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Century Magazine Correspondence: Finding Aid
mssCM 1-760  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Century Magazine Correspondence
    Dates (inclusive): 1885-1914
    Collection Number: mssCM 1-760
    Creator: Century magazine.
    Extent: 760 pieces in 9 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection consists mainly of letters written by various contributors to the editors of The Century magazine between 1885 and 1914. The collection also contains numerous editorial memorandums and notes written by Richard Watson Gilder to his editorial assistants chiefly in 1904.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Century Magazine Correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Purchased from Charles Hamilton, 1955.

    Historical Note

    The Century Magazine was the successor to Scribner's Monthly, founded by Roswell Smith and Dr. Josiah Gilbert Holland in New York City, with its first issue published in November 1870. In 1881, due to a change in ownership, the name became The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. At that time, Richard Watson Gilder became editor-in-chief and his was the controlling influence in the magazine until his death in 1909. The magazine was an important periodical in its day, publishing numerous types and genres of writing as well as pictorial works.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists mainly of letters written by various contributors to the editors of The Century Magazine. Most of the correspondence is addressed either to Gilder or his associate editor, Robert Underwood Johnson, who became editor upon Gilder's death. A few letters are simply addressed to the Century Magazine or to Clarence Clough Buel, assistant editor. The collection also contains numerous editorial memorandums and notes written by Richard Watson Gilder to his editorial assistants. Most of these were written about 1904 when Gilder was frequently in Massachusetts to recover his health. He remained active in his editorial duties, however, sending almost daily suggestions and directions to the editorial office in New York.
    Correspondents represented in the collection include: Irving Bacheller (22 pieces), John Kendrick Bangs (11 pieces), John Joy Bell (9 pieces), Lewis Saul Benjamin (9 pieces), F. C. Boggs, Robert Browning; Clarence Clough Buel, Francis Marion Crawford (30 pieces), Doty; Helena deKay Gilder, Jeannette Leonard Gilder (6 pieces), Joseph Benson Gilder, Richard Watson Gilder (319 pieces), Frederic Harrison (19 pieces), Thomas Wentworth Higginson (20 pieces), Emory R. Johnson, Robert Underwood Johnson (7 pieces), John La Farge (44 pieces), Louise Chandler Moulton (18 pieces), Charles Eliot Norton (24 pieces), Sir Gilbert Parker (5 pieces), Elizabeth Robins Pennell (22 pieces), Bertha Runkle (5 pieces), Anne Douglas Sedgwick (28 pieces), William Sharp (18 pieces), Frank Dempster Sherman (18 pieces), Roswell Smith, Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford (8 pieces), Eleanor Tully, Elizabeth Sturat Phelps Ward (35 pieces), Ward Herbert Dickinson, Mary Augusta (Arnold) Ward (Mrs. Humphry Ward) (22 pieces), Charles Dudley Warner (27 pieces), and Richard Whiteing (11 pieces). Note: piece counts have been included for correspondents represented by three or more items.
    Some notable items include:
    • Crawford, Francis Marion. Synopsis of a story. [1894 April 28]
    • Gilder, Richard Watson. To R. U. Johnson. Re: plans for Civil War articles. 1885 April 23
    • Gilder, Richard Watson. To Johnson. 1904 July 16. Praising a story of Hawthorne; ... it will not be even a `pearl before swine' for the swine will drop off at the first sentence.
    • Gilder, Richard Watson. To Century office. 1904 September 22. Telegram that a picture is upside down.
    • Gilder, Richard Watson. To Johnson. 1905 September 18. Re: Maeterlinck's essay on immortality.
    • Harrison, Frederic. 1901 October 29. Re: an historical romance he is writing.
    • Johnson, Robert Underwood. To Gilder. 1889 July 24. Re: the way journalism is carried on in California.
    • Norton, Charles Eliot. To Gilder. 1891 February 3. Regrets Ruskin has written so much in recent years about himself and his friends.
    • Sharp, William. To Century editors. 1889 January 11. Offers American rights to a new novel.
    • Ward, Mary Augusta (Arnold). To Gilder. 1902 February 15. Re: her father's letters.
    • Ward, Mary Augusta (Arnold). To Johnson. 1905 October 13. Objects to alterations in her story.


    Arranged chronologically.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Century magazine.
    Authors, American -- 19th century -- Correspondence.
    Authors, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence.


    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 20th century.
    Memorandums -- United States.
    Notes -- United States.

    Alternate Authors

    Bacheller, Irving, 1859-1950.
    Bangs, John Kendrick, 1862-1922.
    Bell, J. J. (John Joy), 1871-1934.
    Benjamin, Lewis Saul, 1874-1932.
    Crawford, F. Marion (Francis Marion), 1854-1909.
    Gilder, Jeannette L. (Jeannette Leonard), 1849-1916.
    Gilder, Richard Watson, 1844-1909.
    Harrison, Frederic, 1831-1923.
    Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911.
    Johnson, Robert Underwood, 1853-1937.
    La Farge, John, 1835-1910.
    Moulton, Louise Chandler, 1835-1908.
    Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908.
    Parker, Gilbert, 1862-1932.
    Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, 1855-1936.
    Runckle, Bertha.
    Sedgwick, Anne Douglas, 1873-1935.
    Sharp, William, 1855-1905.
    Sherman, Frank Dempster, 1860-1916.
    Spofford, Harriet Elizabeth Prescott, 1835-1921.
    Ward, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, 1844-1911.
    Ward, Humphry, Mrs., 1851-1920.
    Warner, Charles Dudley, 1829-1900.
    Whiteing, Richard, 1840-1928.