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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1239.1

James Russell Lowell letters to the Lowell family


Letters from the American author and poet James Russell Lowell to family while he was traveling in Europe.


  • 1828-1891

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.5 linear feet (1 box)
Letters by Lowell to his family, chiefly written while he was traveling in Europe. Includes letters to his mother and his brothers, but consists primarily of letters written to Lowell's daughter, Mabel Lowell Burnett, over the course of her childhood and into her adult life. Letters concern family relationships, the births and childhoods of Mabel's children, and the health of Lowell's second wife, Frances Dunlap Lowell. Collection also includes newspaper clippings from London papers concerning Lowell's recall as ambassador to England by President Cleveland.

Biographical / Historical

Lowell was an author, poet, editor, teacher, and diplomat. He edited the Atlantic Monthly (1857-1861), and with Charles Eliot Norton, the North American Review (1860s); was professor of French and Spanish Languages and Literatures at Harvard (1855-1886) succeeding Longfellow; and U.S. minister to Spain (1877-1880), and to England (1880-1885).


Arranged alphabetically by recipient.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

42M-621 (173-187). Gift of Mrs. Pierre Jay; 133 East 64th Street, New York City; received: 1942 Nov.

43M-775. Deposit of Mrs. Lois Burnett Rantoul; 153 Crafts Road, Chestnut Hill, Mass.; received: 1944 June.

43M-862. Gift of James Burnett Lowell; received: 1944 June 23.

47M-347 (264-342). Gift of Mrs. Esther Lowell Cunningham; 241 Canton Avenue, Milton, Mass.; received: Deposit, 1948 Mar. 2; Gift, 1969 Nov.

Separated Materials

Some items formerly shelved with bMS Am 1484 [items (227-228), (230-238), (240-243), (245-284), and (286-301)] have been moved this collection and have been given new item numbers.
Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891. James Russell Lowell letters to the Lowell family, 1828-1891: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

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.

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