Edward William Lane: Papers on the Arabic-English Lexicon

Scope and Content

Original and copy letters, with loose papers:

12 original letters on the development and publishing of the Lexicon. The correspondents include Lord Prudhoe, writing mostly from Cairo (1842-1846); H.A. Wilson; M. Elphinstone; W.H. Sykes; William Cureton; Samuel Lee; Richard J. Lane; Friedrich Dieterici; W.M. Watts; and Spalding&Lodge and Williams&Norgate (1861-1864).

52 copy letters on the progress of the Lexicon and related financial matters. The correspondents include Lord Prudhoe (1842-1864); Eleanor, Duchess of Northumberland (1865-1872); Samuel Lee; the German scholars Lepsius, Dieterici and Bunsen; William Cureton; and Williams&Norgate, printers. The letters include 12 from Theo[philus] Lane to Richard J. Lane on personal and religious matters (c. 1842-1844).

Loose papers, especially copy letters from S. Lane Poole.

The volume is inscribed by the Duke of Northumberland 'Mr. Lane's papers', and by Richard J. Lane 'Letters and other papers from Novr. 1841 to Oct. 1864, relating to the Duke of Northumberland's patronage of my brother's project of 'The Arabic Lexicon'...committed to my keeping, at every stage, by the Duke, as His Grace's Agent in the matters referred to'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward William Lane (1801-1876), Arabic scholar and lexicographer, prepared the standard Arabic-English Lexicon in Egypt, 1842-1849, and afterwards in England. He was financed during the preparation and publication of the Lexicon by Algernon Percy, Lord Prudhoe, 4th Duke of Northumberland (1792-1865), and after his death by his widow Eleanor, Duchess of Northumberland. The Lexicon appeared in eight parts, 1863-1893, parts 7 and 8 edited by Lane's great-nephew, S. Lane Poole.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1990.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue. A full catalogue is also available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Custodial History

The volume was given by Richard J. Lane to his daughter Clara, but then lent indefinitely to his nephew Reginald Stuart Poole in 1868.