PRESCOTT, MARJORIE W. Book collection records, 1929-1965
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Marjorie Wiggin Prescott: Papers Relating to Book Collection, 1929-1965


Prescott, Marjorie Wiggin, 1893-1980.

Papers and bibliographic records relating to the book collection of Marjorie Wiggin Prescott, 1929-1965.

Physical Description
2 boxes; 2 linear ft.

Restrictions on Access
Terms of gift define access as “strictly for the private use of the Grolier Club.”

Historical/Biographical Note
Marjorie Wiggin was the daughter of Albert Henry Wiggin, who retired in 1933 as executive head of the Chase National Bank and was himself a book collector. He is the subject of her 1949 book, New England Son. She married Sherburne Prescott, and by 1929 they were settled at their estate, Hickory Hill, in Greenwich, Connecticut. Hickory Hill remained their home for the next fifty years and housed Prescott’s library. Prescott also collected fine furniture. After her death, both collections were sold at auction by Christie's in February 1981.

Scope and Contents Note
Both original catalog cards and photocopy in catalog form of collection formed by Marjorie Wiggin Prescott between ca. 1929 and 1965. The collection was particularly strong in books and manuscripts by Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling but also contained first editions and manuscripts by many nineteenth and twentieth English and American authors. Also, correspondence from dealers book dealers James F. Drake, A.S.W. Rosenbach and Arthur Swann, as well as letters from librarians.

General Note
Title devised by cataloger.

Finding Aid Note
Inventory available in repository; folder level control.

Publication Based on Collection
Prescott, Marjorie Wiggin. Story of a Book Collector. New York: Privately Printed: The Pynson Printers, 1932.

Prescott, Marjorie Wiggin, 1893-1980. Library.
Prescott, Marjorie Wiggin, 1893-1980. Correspondence.
Auslander, Joseph, 1897- Correspondence.
Drake, James F. Correspondence.
Rosenbach, A. S. W. (Abraham Simon Wolf), 1976-1952. Correspondence.
Swann, Arthur, 1875-1959. Correspondence.

Book collectors. Connecticut. Greenwich.
Book collecting. Connecticut. Greenwich.
Private Libraries. Connecticut. Greenwich. Catalogs.


Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Book collectors. Connecticut. Greenwich. 20th century.

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

Collection Inventory

I. Records of the Books and Manuscripts in the Collection
Card catalog of library (ca. 1,000 cards). [Bibliographic descriptions of each item maintained on 4" x 6"
cards. Date of purchase in pencil on verso of each card. Alphabetical arrangement by author.]

Photocopy of cards (in one loose-leaf notebook; 229 p. with 2 unnumbered leaves of addenda; 36 cm.).

“Catalog of a collection of Oscar Wilde” (typescript; 29 leaves).

Irving, Washington. “Legend of the House of Omeya” (description of James F. Drake; autograph
typescript, undated; 2 leaves).

II. Bookplate Commissioned by MWP for Her Library
1 TLS from Culleton’s Heraldic Office, Ltd. (London), 9 April 1931. [Enclosed are designs for the plate as
engravings mounted on board and as stamped in gold on red leather.]

III. Correspondence with Booksellers and Librarians
Auslander, Joseph. 1 TLS to MWP, 21 June 1942. [Auslander was serving as poetry consultant to the
Library of Congress, and the letter discusses MWP’s proposed visit there.]

Drake, James F. Letters to MWP, 1930-1965. [30 TLS. A few are from Marston E. Drake, a partner in
the firm. By the early 1930s James F. Drake had become MWP’s primary dealer.]

Drake, James F. Letter to MWP, 19 November 1958. [Regarding the purchase of a manuscript of Omar
Khayyam’s Rubyait dated 1216 C.E. Drake acted as MWP’s agent at an auction held at the Parke-Bernet Galleries on 18 November 1958. This is the second earliest known existing manuscript of the poem. Folder includes 2 articles about the manuscript and material from the Parke-Bernet catalog.]

Rosenbach, A. S. W. Letters and invoices, 1930-1932.

Swann, Arthur. Letters to MWP, 1930 and 1931. [2 TLS. Also invoices for his sales to her during this

Miscellaneous correspondence with other dealers and librarians, 1930-1957.

IV. Estate of Marjorie Wiggin Prescott
Christie’s, Manson & Woods, International, Inc. The Prescott Collection: Printed Books and Manuscripts.
New York, Friday, 6 February 1981 (201 p. and addenda).

Correspondence relating to disposition of material about her collection. Frank J. Coyle of Putnam Trust
Co. (Greenwich, Conn.) to Stephen Massey of Christie’s, 11 May 1982.

V. Material Relating to Albert H. Wiggin
Newspaper articles regarding stockholder law suit brought against Albert H. Wiggin and others regarding
their conduct as officers, etc. of Chase Bank.

VI. Offprints/Publications Presented to MWP with Inscriptions by Their Authors
Grannis, Ruth Shepard. “Thomas Britton: Musical Small-Coal Man and Book Collector.” Reprinted from
Bookman’s Holiday. New York Public Library, 1943 (7 p.).

Hutchins, Henry (reviewer). “Dean Swift’s Library by Harold Williams.” Review of English Studies, 9
(October 1933), p. 488-494.

Hutchins, Henry. “The Yale Robinson Crusoe.” Yale University Library Gazette, 8 (January 1934),
p. 85-94. Barber, Melanie Gordon. Peace: An Ode for Christ’s Nativity. New York, 1938.

Rosenbach, A.S.W. “Henry C. Folger as a Collector” (31 p.). No imprint but signed by ASW 16 July 1931.

Saffold, Mildred Reynolds. Sugar Babe… New York, 1940 (42 p.). [Drawings by Fritz Eichenberg.]

Smith, Robert Metcalf. “The Varient Issues of Shakespeare’s First Folio.” Lehigh University Publication
II, no. 3 (March 1928).

VII. Other Publications
Besterman, Theodore. Shakespeare and Voltaire. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library,1965 (46 p.).

Note on gift of Henrietta C. Bartlett, daughter of Charles Bartlett, Yale College Class of 1872. Yale
University Library Gazette (January 1942), p. 58-59. [Henrietta Bartlett compiled catalogs for the book collections of several members of the Grolier Club. She may have performed this task for MWP, but there is no indication of this in the collection.]

Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. United States Stamps: Singles and Blocks. The C. E. Aldinger Collection 6 & 7
(June 1941).

VIII. Photograph
Marjorie and Sherburne Prescott, 1939, 1 bxw photograph. 10x14cm. (5”x7”).

Box 2  

IX. Furniture Files  

(Updated 8/9/2007; 10/31/2017)

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