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MS Am 2591

Emerson, Frances White, 1860-1957. Frances White Emerson correspondence with Geoffrey Keynes, 1919-1944: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Am 2591
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Emerson, Frances White, 1860-1957.
Title: Frances White Emerson correspondence with Geoffrey Keynes,
Date(s): 1919-1944.
Quantity: 1 collection (.3 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Primarily correspondence concerning publication and donation of William Blake manuscripts, between British scholar Sir Geoffrey Keynes and American bibliophile, Frances White Emerson.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

57M-21. Gift of Mrs. Jon Wiig, P.O. Box 2577, Honolulu 3, Hawaii; received: 1957 July.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Frances White Emerson Correspondence with Geoffrey Keynes, 1919-1944 (MS Am 2591). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

William Augustus White (1843-1927) was an American investment banker, book collector, and a great collector of William Blake and of Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights. Upon his death in 1927, his daughter, Frances White Emerson (1860-1957), inherited his collection.
Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes (1887-1982) was a British surgeon and literary scholar, and was the brother of the economist John Maynard Keynes. Geoffrey Keynes published on and collected materials of William Blake. It was this interest that brought him into contact with William Augustus White and later with Frances White Emerson. In 1917, Keynes married Margaret Elizabeth (Darwin) Keynes (1890-1974).


Arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent, then by date.

Scope and Contents

Autograph manuscript and typescript correspondence primarily between Sir Geoffrey Keynes and Frances White Emerson. Also with letters from Sir Frederick George Kenyon, William Augustus White, and Margaret Elizabeth Keynes. Letters concern the donation, reproduction, and publication of William Blake manuscripts from the collection of William Augustus White, later owned by his daughter, Frances White Emerson. Mentions the Nonesuch Press, British Museum, Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, the Rosenbach Company, and many other topics. Personal topics include health, various trips, family concerns, memberships in clubs, and many other matters.


This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

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