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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2591

Frances White Emerson correspondence with Geoffrey Keynes


Primarily correspondence concerning publication and donation of William Blake manuscripts, between British scholar Sir Geoffrey Keynes and American bibliophile, Frances White Emerson.


  • Creation: 1919-1944

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 what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


.3 linear feet (1 box)

Autograph manuscript and typescript correspondence primarily between Sir Geoffrey Keynes and Frances White Emerson. Also with letters from Sir Frederick George Kenyon, William Augustus White, and Margaret Elizabeth Keynes. Letters concern the donation, reproduction, and publication of William Blake manuscripts from the collection of William Augustus White, later owned by his daughter, Frances White Emerson. Mentions the Nonesuch Press, British Museum, Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, the Rosenbach Company, and many other topics. Personal topics include health, various trips, family concerns, memberships in clubs, and many other matters.

Biographical / Historical

William Augustus White (1843-1927) was an American investment banker, book collector, and a great collector of William Blake and of Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights. Upon his death in 1927, his daughter, Frances White Emerson (1860-1957), inherited his collection.

Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes (1887-1982) was a British surgeon and literary scholar, and was the brother of the economist John Maynard Keynes. Geoffrey Keynes published on and collected materials of William Blake. It was this interest that brought him into contact with William Augustus White and later with Frances White Emerson. In 1917, Keynes married Margaret Elizabeth (Darwin) Keynes (1890-1974).


Arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent, then by date.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

57M-21. Gift of Mrs. Jon Wiig, P.O. Box 2577, Honolulu 3, Hawaii; received: 1957 July.

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Emerson, Frances White, 1860-1957. Frances White Emerson correspondence with Geoffrey Keynes, 1919-1944: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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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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