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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 3263

Correspondence, proofs, and documents relating to publication of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Letters and Social Aims

Papers relating to the proposed publication of essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson as Letters and Social Aims.


  • 1847-1873


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


.2 linear feet (1 box)

Collection includes correspondence of Alexander Ireland, Moncure Conway, John Camden Hotten, and Ellen Davis Conway; an engraved portait and a carte-de-visite of Emerson; lists of his essays; printer's correspondence relating to publishing the essays; and three leaves from The Dial annotated by Emerson.

Biographical / Historical

The collection documents the efforts, sometimes at cross-purposes, of Anglo-American friends of Ralph Waldo Emerson to publish a volume of his essays without his approval. The group of friends included expatriot American, Moncure Daniel Conway, Manchester publisher, Alexander Ireland, and London publisher John Camden Hotten.
The project was halted and reworked extensively, ultimately gaining the approval of Emerson and his family and advisors.


Arranged in order as received.

Physical Location


Custodial History

This collection was previously owned by a descendant of the publisher Andrew Chatto; Chatto was the successor to John Camden Hotten.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2019M-54. Purchased with funds from the Houghton Fund to Support Study of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 2018 November.

Processing Information

Processed by Melanie Wisner, 2019.
Link to catalog
Correspondence, proofs, and documents relating to publication of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Letters and Social Aims (MS Am 3263): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University
2019 January 22
Description rules
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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