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James O'Neill Collection
MSS 0141  
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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: O'Neill, James A.
    Title: James O'Neill Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1841 - 1955
    Extent: 4.80 linear feet (12 archive boxes)
    Abstract: A collection of British and American literary manuscripts and correspondence primarily from the latter half of the nineteenth century.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0141
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    James O'Neill Collection, MSS 0141. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Historical Background

    The collection was puchased from James O'Neill in 1964. O'Neill was an industrial consultant and book dealer residing in Boston. The manuscript materials formed a small part of a larger puchase of O'Neill's 14,000 volume library, which represents a life-time of book collecting by O'Neill. O'Neill's interest in American and English literature of the late nineteenth century is evident in both his library and in the materials contained in the manuscript collection.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The materials in the James O'Neill Collection formed part of a large book collection puchased from O'Neill by the UCSD Library. O'Neill was a book dealer and collector. This collection documents his interest in late nineteenth century serial fiction and short stories. While the bulk of the collection is comprised of manuscripts, there is also ample correspondence from the period. Of special interest is the correspondence included in the Amos R. Wells papers, which offers examples of the relationships between writers, editors, and publishers during the period. The collection is divided into five series: MANUSCRIPTS, COLLECTED LETTERS, MISCELLANEOUS, AMOS R. WELLS PAPERS, and ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
    This series is arranged alphabetically by author's name. Each author's works are also arranged alphabetically. The manuscripts themselves are all undated, but published tearsheets found with some of the works date between 1859 and 1910. Included are English and American writers of primarily sentimental and children's literature. William T. Adams (1822-1897) wrote serial fiction for children under the lifeleong pseudonym of "Oliver Optic." Charlotte M. Brame (1836-1884), who has the largest number of manuscripts in this collection, was an English writer of sentimental fiction who published widely in both London and New York periodicals. Abbie Farwell Brown (b.1881) was an American writer of childrens stories. May Agnes Fleming (1840-1880) was an American writer of sentimental fiction who published novels and serial fiction. Bracebridge Hemyng (1841-1901) was an Engish writer of children's fiction who lived and published in the United States from 1873 to 1878. Mary Jane Holmes (1825-1907) was an American writer of sentimental fiction who was immensely popular and successful during this period; with the exception of Harriet Beecher Stowe, her copyright profits exceeded those of all other female authors in America. Owen Wister (b.1860) was an American writer of children's fiction. Mrs. Henry Wood (1814-1887) was an English magazine editor and writer of sentimental fiction. Included in the MANUSCRIPTS series are typescripts, bound manuscripts, and tearsheets from small magazines and journals.
    This series consists of letters dating from the late nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century. They are organized alphabetically by correspondent, except in the case of Capt. J.G.B. Adams, who was the addressee of a number of letters.
    This series consists of various materials found interspersed in the collection which do not appear related to items in the primary series. Included are missionary pamplets dating from the mid-1800s, and a December 1941 typescript newsletter from the U.S. Naval Air Station in Kodiak, Alaska.
    Wells was an American journalist who published a children's periodical titled THE GOLDEN RULE, as well as a general periodical titled CHRISTIAN ENDEAVOR. He maintained correspondence with many prominent figures in the temperance and women's suffrage movements, along with various writers who contributed to the magazines. The first subseries (4A, Manuscripts) contains manuscripts of William H. Hamby, a San Diego-based writer. The manuscripts are organized alphabetically by title. The second subseries (4B, Correspondence) contains Wells' correspondence. This subseries is organized chronologically, with names of each year's correspondents listed and arranged alphabetically. Two folders contain correspondence by single correspondents, with the letters arranged chronologically.
    The final series consists of fragile documents which were removed from their original position for preservation purposes. Acid-free photocopies of the materials have been substitued for these items, and should be used by researchers unless they have a real need to view the originals. These documents are arranged in a single folder, following the order in which they appear in the collection.

    Indexing Terms

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


    Wells, Amos R. -- (Amos Russel), 1862-1933 -- Archives
    American literature -- 19th century
    English literature -- 20th century
    Women -- Suffrage
    Women's rights


    Adam, J.G.B., -- Captain, -- correspondent
    Bouton, John Bell, 1830-1902, -- correspondent
    Brooks, Phillips, 1835-1893, -- correspondent
    Dewey, John, 1859-1952, -- correspondent
    Sedgwick, Catharine Maria, 1789-1867, -- correspondent
    Stratemeyer, Edward, 1862-1930, -- correspondent
    Whipple, Edwin Percy, 1819-1886, -- correspondent
    Hamby, William A., -- correspondent
    Low, Seth, 1850-1916, -- correspondent
    Aldington, Richard, 1892-1962, -- correspondent