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COLLECTION Identifier: Keats Room

John Keats portraits and artifacts


Portraits of English poet John Keats and objects owned by him.


  • 1817-1970 and undated

Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Keats Room and many of these objects can be viewed by guided tour Fridays at 2:00 p.m.

Examination of objects in the Houghton Reading Room requires advance notice, and the permission of the curator.


2 linear feet (15 items)

Includes portraits of Keats: silhouette by Charles Armitage Brown (1819), bas-relief (sculpture) by Muriel Caswall (ca. 1945), portrait cameo in bone china (1970), three drawings by Joseph Severn (ca. 1818, 1830, 1860), and medallions by Sidney Waugh (1936); and mixed media by Ross Wilson. Also includes objects owned by Keats, including: gold bracelet (jewelry), gold seal with chain, tin box formerly housing a Book of Common Prayer (1817), locks of John Keats's hair (one in gold locket), and the prize medal awarded to Keats in 1810 while attending John Clarke's School in Enfield.

Biographical / Historical

John Keats (1795-1821) was one of the principal poets of the English Romantic movement.

These objects, most of which are on permanent display in the Keats Room at Houghton Library, were acquired at various times and from various donors. Some items were owned by John Keats.


Arranged into the following two series:

  1. I. Portraits of John Keats
  2. II. Objects owned by John Keats

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Various accessions, various dates. See item description for full acquisition information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Keats, John, 1795-1821. John Keats portraits and artifacts, circa 1817-1970: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
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.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440