports of the development and application of the Munsell Color Systems since 1918 are available in the two historical papers by D. Nickerson: 1940, Journal of the Optical Society of America, 30, 575-586; 1969, Color Engineering, 7, 42-51.

Hunter Associates Laboratory, Inc.
Fairfax, VA. 22030
June, 1973