Collection RC0645 - Henry James collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Henry James collection

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  • 1878-1976 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

4 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Henry James, novelist, was born in New York City on 15 April 1843. He was educated at Harvard University after spending several years abroad with his family. In 1876 James moved to London, England. A Portrait of a Lady was serialized in both the United States and Britain in 1880 and published in 1881. Several of his best novels were written later: The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). In 1915 James became a British subject and in 1916 was awarded the Order of Merit by George V. James died on 28 February 1916.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection consists of four accruals. The first accrual consists of 4 letters and 1 note from James to Edmund Gosse, 1 letter to Messrs. Clay, [?] & Taylor, 1 printed letter to his friends on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, and printed materials including the order of service for his funeral. The second and third accruals consist of adaptations of two of James' novels by other authors. The fourth accrual is a copyright registration document.

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Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual was purchased by Betram Rota for McMaster University in 1977. It was part of a much larger acquisition, the collection of Henry James books owned by Simon Nowell-Smith (1909-1996). The second accrual was purchased from Black Sun Books in October 1983. The third accrual was purchased from Black Sun Books in February 1984. The fourth accrual (28-2003) was aquired from Jolin Michael Lang Fine Books in June 2003.


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There are no access restrictions.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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