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MacDonald Family Papers

Call Number: MS274

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection are related to the lives of Tufts alumni Henry Frazer Robertson (School of Engineering Class of 1888), Donald Lewis MacDonald (School of Engineering Class of 1920), and Donald Lewis MacDonald Jr. (College of Liberal Arts, Class of 1949). The collection includes a sketchbook and other loose sketches depicting various locations and people in New England and Puerto Rico between 1892 and 1893, created by Henry Frazer Robertson. Other materials include newspaper clippings, photos of Donald Lewis MacDonald as a Tufts student, correspondence relating to the naval service of Henry Frazer Robertson during the Spanish American War and the military service of Donald Lewis MacDonald in World War I, and materials related to Tufts fraternity Delta Upsilon in 1902.


  • Creation: 1892-1894, circa 1910s-1920, 1957


This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Tufts Archival Research Center website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Any intellectual property rights that the donor possesses have been transferred to Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Frazer Robertson was born November 13, 1866 in Pine Tree, Nova Scotia, Canada to Alex and Susan Robertson. Robertson enrolled at Tufts College in 1885 and graduated in 1888 from the School of Engineering. During his time on campus Robertson was a member of the fraternity Delta Upsilon. After graduation he worked for Gilbert Hodges and helped to create the first trolley line running from Charlestown, Massachusetts to Medford, Massachusetts. When the Spanish-American War began in 1898, Robertson enlisted and was deployed to Puerto Rico. In 1904 Robertson moved to Washington State and began working for the Spokane and Inland Railway as a Locating Engineer, and later became the superintendent of the Empire Copper Company of Washington. Henry Frazer Robertson died October 2, 1916 in Spokane, Washington from acute pneumonia, at the age of 50.

Donald Lewis MacDonald was born March 5, 1897 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Donald W. and Evelyn Thomas MacDonald. MacDonald attended Tufts College School of Engineering from 1916-1920 and was a member of fraternity Delta Phi Sigma during his time on campus. On August 3, 1922, MacDonald married Bertha M. Robertson. They had two children, Donald L. Jr., and Douglas K. After graduating, Donald Lewis MacDonald worked as an instructor of engineering at Tufts College for one year, and then went on to serve as an instructor in drafting, mechanics, and mathematics at Franklin Union. In addition to working as an instructor, MacDonald worked as a Mechanical Designer and Inspector with Stone and Webster Inc. from 1921-1928. Donald Lewis MacDonald died July 8, 1945 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Donald Lewis MacDonald Jr. was born October 31, 1923 to Donald Lewis MacDonald and Bertha M. Robertson in Somerville, Massachusetts. MacDonald Jr. attended classes at Tufts College from 1941-1943, and then reenrolled in 1946. Donald Lew MacDonald Jr. graduated from the College of Liberal Arts with a degree in English in 1949.


.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains materials collected and created by three members of the MacDonald family: Tufts alumni Henry Frazer Robertson (School of Engineering Class of 1888); Donald Lewis MacDonald (School of Engineering Class of 1920); and Donald Lewis MacDonald Jr. (College of Liberal Arts, Class of 1949).


The materials in this collection are organized in received order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the family of Donald Lewis MacDonald and Henry Frazer Robertson, August 2019.


This collection originally contained drafting instruments and published books that were not accepted as a part of the donation.

Processing Information

This collection is processed.

The MacDonald Family Papers were processed by Archives Assistant Cassandra Anderson in the Fall of 2021 under the supervision of Adrienne Pruitt, Collections Management Archivist. Materials were labeled, described, and a finding aid was created.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States