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COLLECTION Identifier: HEW 10.13.21F

Robert Louis Stevenson Vailima letters, extra-illustrated


Manuscripts inserted into Robert Louis Stevenson, Vailima letters (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), including letters called the "Vailima letters" and "Pacific letters."


  • Creation: 1890-1894

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.

These volumes are not housed at the Houghton Library but are shelved in Widener Library in the Harry Elkins Widener Room. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine retrieval policies and times.


.33 linear feet (57 items in 4 volumes)

Original full title of this set is: Vailima letters: being correspondence addressed by Robert Louis Stevenson to Sidney Colvin, November 1890-October, 1894. A special title-page inserted in the first volume also names this set: The Vailima and Pacific letters, 1888-1894. Volumes include 57 letters from poet Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) to Sir Sidney Colvin, spanning the dates 1888-1894. Letters are mounted in 4 volumes of full brown morocco gilt, which expanded the set from the original 2 volumes.

The following inventory lists these letters as far as is practical in their present order. Parts of several letters are misbound. Letters nos. 1 - 45 comprise the "Vailima letters"; their numbers correspond to those given them by A.S.W. Rosenbach, A catalogue of the books and manuscripts of Robert Louis Stevenson in the library of the late Harry Elkins Widener, 1913, pp.247-256, no.225. Letters nos. 46-57 are the "Pacific letters" described by Rosenbach, op. cit., p.246, no.224.


Organized by volume.

Physical Location

Harry Elkins Widener Collection

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Forms part of the Harry Elkins Widener Collection.

Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894. Robert Louis Stevenson Vailima letters, extra-illustrated, 1890-1894: 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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