Papers re Byron Manuscripts

Scope and Content

The papers relate to a collection of autograph manuscripts of Lord Byron which had been in the possession of Teresa Guiccioli (1800-1873), a mistress of Byron. This collection was purchased for J. Pierpont Morgan by Henry Sotheran & Co., from Countess Guiccioli, via J.Y.W. MacAlister, librarian of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society. Negotiations began in January 1900. In May Guido Biagi, a prominent Italian librarian, wrote a summary of the collection for the sale, and in June the handwriting was certified by Richard Garnett of the British Library. The sale had been successfully completed by July of that year, and the manuscripts are now in the Pierpont Morgan Library.

Pagination noted in square brackets (missing page 12). 

  • /1: Note by A.B. Railton concerning the collection of Byron manuscripts from the Countess Guiccioli.
  • /2: Letter from J.Y.W. MacAlister to A.B. Railton concerning the Byron manuscripts, 8 January 1900 [1].
  • /3-4: Two telegrams re Morgan purchase of Byron manuscripts, 11 January 1900 [2].
  • /5: Copy letter to J. Pierpont Morgan, 13 January 1900, concerning the Byron manuscripts [3].
  • /6: Letter from J.Y.W. MacAlister to A.B. Railton concerning the Byron manuscripts, 19 January 1900 [4].
  • /7: Letter from MacAlister concerning an autograph collection and the Byron manuscripts, 20 April 1900 [5].
  • /8-9: Two letters from MacAlister re Byron manuscripts, 30 April and 30 January 1900 [6].
  • /10: Copy of letter from J.Y. W. MacAlister concerning changing price for the Byron manuscripts, 9 May 1900 [7].
  • /11-14: Copy of letter from Guido Biago giving a summary description of the Byron manuscripts, 7 May 1900 [8-11].
  • /15: Note concerning offer for Byron Manuscripts, with letter from MacAlister concerning conditions, 28 May 1900 [13].
  • /16: Letter to MacAlister concerning arrangements to checking the authenticity of the Byron manuscripts, 29 May 1900 [14].
  • /17: Letter from MacAlister, 13 June 1900, and copy opinion of R[ichard] Garnett that the manuscripts are authentic, 18 June 1900 [15].
  • /18: Letter from R. Garnett concerning Byron's handwriting, 18 June [1900], [16].
  • /19: Certificate of authenticity signed by Luigi Villoresi, 19 June 1900, with receipt for £300 paid to H. Sotheran to MacAlister for commission, 16 July 1900.
  • /20-21: Copy of letter [to J. Pierpont Morgan] concerning the successful purchase of the Byron manuscripts [18-19].
  • /22: Cutting titled 'Lord Thring on Copyright' from The Publishers' Circular, 9 June 1900 concerning copyright of literary works, and noting the purchase of works by Byron by Mr Murray [20].