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Boswell, James, 1740-1795. The life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. : including a journal of a tour to the Hebrides, extra-illustrated, 1711-1834: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: f
Call No.: 2003J-JBL43
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Boswell, James, 1740-1795.
Title: The life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. : including a journal of a tour to the Hebrides, extra-illustrated,
Date(s): 1711-1834.
Quantity: 1 collection (1.3 linear feet (10 volumes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Printed books with hundreds of inserted manuscripts and prints relating to the text, compiled by collector William Upcott.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2003J-JBL43. Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.


This set was compiled by collector William Upcott (1779-1845) between 1835 and 1845. The volumes also bear the later bookplates of Mrs. James Dick and Edward James Martin, and an inscription reading "This copy was bought from the library of Mr. K. MacDonald, Armathwaite, Pollokshield."

Processing Information:

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. : Including a Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, Extra-illustrated, 1711-1834 (2003J-JBL43). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Separated Materials

Mary Hyde Eccles removed at least four items from these volumes for exhibition, conservation, or reproduction. When possible, these removals have been listed as "REMOVED" after their appropriate page number, with a citation showing their present location. Two of the known removals are presently at the Houghton Library. At least two items, (1. 1. xliv) and (4. 2. 299), were given to other collectors by Mary Hyde Eccles.


Upcott acquired prints and manuscripts to illustrate places and individuals mentioned in the text of the book. Items are mounted on pages facing the appropriate text (preceding odd-numbered pages and following even-numbered pages). The inventory is arranged as items appear in the volumes. Only the manuscripts and original art in this set are described in the guide. Many hundreds of engravings, clippings and facsimile manuscripts are not described here. The first digit of each item number refers to the volume as published in 1835. The second digit refers to the sub-volume as bound by Upcott, who expanded the five volumes into ten. The third digit refers to the page number in the published text.

Scope and Contents

The set includes prints and manuscripts for many of the people and places mentioned in John Wilson Croker's 1831 edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson, including individuals mentioned only in footnotes or as historical figures, who may have only a tangential relation to Samuel Johnson.
The set includes signed notes or documents by Elizabeth Robinson Montagu; Hannah More; William Pitt; Samuel Richardson; Richard Savage; and many others. At least 27 of the items appear to have come from the archive of publisher Thomas Cadell, and at least 8 from the archive of publisher J. (John) Nourse.

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