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Barlow Family Collection of Manuscripts
MSS 0019  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Historical Background
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Barlow Family
    Title: Barlow Family Collection of Manuscripts,
    Date (inclusive): 1585 - 1870
    Extent: 0.40 linear feet (1 archives box)
    Abstract: Manuscripts, signed by European rulers and nobles and dating mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries, collected by the family of writer Jarvis Barlow and his father Dr. Walter Jarvis Barlow, both of Southern California. The bulk of the collection, titled "Autografi dei Sovrani," was probably assembled in Italy in the 18th century. Materials include letters signed by King Louis XV of France, King Philip IV of Spain, two queens of Spain (Mariana de Austria and Marie d'Orleans), Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, Charles, Duc d'Orleans, and Spanish writer Francisco de Quevedo in his capacity as an official of the Spanish court. Also included is a clipped autograph of French Emperor Napolean III. Many of the 17th century materials were originally sent to Italian artist and architect Juan Bautista Crescencio (1595-1660) and to Cardinal Alexander Crescencio (fl. late 17th century).
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0019
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Barlow Family Collection of Manuscripts, MSS 0019. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Historical Background

    The precise background of the Barlow manuscript collection is unknown. According to the Friends of the UCSD Library Newsletter of March 1970, Mrs. Jarvis Barlow of Carlsbad, California, donated the collection to the UCSD library in 1970. The materials had been "in the family of her late husband for some generations." Her husband, Jarvis Barlow, was a California writer, editor of the magazine Pan, and author of the book Once in an Orange Grove (1941). His father, Dr. Walter Jarvis Barlow of Sierra Madre, California, was a prominent physician who settled in Los Angeles in 1895. The elder Barlow founded the Barlow Sanitorium for tuberculosis treatment, served as a professor of clinical medicine and Dean of the Medical Department at UCLA, and founded the Barlow Medical Library, later the library of the Los Angeles County Medical Association.
    The Barlow manuscript collection was originally contained in a portfolio labelled "Autografi dei Sovrani." The materials were enclosed in folders labelled in Italian with the names of various European rulers or nobles. Judging from the arrangement of the materials, it appeared that the bulk of the collection, which dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, was probably assembled in Italy in the 18th century and that additional materials were added later, probably by someone who obtained the original collection. This inference is based on the fact that the bulk of the manuscripts were foldered in uniform sheets of paper of a quality common in the 18th century and labelled (in ink) in handwriting that matches that of the portfolio cover. The additional materials were foldered in paper common to the 19th and early 20th centuries (some of which came from the pages of printed books), and labelled in pencil in handwriting different from that of the portfolio cover. The present arrangement of the collection reflects this inference.
    Many of the manuscripts that comprised the original "Autografi dei Sovrani" relate to the Italian family of Crescencio (or Crescenzi). Two members of this family were the recipients of many of the letters in the collection: Juan Bautista Crescencio (1595-1660), and Cardinal Alexander Crescencio (fl. late 17th cent.).
    Juan Bautista Crescencio, an artist and architect, was born in Rome and served the Spanish court. Cardinal Zapata recommended Crescencio to King Phillip III as an architect for the Royal Pantheon in El Escorial monastary, a project that was completed under Phillip IV around 1650. Crescencio was a favorite of the Spanish minister the Duke of Olivares, and he received many titles, including Marquis de la Torre, Knight of the Order of Santiago, and minister of the Junta de Obras y Bosques (an institution responsible for the preservation of the Royal estates).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Barlow collection of manuscripts consists mostly of letters from the 17th and 18th centuries, with a few items from the 19th century. Although signed by European rulers and nobles, most of the manuscripts are the work of secretaries or scribes. Included in the collection are 52 Italian manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries, 42 Spanish manuscripts from the 17th century, 27 French and German manuscripts from the 16th through 19th centuries, and one Greek manuscript dated 1862.
    The collection is arranged in two series: AUTOGRAFI DEI SOVRANI, which contains the materials that probably comprised the original 18th century collection; and MISCELLANY, which contains those materials probably added to the original collection later. Within these series the materials are arranged by country of origin. The original foldering of the manuscripts has been retained: in general, materials signed by a particular ruler or noble are foldered together.
    The subseries Spanish Manuscripts within the AUTOGRAFI DEI SOVRANI contains mostly letters written to Cardinal Alexander Crescencio from King Philip IV of Spain; Mariana de Austria, Queen of Spain; and Marie d'Orleans, Queen of Spain. Most of these letters contain Christmas greetings, but some of them reveal the important role played by Cardinal Crescencio in the marriage of King Charles II and Marie d'Orleans. Also among the Spanish Manuscripts are state documents relating to the nomination of Juan Bautista Crescencio to knighthood in the Order of Santiago in 1626. One of these documents is signed by the Spanish writer Francisco de Quevedo when he held the post of "oficial mayor en la escribania de camara del Consejo de Ordenes," prior to his political confrontation with the Duke of Olivares. Another, signed by King Philip IV, contains the full titles of the Spanish monarch, which specify the many realms of the Crown.
    Other rulers and nobles represented in the collection include: King Louis XV of France; Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor; Cosimo III Medici, Duke of Tuscany; Carlo Emmanuele IV of Savoy, King of Sardinia; Popes Benedetto XIV and Clemente XII; Anthony of Saxony-Weimar; Charles II, Archduke of Austria; Frederick II, Duke of Bavaria; Otto I, King of Greece; Charles, Duke d'Orleans; and Napolean III, Emperor of France. The document signed by the Duke d'Orleans represents the nominataion of a French nobleman as a representative in the famous Etats Generaux called by King Louis XVI on the eve of the Revolution.

    Indexing Terms

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


    Crescencio, Alexander -- Cardinal
    Barlow Family -- Archives
    History, Modern -- 17th century -- Sources
    History, Modern -- 18th century -- Sources
    History, Modern -- 19th century -- Sources


    Philip -- IV, -- King of Spain, 1605-1665 -- correspondent
    Marie Louise, -- of Orléans, Queen, Consort of Charles II, King of Spain, 1662-1689 -- correspondent
    Ferdinand -- III, -- Holy Roman Emperor, 1608-1657 -- correspondent
    Maximilian, -- Duke of Bavaria, 1809-1888 -- correspondent
    Louis, -- XV, -- King of France, 1710-1774 -- correspondent
    Otho -- I, -- King of Greece, 1815-1867 -- correspondent