Thomas Bailey Aldrich Collection
Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Born on November 11, 1836, in Portsmouth, New Hampsire, Thomas Bailey Aldrich was a poet, novelist, traveler, and editor. His father's death in 1849 compelled Aldrich to abandon the idea of college, and at age 16 he entered his uncle's business office in New York, where he soon became a constant contributor to the newspapers and magazines. His use of the surprise ending influenced the development of the short story, and his popular classic The Story of a Bad Boy (1870), which is based on his childhood, was one of the first American novels to present a realistic portrayal of a young boy rather than a romanticized ideal. The book had a strong impact on other writers of the day, especially Mark Twain, who six years later wrote a similar story, Tom Sawyer. Aldrich's poems were published in such volumes as Cloth of Gold (1874) and Mercedes and Later Lyrics(1884). His best-known prose is Marjorie Daw and Other People (1873). Aldrich died at Boston on March 19, 1907.
The collection consists of selected correspondence and manuscripts of Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Correspondents include Henry T. Coates, R. D. Dripper, James Ripley Osgood, Clinton Scollard, Edmund C. Stedman, and George Ticknor. Included are four letters to Francis H. Underwood, mainly discussing her books, such as The Poet and the Man. In his correspondence Aldrich talks about his works and publications, thanks authors for sending their works for him to review, or comments on works of others. Several letters are written on The Atlantic Monthly letterhead. Manuscripts in the collection include an autograph poem, "Little Charley - A Lament," which is accompanied by an envelope addressed to E. S. Carr, dated April 7, 1856, and another manuscript poem, "To L. S. in Florence." Also included is portrait engraving of Aldrich by J. A. J. Wilcox, Boston.
Arranged by accession number.
The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.
Letters to James Ripley Osgood were a gift of C. W. McAlpin on January 30, 1911.
Letters to Francis Underwood were a gift of Chas. A. D. Burk, Princeton Class of 1909 in April 1937.
"Little Charley" was a gift of Prof. and Mrs. Thorpe in December 1943.
Letter to Henry Coates was a gift of Alexander D. Wainwright in March 1946.
Letter to Clinton Scollard was purchased in July 1948.
Steel engraving and letter to Miss Gilder were a gift of A. C. Goodyear on May 1, 1958.
Note to Edmund C. Stedman was tipped in Aldrich's A Book of Songs and Sonnets. Various AM.
This collection was processed by Dina Britain in August 29, 2007. Finding aid written by Lauren Kustner in November 16, 2007. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.
No appraisal information is available.
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.