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SC 4

Randall, Lilian M.C. Papers, 1950-2007: A Guide

Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University
The President and Fellows of Harvard College

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: SC 4
Repository: Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University
Title: Papers of Lilian M.C. Randall, 1950-2007: A Guide
Date(s): 1950-2007
Quantity: 3 linear feet (5 file boxes, 2 half file boxes, 1 11x9 folio box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: These personal and professional papers include correspondence, research materials, lecture materials, publications, and museum records created and collected by Lilian Randall, a scholar of the marginal notes in Medieval manuscripts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The collection was donated to the Harvard Art Museums by Lilian Randall in June and December of 2007.

Processing Information:

The collection was processed in June and July of 2008 by Justine Marino with assistance from Jane Callahan and Susan von Salis.

Conditions on Access:


Conditions on Use:

Copyright: The donor has transferred any copyright held in these papers to the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Copyright in some papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Harvard Art Museums Archives before publishing from any material in the collection. Copying: Papers may be copied in accordance with the Harvard Art Museums Archives' usual procedures.


Lilian (Cramer) Randall was born on February 1, 1931, the second of five children of Frederick H. Cramer and Elisabeth (Ziegler) Cramer. She attended Northampton School for Girls. Randall earned a bachelor's degree in Art and Architecture from Mount Holyoke College where she graduated Cum Laude in 1950. Her honors thesis was titled "Napolean III in the Light of French and Italian Caricature." Randall studied Italian literature at the University of Bologna in the Spring of 1948 and European civilization at the University of Zurich in the Summer of 1948. After Mount Holyoke, she went on to obtain a master degree and doctorate from Radcliffe College in 1951 and 1955, respectively. After graduation she pursued research for a book on marginalia in Gothic manuscripts based on her doctoral dissertation which earned her membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Significant progress made as an associate on the newly founded Bunting Institute for Independent Study at Radcliffe College led to publication which opened an influential new field of study. From 1964 to 1968 Randall worked as a Visiting Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, where she taught graduate seminars on medieval illuminated manuscripts. In 1974 she was hired by the Walters Art Gallery (later renamed Walters Art Museum) as the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, a position she held until 1985. At the Walters Randall organized over one hundred exhibitions, lectured, published research and launched a catalogue on the Western manuscripts funded by the national Endowment for the Humanities. From 1985 to 1997 she worked as Research Curator of Manuscripts at the Walters. In this capacity Randall raised funds for the preparation and publication of the catalogue of Western manuscripts. Randall also served as Assistant Director of the Maryland State Arts Council from 1971-1973 where she initiated new procedures and administered the Maryland Artists in the Schools Program. Randall published multiple books including Images in the Margins of Gothic Manuscripts, The Diary of George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris (1857-1909), Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Randall married art historian and museum curator Richard Randall in 1953. She has two daughters and one son.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

The collection is arranged topically by series.

Scope and Content:

The Lilian Randall papers contain personal and professional papers that span the years 1950 to 2007. The personal papers include syllabi, awards, sketches, photographs, and personal correspondence. The professional papers, which make up a bulk of the collection, document Randall's involvement with the Walters Art Gallery as well as her work as an art historian. These materials include museum records, publicity information, and published journal articles. Papers pertaining to her lectures include research notes, photographs, pamphlets and drafts. The collection also contains newspaper clippings concerning Randall's professional career. Finally, the collection contains a tape of Randall's lecture Religious Books in the Service of the Church and a tape of the narrated concert Site and Sounds in Medieval and Early Renaissance Musical Images in Performance. There is also a VHS copy of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and a film on the dismantling of Randall's exhibition Splendor in Books that was held at the Walters Art Gallery in 1978. Folder titles are attributed to Lilian Randall unless otherwise noted through the use of brackets.

Box and Folder Locations:






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