Guide to the Research Collections

- Section -- II: -- THE HUMANITIES
- PART TWO
- 23 -- AMERICAN LITERATURE
- NOTABLE GIFTS

NOTABLE GIFTS

In 1878 the Lenox Library announced the gift of the Evert A. Duyckinck collection of 15,164 books, 1,596 pamphlets, and the Duyckinck papers.

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The collection is most important for its nineteenth-century English and American authors and fine illustrated books. Files of American literary periodicals are excellent for the first half of the nineteenth century. The larger part of the Duyckinck papers consists of the correspondence of Evert A. Duyckinck, accumulated in connection with his editorship of Arcturus, Literary World (New York), and the Cyclopaedia of American Literature (1855-66). In the papers are letters to Evert A. Duyckinck and his brother George Long Duyckinck from almost every American writer of the period; as well as correspondence between the brothers, and a mass of personal and family papers. Of more than 100 boxes of manuscript material in the collection, 23 form the group termed the Literary Correspondence, which contains large holdings of William Gilmore Simms and Herman Melville items, in addition to letters from Lowell, Longfellow, Poe, Hawthorne, Holmes, Margaret Fuller, and others. Checklists of the printed materials in the Duyckinck collection appear as numbers 8 and 12 of the Lenox Library Short-title Lists, printed in 1887 and 1890.

In 1945, William C. Church donated six boxes of material pertaining to Galaxy (1866-78). Among the correspondents represented are John Burroughs, Helen Hunt Jackson, Walt Whitman, and Emma Lazarus. The Crowell-Collier Publishing Company (Crowell Publishing Company) has presented the library with typescripts of stories and articles used in Collier's Magazine, together with all make-up, layout, and editorial correspondence for the period 1936-52. The Manuscripts and Archives Division retains correspondence and authors' manuscripts for Century Magazine and some of its predecessors, among them Scribner's Magazine and St. Nicholas. Additional material pertains to the Century War Series. This collection covers the period from the 1870s until World War I, and consists of literary and editorial, rather than financial or business, correspondence. Prominent personalities represented, most of them editors of Century publications, include Josiah Gilbert Holland, Robert Underwood Johnson, and Clarence Clough Buel.

An important era in American book publishing is represented in the Manuscripts and Archives Division by the correspondence of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred A. Knopf for 1919 through 1951, presented to the library between 1953 and 1958, and by Knopf publishing house records, presented in 1966. The Macmillan archives, donated in 1965, consist of correspondence, copy-books covering the period 1889-1907, and letters from Macmillan authors during the first half of the twentieth century. Included are such notable figures as Gertrude Atherton, Liberty Hyde Bailey, Winston Churchill, Jack London, John Masefield, Edgar Lee Masters, Marianne Moore, H. G. Wells, Owen Wister, Margaret Mitchell, and Kathleen Winsor.

A notable holding in the Manuscripts and Archives Division is the large collection of papers and correspondence of the American poet and editor Richard Watson Gilder (1844-1909), given to the library between 1950 and 1968 by Miss Rosamond Gilder and Mrs. Walter W. Palmer. Also administered by that division is a memorial collection of the papers (1902-24) of John Quinn, the prominent Irish-American lawyer and man of letters who was instrumental in organizing the famous Armory Show of 1913; the collection was donated by Mrs. Thomas F. Conroy, beginning in 1962.

The Arents Tobacco Collection has acquired first editions, typescripts, holograph manuscripts, and correspondence containing references to tobacco or smoking made by noted American authors. A surprising number of authors are represented. Some indication of the material available to researchers is indicated under the studies of individual authors given below.