NOWELL-SMITH, SIMON. Papers, 1900-2001
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Simon Nowell-Smith Collection, 1900-2001


Main Entry
Nowell-Smith, Simon, 1909-


Simon Nowell-Smith collection, 1900-2001 (bulk 1962-1987)

Physical Description
2 boxes (2 linear ft.)
Catalog cards (ca. 1175 cards) ; 12 x 20 cm. or smaller

Historical/Biographical Note
English book collector, bibliographer and author. Among other position, he served as Secretary and Librarian of the London Library (1950-1956) and President of the Bibliographical Society (1962-1964). As a book collector, he formed and later sold major collections of Henry James and Robert Bridges. His last major collection centered on English poetry of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He placed special emphasis on inscribed and dedication copies and mounted an exhibition of highlights from this collection at the Bodleian in 1983. In 2002 the firm of Bertram Rota (London), from whom he had acquired many of his books over the years, offered his collection of poetry for sale (Catalog 300).

Scope and Contents Note

Material relating to Nowell-Smith’s collection of nineteenth and twentieth century poetry, including photocopies of bibliographical articles, inscriptions and dedications. The material on George Eliot inscriptions includes two letters from Eliot’s biographer, Gordon S. Haight, to Nowell-Smith. Associated material includes but is not limited to: card catalog and short-title list Nowell-Smith’s collection; invoices from book dealers for items sold to Nowell-Smith for this collection between 1982 and 1987’ and disbound copy of related exhibition catalog From Wordsworth to Robert. Graves and Beyond Other material includes: association copies of works by minor poets of the twentieth century including: Frances Bellerby, W. Garstang, Bryan Guinness, Geoffrey Smith and Randall Swingler. Also: a small collection of correspondence from Leon Edel, H. Montgomery Hyde and Peter Warren regarding a collection of ca. 150 letters from Henry James to Warren’s father, Edward Prioleau Warren, initially deposited by Warren at Lamb House (Rye, England) in 1965.

General Note

Title devised by cataloger.

Finding Aid Note

Unpublished finding aid available in repository.

Access points:
Bellerby, Frances. 18999-1975.
Edel, Leon, 1907-. Correspondence.
Eliot, George, 1819-1880. Autographs.
Garstang, W. (Walter), 1868-1949.
Guinness, Bryan, 1905-
Haight, Gordon Sherman. Correspondence.
Hyde, H. Montgomery (Hartford Montgomery), 1907-. Correspondence.
James, Henry, 1843-1916. Homes and haunts. Correspondence.
Smith, Geoffrey.
Swingler, Randall.
Warren, Edward Prioleau, 1856-1937.
Warren, Peter. Correspondence.
Bodleian Library. Exhibitions.
National Trust (Great Britain). Correspondence.

Association copies of books. Bibliography.
Association copies of books. Exhibitions.
Book collecting. England. 20th century.
Book collectors. England. 20th century.
Library catalogs. England. 20th century.
Poets, English. Bibliography.
Private libraries. England. 20th century.

Author catalogs. England. 20th century.
Card catalogs. England. 20th century.
Bills of sale. England. 20th century
Exhibition catalogs. England. 20th century.
Invoices. England. 20th century.
Library catalogs. England. 20th century.
Photocopies. England. 20th century.

Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Bibliographers. England. 20th century.
Book collectors. England. 20th century.

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

Collection Inventory

Bibliographical Material on English Poets
Arnold, Matthew.
Wordsworth Trust. Matthew Arnold: A Centenary Exhibit, 22 July 1988-15 January 1989. Printed catalog in form of newsletter with program inserted.
Strayed Reveler. Photocopies of inscriptions from 10 copies.

Blunden, Edmund.
Possible Court-marshal of J. S. Casssell and ? Redway during World War I. TLS to SNS from Imperial War Museum and Public Record Office, 1987-1988. 2 items.

Bridges, Robert.
Photocopies of inscriptions from editions of his poems. 10 items.
Dudley Massey to SNS. 1954 September 9. TLS. Re: whereabouts of copies of Bridges Poems (1873) published by Pickering firm.

Clough, Arthur Hugh. Photocopies of miscellaneous bibliographical items. 5 items.

Eliot, George.
Photocopies of inscriptions by George Eliot and George Henry Lewes. 9 items.
Bernard Quaritch (firm) 2TLS to SNS regarding George Eliot signatures. 1969.
Gordon S. Haight. 2 ALS to SNS regarding George Eliot signatures. 1969.

Dickens, Charles. Giles Gerald Grubb, “Dickens Pattern of Weekly Serialization,” ELH, IX
(1942), 141-156. Photocopy.

Elkin Mathews (publisher). Shilling Garland (series). 2 articles by James Nelson. 1983-1984.

Hobhouse, Benjamin.
Miscellaneous bibliographical items.
2 ALS to J. R. Nichols Ross (1957) from Col.? Williamson, re rebinding, etc.

Keats. John. Poems, 1818. Photocopies of bibliographical items. 15 items.

Reynolds, John Hamilton. Photocopies of miscellaneous bibliographical items. 2 items.

Rogers, Samuel. Photocopies of miscellaneous bibliographical items. 2 items.

Rosenberg, Isaac. TLS and ALS from his nephew, Isaac Horvitz, regarding centenary exhibit at Imperial War
Museum, 1990-1991.

