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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Hyde 9

Sir Joshua Reynolds papers


Letters, notes, receipts, and manuscripts, mostly relating to Reynolds's artistic career and personal finances.


  • Creation: 1767-1791

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)

Series I contains fifteen autograph letters, notes and receipts addressed by Reynolds to a variety of correspondents, including James Boswell, item (5); and Thomas Percy, item (10). Most relate to Reynolds's artistic career or his personal finances. Series II consists of two autograph Reynolds manuscripts, one describing Oliver Goldsmith, item (11).

Biographical / Historical

Sir Joshua Reynolds was the leading portrait painter of late 18th-century England. He was a friend of Samuel Johnson and a founding member of the Literary Club, and was knighted in 1769. He also delivered a series of influential discourses on painting to the Royal Academy from 1769 to 1790.

Physical Location

b (shelved with MS Hyde 8)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003JM-58 (part). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

Related Materials

19 letters from Samuel Johnson to Reynolds are in MS Hyde 1, item (97). One letter from Reynolds to Hester Thrale is in MS Hyde 3, item (95). Single letters from Thomas Barnard and Charlotte Lennox to Reynolds are in MS Hyde 10. MS Hyde 30 consists of papers relating to Reynolds's estate kept by executor Philip Metcalfe, and also includes accounts kept by Reynolds relating to the Samuel Johnson monument. One letter from the Countess of Cork and Orrery to Reynolds is in MS Hyde 57, page 8. Single letters from Reynolds to David Garrick and Samuel Johnson are in MS Hyde 77, v. 2, pages 76 and 94.


All of the full letters in this collection were published in John Ingamells and John Edgcumbe, eds., The Letters of Sir Joshua Reynolds (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2000).

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Reynolds, Joshua, Sir, 1723-1792. Sir Joshua Reynolds papers, 1767-1791: 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.

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