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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2759

Ezra Ripley Thayer papers concerning Leonard Merrick


Primarily letters from British author Leonard Merrick to American lawyer and Harvard Law School dean, Ezra Ripley Thayer. Also includes other papers concerning Merrick and Thayer.


  • Creation: 1900-1912

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.


.25 linear feet (1 box)

Ezra Ripley Thayer was a fan of Leonard Merrick's work and this collection concerns their friendship and Thayer's assistance concerning publication of Merrick's novels in the United States. Includes autograph manuscript letters primarily from Merrick to Thayer, with only a few written by Thayer. Also includes letters from various others to Thayer about Merrick and clippings.

Biographical / Historical

Ezra Ripley Thayer (1866-1915) was an attorney, teacher, and administrator. He received an A.B. from Harvard College in 1888 and an LL.B. from the Harvard Law School in 1891. He was a partner in Boston with the firm of Storey, Thorndike, Palmer & Thayer, and was the Dane Professor at the Harvard Law School and Dean from 1910-1915. In 1915, at age 49, Thayer committed suicide while suffering from acute depression.

Leonard Merrick (1864-1939) was a British dramatist, actor, and novelist. He was well regarded by other writers of his era with J. M. Barrie calling Merrick the "novelist's novelist." In 1918 fifteen writers collaborated with publisher E. P. Dutton to issue a fifteen volume The works of Leonard Merrick.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Leonard Merrick correspondence with Ezra Ripley Thayer
  2. II. Other correspondence
  3. III. Other papers

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

89M-39. Gift of Mrs. Donald Starr; received: 1989 August 4.

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

Thayer, Ezra Ripley, 1866-1915. Ezra Ripley Thayer papers concerning Leonard Merrick, 1900-1912: 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.

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