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Alice Cort Holden Papers


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

Parker Holden

Alice Holden (née Cort) was born November 2, 1864 in New York City, New York to N. L. (Nicholas Leonard) Cort and Amanda Hall Cort (née Peckham). Her father was a metal importer, and several of her brothers were involved in the family metal trade business. She married E. B. (Edwin Babcock) Holden in 1889, and they had four children: Arthur Cort Holden, Marian Holden, Raymond Peckham Holden, and Frances Holden. Her husband was a member of the Grolier Club (a New York City bibliophile society), served on its council, and was president at the time of his death. He was a book collector whose main interests centered around Americana, English literature, sixteenth and seventeenth century printed books, and French illustrated books. After his death, his collections were sold at auction in sales conducted between 1908 and 1920.

Consists primarily of correspondence and printed material, along with two diaries from 1926 (one kept by Marian Holden, and the other kept by Alice Holden), a matted postcard, a photogravure plate of E. B. Holden's portrait and signature, and a piece of hair jewelry (likely made of hair from her aunt).

The correspondence consist of letters between members of the Cort family, or letters to Alice Holden from her children. Most of the Cort family correspondence is addressed to Mr. and/or Mrs. N. L. Cort (Nicholas Leonard Cort or Amanda Hall Cort née Peckham), and the majority of the letters are from their children, including Alice. Some notable threads in these family letters include business correspondence between N. L. Cort and his son, Clark, as well as letters between Amanda Cort, her son Mortimer, and her cousin Mary, with whom her son was staying for a period of time. The letters to Alice Holden are from her children: some of the letters are from when her children were very young and include drawings, but the majority of the letters are from her eldest son, Arthur Cort Holden, between 1907 and 1919. A small amount of correspondence relates to donations made to the Grolier Club between 1920 and 1978 by Alice Holden, Marian Holden, and Jessie Lawrence (née Cort, Alice's sister). In addition to the correspondence are poetry, prose, an insurance policy note, and a few recipes. The printed materials in the collection consist primarily of book catalogues, documenting some of the dispersal of E. B. Holden's book collection in the auctions and sales conducted in the years after his death.

As no original order was discernible, materials were arranged by type/genre.

Gift of Scudder Holden Parker in February 2020 (AM 2021-9).

This collection was processed by Amy C. Vo in 2022. Finding aid written by Amy C. Vo in 2022.

A small metal chest inscribed with "W. H. Baldwin" (Alice Holden's brother-in-law) was removed from the collection.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Amy C. Vo
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. No further duplication 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 Special Collections 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.

Collection Inventory

Cort Family Correspondence, 1870-1913. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Correspondence to Alice Holden from Her Children, 1903-1919. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Grolier Club Correspondence , 1906-1978. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Diaries and Printed Material, 1894-1926. 1 folders.
Physical Description

1 folders

Printed Material, 1896-1961. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Matted Postcard and Photogravure Plate, circa 1900-1930. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Hair Jewelry, undated.

Print, Suggest