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Wilfred M. Voynich and Ethel Lillian Voynich Papers, 1916-1948


Main Entry
Voynich, Wilfred M., d. 1930.

Papers, 1916-1948.

Physical Description
8 boxes (4 linear ft.)

Historical/Biographical Note
Antiquarian booksellers. Voynich, a Polish revolutionary, left Poland and eventually settled in New York City where he became a dealer in rare books and manuscripts in New York and London. The business was liquidated after his death. The “Voynich manuscript,” which he discovered in 1912, is at Yale’s Beinecke Library.

Scope and Contents
Business records (1916-1934) of Voynich’s New York shop, including account books, invoices and vouchers. Also correspondence (1927-1934) between Anne M. Nill manager of the New York Shop and Herbert Garland, manager of the London shop. Also records of books and manuscripts bought and sold by Voynich and a small group of letters Voynich wrote in Russian which may concern his involvement with the Society of the Friends of Russian Freedom. Collection also includes some research files of Anne M. Nill and her correspondence, including that with Myrtle Crummer, wife of an important Voynich client. Also, correspondence from William Romaine Newbold (1919-1928) regarding Baconian parallels in cipher manuscript. Also, original manuscript, revised drafts and galleys for Put Off Thy Shoes, a novel by Ethel L. Voynich published in 1945 with editorial assistance from Nill. Her research files include material on indix she created for Seymour De Ricci’s Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the U. S. and Canada (1935-1940) as well as correspondence from Belle Da Costa Greene of the Pierpont Morgan Library. Other correspondents in the collection include William Warner Bishop, Romaine Newbold and James Westlake Thompson.

Finding Aid Note
Unpublished preliminary inventory available in repository

Voynich, E. L. (Ethel Lillian), 1864-1960.
Voynich, E. L. (Ethel Lillian), 1864-1960. Put Off Thy Shoes. 1945.
Garland, Herbert, 1885- Correspondence.
Nill, Anne M.
Nill, Anne M. Correspondence.
Crummer, Myrtle. Correspondence.
Bishop, William Warner, 1871-1955.
Greene, Belle da Costa. Correspondence.
Ricci, Seymour de, 1881-1942. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the U. S. and Canada.
Thompson, James Westlake, 1869-1941. Correspondence.
Newbold, Romaine.

Antiquarian booksellers. England. London. 20th century.
Antiquarian booksellers. New York (State). New York. 20th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. England. London. 20th century.
Booksellers and bookselling. New York (State). New York. 20th century.

Account books.

Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Antiquarian booksellers. England. London. 20th century.
Antiquarian booksellers. New York (State). New York. 20th century.
Authors. 20th century.

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

Collection Inventory

[Note: Boxes 1-6, 8 comprise the business records of William M. Voynich, New York Office, 1916-1934; boxes 7-8 comprise the personal papers of Ethel Voynich, ca. 1942-1946.]

Box 1 London house invoices, 1916-1930
[Itemized invoices of all books and manuscripts “sold” by the London office of W.M. Voynich to the New York office.]

Box 2 Binding expenses, 1917-1928
Book purchases, 1917-1928
[Invoices for books and manuscripts purchased by the New York office of W.M. Voynich. For records of books “purchased” from London office, see Box 1.]
Books on approval or lent—to be written off as losses
Commissions, 1917-1929
Entertaining expenses, 1922-1927
London Trip Cash Expenses, 1923-1928
Travelling expenses, 1921-1928 (excluding London trip cash

Box 3 Sales and approvals, 1927-1934 (including Sotheby auctions)
[Detailed records of all books and manuscripts sold by the New York office of W.M. Voynich, including buyers’ names and purchase prices; includes records concerning liquidation of the firm’s London and New York stock, 1930-1934, after Voynich’s death.]

Box 4 Vouchers, June 1929-July 1930
[Cancelled checks, bank statements, and invoices for
miscellaneous business expenses for the New York office of W.M. Voynich; some invoices for book purchases are included.]

Box 5 Correspondence, 1927-1936:
Garland, Herbert—Letters to Anne M. Nill, 1927-1935
Nill, Anne M.—Letters to Herbert Garland, 1927-1936
[Extensive correspondence between Garland, London office
manager, and Nill, New York office manager, concerning all aspects of the business: Voynich’s activities and sales efforts, book trade gossip, book and manuscript cataloging problems, liquidation of the firm, settlement of the W.M. Voynich estate (1930-1934), etc.]

Box 6 Catalog descriptions:
Stock nos. A1-A6400
No. 7111 (Astronomical treatises)
Marcanova manuscript (1465)

Printed books:
Stock nos. A2000-A3098
Slavonic books
Descriptions and notes re: books sold and still to be sold
[Research notes, drafts, and typescripts of final catalog
descriptions for various manuscripts and books sold by Voynich, arranged by stock number. These files are not complete.]

Correspondence and research files:
Nill, Anne M.:
Correspondence with Myrtle Crummer, 1928-1934,
Correspondence with Howard Goodhart, 1936-1947
Correspondence re: W.M. Voynich estate, 1930-1933
Correspondence re: Census of Medieval and
Renaissance Manuscripts in the U.S. and Canada, 1933
Correspondence with the Woods School re: her niece,
Anne Seilheimer, 1945

Proof sheets for index (v. III) of De Ricci and
Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the U.S. and Canada (1940) [index compiled by Anne M. Nill]

Research files:
Americana and English books
Medieval manuscripts
Voynich cipher manuscript
Voynich cipher manuscript (plants)
Miscellaneous [chiefly clippings from bookseller and
auction catalogs]

Voynich, Wilfred M.:
Letters, ca. 1891 [three letters, in Russian]
Correspondence with William Warner Bishop, 1927-
1930 [includes correspondence, 1930-1944, between Bishop, Anne M. Nill, and Ethel Voynich]
Letter from Belle da Costa Greene, 1915
[includes correspondence, 1930-1944, between Greene, Anne M. Nill, and Ethel Voynich]
Letters from William Romaine Newbold re possible
Bacon authorship of cipher ms.: Sept. 12, 1919 (2 p.); Sept. 14, 1919 (9 p.); June 21, 1928 (3 p.); and June 29, 1928 (1 p.)
Letter from James Westfall Thompson, 1922
Letters and telegrams re: W.M. Voynich’s last illness
and death, 1930

Box 7 Ethel Voynich papers, ca. 1942-1946
Put Off Thy Shoes (New York: Macmillan, 1945):
Parts I-IX: Holograph manuscript and revised drafts
Miscellaneous revised drafts
Final revisions and corrections
Research notes
Transcript of ABC Radio adaptation, July-Aug. 1945
Correspondence, 1945-1946
[See also Box 8 for galley proofs.]
Anne M. Nill’s notes on the publishing histories of Ethel
Voynich’s novels

Box 8 Ethel Voynich papers, ca. 1942-1946
Put Off Thy Shoes (New York: Macmillan, 1945):
Galley proofs, with author’s holograph revisions
Revised galley proofs

Miscellaneous oversize manuscript reproductions

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