Archives, Letters & Manuscripts
The Library's manuscript and archival collections cover a period of over four hundred years, and contain a great deal of unique and valuable research material supporting the Club's focus on printing, bookselling, and book collecting. The Library's autograph collections include letters documenting the bookish activities of Jean Grolier, Thomas Wotton (the "English Grolier"), Jacques de Thou, Cardinal Mazarin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Frognall Dibdin, and Guglielmo Libri. The cornerstone of the Club's archival holdings on book collecting is the Phillipps Collection, some three thousand books, manuscripts, and letters pertaining to Sir Thomas Phillipps, the great nineteenth-century English bibliomaniac. The Library also holds a number of important dealer archives, including those of Édouard Rahir, Arthur Swann, E. P. Goldschmidt, and the Scribner rare book department, to name just a few. Of note is a collection of some three hundred letters of Sir Sydney Cockerell (1867-1962) to Grolier Club member Harold Peirce (d. 1932), dating from 1897-1931, and illustrating Cockerell's hitherto largely undocumented activities as a book agent and rare book dealer (See Arthur L. Schwarz's Dear Mr. Cockerell, Dear Mr. Peirce : an annotated description of the correspondence of Sydney C. Cockerell and Harold Peirce in the Grolier Club archive. High Wycombe : Rivendale Press, 2006). A high-spot in the Club's collections of printing history is a group of three manuscript ledgers documenting the London printing firm of William Bowyer & Son from 1710 to 1773, a unique and singularly complete record of 18th-century printing practice. And finally, book designers, illustrators, and typographers are represented in archival collections of Frederic Warde, Bruce Rogers, Rudolph Ruzicka, Sidney L. Smith, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, and others. All these collections are supported and complemented by the papers of bookish organizations, such as the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA) and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA).
Below is a complete list of processed archival collections held by the Grolier Club Library, with links to detailed finding aids.