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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1251.1-1251.3

William Dean Howells Correspondence and compositions


Primarily letters from American novelist William Dean Howells to his wife.


  • 1894-1917

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


.5 linear feet (1 box)
Contains correspondence between the Howells family on such topics as travels in New York City, finding apartments in New York, church and religion, sickness and paralysis, and extensive communication about William Dean Howells' father who was ill. Collection also contains one birthday telegram from Woodrow Wilson to William Dean Howells. Also includes two manuscripts: Masque of Disease written by Howells in collaboration with Edmund Gosse and notes on Court Martial at Fort P.

Biographical / Historical

William Dean Howells was a novelist and man of letters. He served as United States consul in Venice (1861-1865), editor of The Atlantic Monthly (1871-1881) and of Cosmopolitan (1891-1892). He was a champion of realism in literature.


Organized into the following series:
  1. I. MS Am 1251.1: Letters to Elinor Howells
  2. II. MS Am 1251.2: Letters to William Dean Howells
  3. III. MS Am 1251.3: Compositions

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

51M-242-246. Gift of Miss Mildred Howells, 63 Pine Street, Peterborough, New Hampshire and Mr. John Mead Howells, 580 Park Avenue, New York 21, New York; received: 1952 May 29.
Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920. William Dean Howells Correspondence and compositions, 1894-1917: 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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