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Finding Aid for the Sir Thomas Phillipps Collection on Publishing and Bookselling 1749-1835
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Material
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Sir Thomas Phillipps Collection on Publishing and Bookselling,
    Date (inclusive): 1749-1835
    Collection number: MS.2004.006
    Collector: Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872
    Extent: 1 box (2.5 linear inches)
    Repository: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
    Los Angeles, California 90018
    Abstract: Letters related to publishing and bookselling in 18th and 19th century England, from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps.
    Physical location: Clark Library
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English, with some French


    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], Sir Thomas Phillipps Collection on Publishing and Bookselling, MS.2004.006, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Acquisition Information

    Originally from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps, some letters collected here still bear his manuscript numbers. Later, part of the H.P. Kraus inventory auctioned at Sotheby's New York, December 5, 2003, lot 519.
    Purchased by the Clark Library in 2003.

    Processing History

    Processed by Rebecca Fenning, September 2009.

    Biographical Note

    Sir Thomas Phillipps was a book and manuscript collector from young adulthood, who amassed the largest manuscript collection of the 19th century. He was born in 1792, the illegitimate son of a textile manufacturer, and began collecting while a student at Rugby and later at Oxford. Though he inherited a substantial estate upon his father's death, his bibliomania and "vello-mania" (his obsession with manuscripts on vellum) resulted in his being nearly perpetually in debt.
    After Phillipps' death in 1872, his library was left to his youngest daughter and her family. Beginning in 1885, they began to disperse the collection at a series of sales that only ended in 1977, when New York dealers H.P. Kraus purchased the remainder.

    Scope and Content

    Letters related to publishing and bookselling from the collection of legendary collector Sir Thomas Phillipps. The 34 items in this collection date from approximately 1749 to 1835, and contain letters from a wide variety of booksellers, printers, authors, readers, clergymen, foreign dignitaries and antiquaries. Many letters concern ordering books from printers and booksellers, while other letters concern payments due to authors and discussions of books. Some letters bear Phillipps' manuscript catalog numbers. Many also still bear seals and postmarks.


    Letters are arranged in the original order in which they arrived at the Clark Library. It is unclear whether this arrangement was imposed by Sotheby's, Kraus or even Phillipps.

    Related Material

    Additional correspondence from booksellers Cadell & Davies and other contemporaries in the William Roscoe Collection,   (MS.2008.023).

    Indexing Terms

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


    Cadell & Davies
    H.P. Kraus (Firm)
    Hurst, Robinson, and Co.
    Lackington, Allen and Co.
    R. and J. Dodsley
    Ashby, George, 1724-1808
    Bacon, Richard Mackenzie, ca. 1775-1844
    Bathurst, Charles
    Bosanquet, George
    Boydell, John, 1719-1804
    Buchanan, Claudius, 1766-1815
    Buckinghamshire, John Hobart, Earl of, 1722-1793
    Cadell, Thomas, 1773-1836
    Conybeare, J. J. (John Josias), 1779-1824
    Fenn, John, 1739-1794
    Florian, J. B. (Jolly B.)
    Gaskin, George, 1751-1829
    Lackington, George, 1768-1844
    Lackington, James, 1746-1815
    Laird, James, d. 1840
    Lambert, Aylmer Bourke, 1761-1842
    Leroy de Barde, Alexandre-Isidore, 1777-1828
    Lovechild, Mrs., 1743-1813
    Mordente, John Emmanuel
    Noble, Mark, 1754-1827
    Northumberland, Hugh Percy, Duke of, 1742-1817
    Nourse, J. (John), d. 1780
    Planquais, Thomas
    Stockdale, John, 1749?-1814
    Stuart de Rothesay, Charles Stuart, Baron, 1779-1845
    Tucker, Josiah, 1712-1799
    Wimpffen, Alexandre-Stanislas, baron de
    Wrangham, Francis, 1769-1842
    Booksellers and bookselling--England--18th century
    Booksellers and bookselling--England--19th century
    Publishers and publishing--England--18th century
    Publishers and publishing--England--19th century

    Genres and Forms

    Letters--England--18th century
    Letters--England--19th century