Samuel Johnson manuscripts
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Extent2 linear feet (1 1/2 boxes, 13 volumes, and 1 framed item)
Biographical / Historical
A native of Lichfield, Johnson attended Oxford in 1728 and 1729, but left without receiving a degree. He married the widow Elizabeth Porter (1688-1752) in 1735; they had no children together. Johnson resided primarily in London from 1737 onward, although he continued to maintain a house in Lichfield. He received an honorary M.A. from Oxford in 1755, and honorary LL.D. degrees from Trinity College, Dublin in 1765 and from Oxford in 1775. He supported himself modestly from his literary endeavors until being granted an annual pension in 1762. He was memorialized in James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791), generally regarded as an early landmark of the biographical craft.
- I. Autograph manuscripts
- II. Transcripts
Immediate Source of Acquisition
All material described below is from accession 2003JM-64 unless otherwise noted.
One minor item credited to the Hyde Collection in the Fleeman Handlist 252 and IELM, JoS 319 (a list of six place names) was not accessioned with the collection. Mary Hyde Eccles's annotated copy of Fleeman noted this item as lost. Another copy, also in Johnson's hand, is at Yale University.
- Fleeman, J.D., A Bibliography of the Works of Samuel Johnson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000)
- Fleeman, J.D., A Preliminary Handlist of Documents & Manuscripts of Samuel Johnson (Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1967)
- Hazen, Allen T., Samuel Johnson's Prefaces & Dedications (New Haven: Yale University, 1937)
- McAdam, E.L. Jr., and Donald and Mary Hyde, eds., Samuel Johnson: Diaries, Prayers, and Annals (New Haven: Yale University, 1958)
- McAdam, E.L. Jr., and George Milne, eds., Samuel Johnson: Poems (New Haven: Yale University, 1964)
- Smith, Margaret M., et al., Index of English Literary Manuscripts, Volume III, Part 2 (London: Mansell, 1989), pp. 121-178
- Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784. Samuel Johnson manuscripts, 1725-1784: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA