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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 470 (878) - (1072)

Rogers Memorial Collection: John Barnett papers


Papers of an English composer of vocal music, including compositions and diaries.


  • Creation: 1818-1889
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1823-1865

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

This series 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 what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


3 linear feet (7 boxes)

The bulk of this collection is contained in three subseries. "Compositions by John Barnett" includes more than one hundred manuscript musical scores by Barnett, most of them short pieces. "Compositions by Others" consists mostly of words sent to Barnett by various authors to be set to music, including compositions by authors such as Manfredo Maggioni, Henry Thomas Smart, and Harry Stoe Van Dyk. "Diaries" includes diaries kept intermittently by Barnett from 1829 to 1889, as well as typescript transcripts prepared by Henry Munroe Rogers of the diaries from 1831 to 1847.

Biographical / Historical

John Barnett (1802-1890) was an English composer of vocal works. He first gained prominence as a singer on the London stage from 1813 to 1818, and then began a career as a composer, most notably of the operas The Mountain Sylph (1834) and Fair Rosamond (1837). In 1841, he removed from London to Cheltenham (England), where he established himself as a singing teacher.

Barnett married Eliza E. Lindley in 1837, and had six children who survived to adulthood: Domenico Dragonetti Barnett (1841-1911); Rosamund Liszt Marie Francillon (1841-1910), wife of R.E. (Robert Edward) Francillon; Clara Kathleen Rogers (1844-1931), wife of Henry Munroe Rogers; Julius Lindley Barnett (1846-); Eugene Barnett (1853-1905); and Reginald Barnett (1853-1922).


Arranged into the following subseries:

  1. A: Correspondence with John Barnett
  2. B: Compositions by John Barnett
  3. C: Compositions by others
  4. D: Diaries
  5. E: Biographical miscellany

Physical Location

Harvard Depository


The diaries were inherited by Barnett's son Reginald Barrett, bequeathed to Reginald's cousin Arthur R. Lindley in 1922, and sold by Lindley to Henry Munroe Rogers in 1928. The remainder of these papers may have been inherited from Barnett by his daughter Clara Kathleen Rogers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gift of Clara Kathleen Rogers and Henry Munroe Rogers, 1930.

The core of the collection arrived in 1930, but Henry Munroe Rogers continued to add material informally through at least 1936.

Separated Materials

The Rogers Memorial Collection, of which this is series IV, contains literary and historical material relating to Barnett's daughter Clara Kathleen Rogers and her husband Henry Munroe Rogers of Boston, Mass. A master list of the Rogers Memorial Collection series can be found in HOLLIS 10104119.

Correspondence and other records relating to the estates of John and Eliza Barnett can be found in the Henry Munroe Rogers Papers, MS Thr 470 (88) - (667), items (100) and (103); and in Series III, items (615) to (617). Letters from John Barnett to his daughter can be found in the Henry Munroe Rogers Papers, MS Thr 470 (88) - (667), item (102); and the Clara Kathleen Rogers Papers, MS Thr 470 (668) - (877), item (671).


For a description of the Rogers Memorial Collection, see The Rogers Memorial Room : an account of the nature, origin, and significance of the memorabilia presented to Harvard College in 1930 by Clara Kathleen & Henry Munroe Rogers ([Boston] : Cosmos Press, 1935).

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Rogers, Henry Munroe, 1839-1937, collector. Rogers Memorial Collection: John Barnett papers, 1818-1889: 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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