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COLLECTION Identifier: HEW 8.6.2

Blanche Paxton album on William Makepeace Thackeray


An album containing original materials mostly by or about William Makepeace Thackeray.


  • Creation: 1836-1868 and undated

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

These volumes are shelved in Widener Library in the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Room. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine retrieval policies and times.


.1 linear feet (1 volume in case) ; 29 cm.

Thackeray materials include original portraits , watercolors, pen and ink and pencil drawings and sketches , a self-portrait, poems , a manuscript essay, an invitation, autograph letters, illustrated letter , and proof sheets . Also includes: a circular letter dated 1857 Dec. 24 signed by WMT, Charles Dickens, and John Forster relating to the finances of "Miss Power"; letters from Charles Dickens and Samuel Prout; autographs of Frederika Bremer, Mary Howitt and others; and original drawings by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), George Cattermole, John Leech, Samuel Prout, John Tenniel, and unidentified drawings.

Album bound in green morocco, with bookplates of Mathew Smith, Esquire, and Harry Elkins Widener.

Biographical / Historical

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was a British novelist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Part of the Harry Elkins Widener Collection.

Album formerly belonged to Miss Blanche Paxton, daughter and the second of 6 children of Sir Joseph Paxton, the English architect, landscape gardener, and designer of the Crystal Palace Exposition Hall.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

The pages in the album were numbered prior to receipt at Harvard; these are the page references given below. Pasted-in items were later numbered in the repository, consecutively as laid into the volume, and now consitute the item numbers below.

Dimensions of drawings are primarily of the image, not the sheet.

Many pages contain annotations in an unidentified hand and have been marked in finding aid as: "Note in album."

Paxton, Blanche, former owner. Blanche Paxton album on William Makepeace Thackeray: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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