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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1160

Edgar Huidekoper Wells papers


Letters to American educator and rare book dealer Edgar Huidekoper Wells.


  • 1912-1933

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.


1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)

Chiefly letters to Wells from various correspondents. Also includes eleven letters from Wells to George Doane Wells and one box of personal papers and memorabilia, such as passports, army orders, and Red Cross citations. The collection relates to Wells's career in the rare book trade, his activities as a Harvard alumnus and supporter of the library, and his World War I service with the American Red Cross and the United States Army.

All letters are addressed to Edgar Huidekoper Wells unless otherwise noted.

Biographical / Historical

Edgar Huidekoper Wells, '97, was a long-time friend of the Harvard College Library and an active and loyal alumnus. He held various positions at Harvard, including instructor in English (1902-1906); curator of modern English literature in the library (1903-1913); and assistant dean (1905-1907). In the first World War he served first in the American Red Cross and then as an army officer attached to the U.S. Embassy in London. After the war he was instrumental in establishing the Lionel DeJersey Harvard fund, which added many rare books to the Library, and the Harvard Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge. He also operated Edgar H. Wells and Company, a book shop in New York City, from 1921 to 1938. For many years until his death in 1938 he was one of the most respected members of the rare book trade, and the friend and correspondents of many well known collectors, dealers, and bibliographers.


Arranged alphabetically by author.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Edgar H. Wells and George Doane Wells; received: 1925-1940.

Wells, Edgar Huidekoper, 1875-1938. Edgar Huidekoper Wells papers: 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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