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Nathaniel J. Hasenfus papers

Collection BC-1998-015: Nathaniel J. Hasenfus papers


  • Creation: 1915-1982, undated

Scope and Contents

The Nathaniel J. Hasenfus papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, research materials, and scrapbooks relating to Hasenfus’s work as a historian chronicling athletics at Boston College. Of particular note are proofs of the first volume of Hasenfus’s Athletics at Boston College and two drafts of the unpublished second volume. The correspondence contains primarily letters sent to Hasenfus concerning the publication of Athletics at Boston College, his Boston College sports research, and other matters related to Boston College athletics. The scrapbooks include 33 notebooks of clippings documenting the history of Boston College sports from 1943 through 1976. Also included is a scrapbook of articles by Hasenfus written in the 1940s about the history of Boston College football.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Nathaniel John Hasenfus was born on January 9, 1900 in Newton, Massachusetts. He attended Newton public schools and Boston College High School. After high school, Hasenfus served for eighteen months in the United States Army. After leaving the military, he attended Boston College. In his sophomore and junior years, he was the assistant manager of the hockey team. He received his BA in 1922.

In 1923, he earned his MA in Education at Boston College and wrote a thesis entitled "Methods of Teaching Poetry in High School." Hasenfus soon began a thirty-seven year career in the Boston school system. His first assignment was at the Mechanics Arts High School, where he spent many years as the head of the English Department. In 1931, Hasenfus earned his Ph.D. from Boston College and wrote a dissertation entitled "The Rise and Fall of Blank Verse as a Vehicle for Drama in the Elizabethan Period." Later, he left the Boston school system and became the Vice President and Academic Dean at Chamberlayne Junior College in Boston. He held this position for fifteen years.

Hasenfus was the author of several books. These works include Athletics at Boston College, Volume 1 (1943), We Summer in Maine (1946), More Vacation Days in Maine (1949), and Marie Visits the Zoo, a children's book written by Hasenfus and illustrated by his son, Richard C. Hasenfus.

In addition to his successful career in education, Hasenfus was known as a historian of Boston College sports. One of his most significant achievements was the publication of the first volume of Athletics at Boston College chronicling the history of Boston College football and hockey from the College's establishment through the early 1940s. A second volume was never published and exists only in manuscript form.

Hasenfus also served on the Boston College Athletic Board from 1955 through 1958 and again from 1966 through 1969. He was a charter member of the Boston College Varsity Club and a member of the Blue Chip Booster Club. Hasenfus was the recipient of the "Favorite Athletic Son Award" in 1965 and William V. McKenney Award for the most outstanding Boston College alumnus in 1968. In 1970, he was inducted into the Boston College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Hasenfus died on November 18, 1976 at his summer home in Five Islands, Maine.


"N.J. Hasenfus; was Educator for 52 Years." Boston Globe, November 20, 1976, ProQuest. Web. 6 Oct. 2020.


4 Linear Feet (8 containers)

Language of Materials



The papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, research materials, and scrapbooks related to twentieth-century educator Nathaniel J. Hasenfus’s work chronicling athletics at Boston College. Included are manuscripts of the first (published) and second (unpublished) volumes of Athletics at Boston College.


Arranged into four series: I. Correspondence; II. Manuscripts; III. Reference files; and IV. Scrapbooks.

Series II. Manuscripts is arranged into two sub-series: A. Publishers proofs, and B. Typescripts.


Gift of David Hasenfus between 1976-1982.

Nathaniel J. Hasenfus Papers
1915-1982, undated
Edward Copenhagen, 2001; revised by Ray Hartley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States