[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:hou01884View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement

On July 16, 2018, OASIS will retire. It will be replaced by HOLLIS for Archival Discovery. Please explore.
MS Eng 797.3

Lear, Edward, 1812-1888. Edward Lear diaries, 1858-1888: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MS Eng 797.3
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Lear, Edward, 1812-1888.
Title: Edward Lear diaries,
Date(s): 1858-1888.
Quantity: 1 collection (3.2 linear feet (30 volumes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Diaries of artist and author Edward Lear kept during the last thirty years of his life.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

42M-206. Gift of William B. Osgood Field, Westfield House, Lake Mohegan, New York; received: 1942 July 27.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Existence and Location of Copies:

Archival negative microfilms on file for all volumes.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Edward Lear Diaries, 1858-1888 (MS Eng 797.3). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Lear was an English landscape painter who also became known for his collections of self-illustrated nonsense verse.



Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Contents

Each volume contains diary entries by Edward Lear from 1858 until a few months before his death. The entries, generally kept daily with some notable omissions, frequently discuss his paintings, as well as his health problems and depression. Lear's primary residence was in England through 1870, when he settled in San Remo, Italy. He also traveled extensively, and usually took at least one long trip each year, often in search of new artistic material. These diaries describe travels in Egypt, England, France, Greece, India, Italy, Lebanon, and Switzerland, among other places.
Each diary also includes personal financial accounts arranged by month in the back of the volume. Some volumes include Lear's registers of correspondence (1858-1861, 1873-1888), and lists of his paintings (1864-1885), sometimes annotated with purchaser and price. Occasionally, diary entries are illustrated with Lear's pen and ink drawings, or with seating diagrams for dinner parties Lear attended. Several volumes include pay receipts signed by Lear's servant Giorgio Kokali.
The diaries are all written into blank volumes published yearly by Charles Letts & Co., which include printed advertisements, calendar dates, information on British customs, tariffs, bank rates, etc. Lear often annotated the printed almanac pages with his travel itineraries.

Container List