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel.
Photocopies of bibliographical items. 9 items.
Fredeman, W. E. Articles on Rossetti bibliography, 1962-1085. 3 items inscribed by the author to SNS; 5 inscribed articles not inscribed.

Scott, Sir Walter. Photocopies of bibliographical items re his Goetz of Berlichinger. 2 items.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Photocopy of bibliographical item. 1 item.

Swinburne, Algernon Charles. Photocopies of bibliographical items. 9 items.
Rosamund [and] The Queen Mother. Photocopies of title pages of various editions and publishing history. Also: article by SNS on this topic in “Bibliographical Queries” department of The Book Collector (Autumn 1964).
Negatives of title pages of various editions of above. 4 negatives. 13 x 17 cm. (5 x 9”).

Tennyson Alfred. Photocopies of bibliographical items. 2 items.

Tennyson, Frederick. Photocopies of 8 bibliographical items.

Wordsworth, Dorothy. ALS Peter Laver to SNS. 1982 21 Nov. 1 p. Re: poem by DW with photocopy of it.

Wordsworth, William.
Bibliographical items concerning publication of Lyrical Ballads. 2 items.
The Excursion (1814) Bibliographical items relating to John Thelwall’s ownership of copy purchased by

Photocopies of miscellaneous bibliographical items. 15 items. Includes copies of miscellaneous inscriptions and of portion of article by SNS in The Book Collector, 14, no.2 (Summer 1965).
Book purchases by SNS. 1 folder labeled “Book purchase receipts worth keeping (A few pricey ones are slipped into the books.”

Receipts of purchases for English poetry collection, 1982-1987. Dealers represented include Bertram Rota and Jarndyce; also: slips from Blackwell’s indicating that SNS sold them unspecified titles during this period.

Wordsworth to Robert Graves and Beyond: Presentation and Association Copies from the Collection of Simon Nowell-Smith. Bodleian Library, 1983 November to 1984 January. Exhibition catalog. Disbound with pages missing.

Catalog of the exhibition of highlights from SNS collection. Also: photocopies of dedications and inscriptions. Ca. 100 items. Negatives for inscribed copy of Osbert Sitwell’s publication National Book Week 4 negatives. 9 x 13 cm.

Catalog of Simon Nowell-Smith’s English Poetry Collection
Nineteenth century English Poets. Catalog cards for individual editions. Typescript. Ca. 750 cards in two plastic
boxes. 5 x 8” ea.

“Modern” [Early Twentieth Century] Authors. Catalog cards for individual editions.
Holograph. Ca. 275 cards in one plastic box. 5 x 8”. Also: “List of Bibliographies Consulted.” Typescript.

Unlabeled file of cards. Typescript. Ca. 200 cards. 3 x 5”. Personal names with cross references to editions of
poetry; possibly an index of dedicatees.

Box 2
“Simon Nowell-Smith Collection”: Short-title listing. Unnumbered pages. 30 cm.
Arranged alphabetically; full bibliographical descriptions are on catalog cards described above.

Other Material

Henry James Letters deposited at Lamb House: Correspondence about 1965-1974.
This correspondence concerns a collection of ca. 150 letters from Henry James to
Edward Prioleau Warren deposited by his son Peter Warren at Lamb House (Rye, England) in 1965 and their subsequent disposition. Correspondents include: H., Montgomery Hyde (author of Henry James at Home then the tenant of Lamb House), Peter Warren, Leon Edel, the National Trust and Simon Nowell Smith.

Association Copies
Bellerby, Frances. Black and white photograph in stiff card folder issued at time of her death in
1975. Insertion: poem by FB used as New Year’s greeting from Enitharon Press.

Brady, Violet Alice. Henry Christopher Bradby: a Brief Memoir by His Wife. (Privately Printed: 1962). Colophon
reads; Perpetua Press, Oxford. Sent as a Christmas greeting by his daughter, Anne Ridler and her husband,

Garstang, W. Return to Oxford: A Memorial Lay (Oxford: B. H. Blackwell, 1919). 14p.
20 cm. Green stiff paper wrappers. Note by SNS on front end-paper.

Guinness, Bryan. Two poems on printed cards sent as greetings, 1987. Also: ALS from Guinness to SNS, n. d. 2p.

Smith, Geoffrey. Village Carols. (London: Humphrey Milford, Amen Corner, E.C., 1900.) Stiff paper covers with
holograph note on SNS letterhead regarding publication of this volume.

Swingler, Randall. Difficult Morning. (London: Methuen & Co., 1933). The Gateway Poets. In dust jacket. Note on
flyleaf by SNS. Holograph text of “Bird Rock” inserted.

Book Sales
H. Bradley Martin Library Sale by Sotheby’s. 1990 April 30 and May 1.
List of estimated prices; arranged by lot numbers. 4pp.
Sale results. Typescript. 3pp.

Hayward list and values. 15 unnumbered pages. Holograph. n.d.

Library Furniture

Curruthers, Annette et al. Good Citizens Furniture: the Arts and Crafts Collection at Cheltenham.
Catalog. 1994; rpt. 1999.
One Tree, Merrell: 2001. (See p. 124)
(Both publications contain photographs of and information about Alan Peters, who designed and constructed a library ladder presented to SNS by friends on his 70th birthday.)

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