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Finding Aid for the Robert Baldwin Ross Collection 1890-1918
MS Ross and MS Wilde  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Material
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Robert Baldwin Ross Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1888-1951
    Collection number: MS Ross and MS Wilde
    Creator: Ross, Robert Baldwin 1869-1918
    Extent: 4 boxes (1.5 linear feet)
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: Correspondence, court papers, and other miscellaneous documents related to Robert Baldwin Ross.
    Physical location: Clark Library
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Clark Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Robert Baldwin Ross Collection, MS Ross, [or Oscar Wilde and his Literary Circle Collection, MS. Wilde, as appropriate], William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Acquisition Information

    William Andrews Clark, Jr. acquired the nucleus of the Clark Library's Oscar Wilde collection from Dulau and Company, London, in 1929. Most of the Dulau material had been in the possession of Robert B. Ross (Oscar Wilde's literary executor), Christopher S. Millard (a.k.a. Stuart Mason, the Wilde bibliographer), and Vyvyan B. Holland (Wilde's only surviving son). Since 1929, the Clark Library has steadily purchased important new material and in the year 2000, the collection was estimated to contain over 65,000 items.

    Processing History

    This finding aid was compiled by Jamie Henricks in April, 2010.


    Robert Baldwin Ross was born in Tours, France in 1869. He was brought up in London, studied at Cambridge, then moved to Edinburgh as an apprentice journalist. He met Oscar Wilde in 1886 and remained his friend while Wilde was imprisoned from 1895-1897. Ross stayed in touch with Wilde and was present when Wilde died in November 1900. Ross was made Wilde's literary executor and later published a 14 volume set of his collected works. After Wilde's death, he became an art gallery director and art critic. He was involved in court cases with Lord Alfred Douglas and others between 1913 and 1915. He died in London in 1918 and asked to be cremated, his ashes placed in Oscar Wilde's tomb at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

    Scope and Content

    This finding aid describes the Clark Library's collection of material created by and related to Robert Baldwin Ross, and includes letters, court documents, a draft of a petition to the Queen, and other miscellaneous items.
    Materials in this collection are not all physically housed together, because of the different acquisition dates and because of various organization schemes developed over time by the Clark. Box numbers listed below indicate the collection with which each item is physically placed.


    The collection is arranged in four series: correspondence to and from Ross, manuscripts, and miscellaneous items. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient, then chronologically by date when available. Manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by title. Miscellaneous items are arranged thematically.
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Correspondence from Ross to Acquaintences, 1890-1918
    • Series 2. Correspondence from Acquaintences to Ross, 1888-1914
    • Series 3. Manuscripts, 1900-1913
    • Series 4. Miscellaneous, 1896-1951

    Related Material

    The Clark Library holds collections relating to or created by contemporaries of Robert Ross, including Oscar Wilde and their circle of friends. The information in this finding aid was taken from other finding aids held by the Clark Library:
    (Some photos of Oscar Wilde in the Wildeiana Collection were taken by Ross.)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900

    Genres and Forms

    Letters--United States--20th century.