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COLLECTION Identifier: 2003J-SJ1169

Johnsoniana; or, Supplement to Boswell: being anecdotes and sayings of Dr. Johnson, extra-illustrated


Printed books with hundreds of inserted prints and manuscripts relating to the text, compiled and bound by collector William Upcott.


  • 1738-1840
  • Majority of material found within 1784-1837

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.5 linear feet (2 volumes)

The set includes prints and manuscripts illustrating many of the people and places mentioned in Croker's Johnsoniana, including individuals mentioned only in footnotes or as historical figures, who may have only a tangential relation to Samuel Johnson.

The set also includes letters by Edmund Burke; Charles Burney; David Garrick; Edmond Malone; Hannah More; Elizabeth Robinson Montagu; Thomas Percy; Sir Joshua Reynolds; Samuel Richardson; Sir Walter Scott, Anna Seward; and many others, as well as a receipt signed by Oliver Goldsmith.


Upcott acquired prints and manuscripts to illustrate places and individuals mentioned in the text of Croker's book. The corresponding items are mounted on facing pages (preceding odd-numbered pages and following even-numbered pages). The inventory is arranged as items appear in the volumes.

The first digit of each item number refers to the volume as bound by Upcott, and the second digit refers to the page number in the published text. The third digit, where necessary, refers to the sheet number of the insertion in cases where more than one item is inserted for a page. Example: (1. 173. 2) indicates that the item is in Vol. 1 of Adam's 2-volume set. Within that volume, it appears facing page 173, and starts on the second inserted sheet facing that page.

Appearing after Croker's table of contents and index, volume 1, page xix, is a twelve-page manuscript list of inserted material, compiled by Upcott.

Physical Location



This set was compiled by collector William Upcott (1779-1845) of Islington (London, England) in 1841. Before 1910, it was acquired by R.B. (Robert Borthwick) Adam (1863-1940) of Buffalo, N.Y., as bookplates show that it was presented that year to his wife Lena Stevens Adam (d. 1940). The set was apparently purchased from the Adam estate by Donald Frizell Hyde and Mary Hyde in 1948.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003J-SJ1169. Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

Existence and Location of Copies

Available on microfilm (manuscripts only).

Separated Materials

Five of the manuscript items, items (1. 1. 1), (1. 192), (2. 394. 3), (2. 423), and (2. 512), were removed from the volume by Lady Eccles, and can now be found elsewhere in the Hyde Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler and Marcia Levinson

A full inventory spreadsheet of the prints was compiled by Marcia Levinson while the set was the property of Mary Hyde Eccles. In 2006, this spreadsheet was expanded and developed into the present guide, and descriptions of the manuscripts were added.

Croker, John Wilson, 1780-1857. Johnsoniana; or, Supplement to Boswell: being anecdotes and sayings of Dr. Johnson, extra-illustrated, 1738-1840: 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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