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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Hyde 97

R. W. Chapman papers


Correspondence, proofs, and notes relating to Chapman's The Letters of Samuel Johnson.


  • Creation: 1922-1965
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1925-1952

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine retrieval policies and times.


3.75 linear feet (3 boxes)

This collection constitutes Chapman's working files for The Letters of Samuel Johnson. No personal material, or material relating to Chapman's other research interests, is included.

Biographical / Historical

Robert William Chapman (1881-1960) graduated from the University of Oxford, and was employed by the university's Clarendon Press from 1906 to 1942. He edited numerous scholarly editions of Jane Austen and Samuel Johnson. The culmination of his career was The Letters of Samuel Johnson, which he began researching in the mid-1920s, and completed in 1952. This remained the definitive edition of Johnson's correspondence until Bruce Redford's The Letters of Samuel Johnson in 1992.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Index notes
  3. III. Proofs
  4. IV. Research notes

Physical Location

Harvard Depository


Part of this collection was acquired from Chapman by Donald and Mary Hyde in 1953. The Fettercairn correspondence files, and perhaps other portions of the papers, were apparently given to the Hydes in 1965 by Chapman's widow Katherine Marion Chapman.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003JM-33 (part). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

General note

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Alyson E. Reichgott and Rick Stattler

Chapman, R. W. (Robert William), 1881-1960. R. W. Chapman papers, 1922-1965: 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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