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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 951-951.1, 951.3-951.23, 951.25-951.29

William Makepeace Thackeray collection


Drawings, writings, some correspondence, and address book of British novelist, William Makepeace Thackeray.


  • 1832-1897

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


2 linear feet (30 volumes)

Includes pen-and-ink and watercolor drawings, costume sketches, notes, compositions, poems, correspondence, and Thackeray's address book. Writings include a lecture on George I and George IV and an essay on Napoleon. Drawings by Thackeray include a self-portrait, caricature of Napoleon, and illustrations for many of his books including The Book of Snobs (1845-1846), The Virginians, and for The Kickleburys on the Rhine, among others. Also included are illustrations by J. Clayton Clarke ("Kyd") for Yellowplush Papers and A Shabby Genteel Story.

Biographical / Historical

Thackeray was a British novelist, satirist, and illustrator.


Arranged in call-number order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection primarily gift of Herbert L. Carlebach; received 1944-1959; and other donors. See items for full acquisition information.

Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863. William Makepeace Thackeray collection: 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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