COCKERELL, SYDNEY C. Correspondence with Harold Peirce, 1897-1931
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Sydney C. Cockerell-Harold Peirce Correspondence, 1897-1931


Main Entry
Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle, Sir, 1867-1962.

Sydney Cockerell-Harold Peirce correspondence, 1897-1931.

Physical Description

11 boxes (3.2 linear ft.)

Historical/Biographical Note
Sydney Cockerell served as Secretary of the Kelmscott Press operated by William Morris, the English poet, romance writer, designer and socialist, between 1891 and Morris’s death in 1896. Cockerell wound up the affairs of the press after Morris’s death, and an inquiry by the American collector Harold Peirce led to his becoming the London agent for Peirce and some other collectors. Cockerell purchased books for them from dealers and at auction. Peirce, an outstanding American book collector of the first decades of the 20th century, worked as the general agent in Philadelphia for the New York Life Insurance Company while maintaining his private library at his home in Harverford, Pennsylvania. His collecting interests centered on Americana, first editions of 19th century English writers, and books from such private presses as Doves, Kelmscott and Ashendene. Business reverses caused him to sell major portions of his collections at auction in 1900, 1903 and again in 1927-1928. The 1903 sale included a full set of Kelmscott Press books together with presentation copies and manuscripts from Morris’s library. After Cockerell’s appointment as director of the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University in 1909, he no longer acted formally as an agent but continued to correspond with Peirce over subjects of mutual interest in the book world.

Scope and Contents Note
Over 300 ALS from Cockerell to Peirce for the years 1897 to 1931, with carbon copies of Peirce’s letters to Cockerell from 1906 to 1931. Also: invoices, clippings and miscellaneous items documenting Cockerell's activities as agent for Harold Peirce in the purchase of books, association items, illustrations and proofs relating to Kelmscott Press and William Morris and his circle. Cockerell’s letters also allude to his many friendships with English literary figures and reflect his intimate knowledge of the London book world and its personalities.

General Note
Inventory of Peirce-Cockerell correspondence created by Grolier Club member Arthur L. Schwartz.

Finding Aid Note
Unpublished finding aid available in repository; item level control.

Cockerell, Sydney Carlyle, 1867-1962. Correspondence.
Peirce, Harold, 1856-1932. Correspondence.
Peirce, Harold, 1856-1932. Library.
Morris, William, 1834-1898.
Kelmscott Press.

Book collectors. Pennsylvania. 20th century.
Book collecting. Pennsylvania. 20th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. England. London. 20th century.
Rare books. England. London. 20th century. Prices.

Invoices. 20th century.
Clippings. 20th century.

Occupations (as reflected in collection)
Book collectors. Pennsylvania. 20th century.
Booksellers. England. London. 20th century.

Added Entries
Schwartz, Arthur L.
Grolier Club.

Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.
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