Archive for the ‘acquisitions’ Category

More House – A love story for everyone

February 13, 2015

By Erin Hurley, Archival Processing Intern


A suitcase of letters from the More House Archive

A suitcase of letters from the More House Archive

The Clark library recently acquired the More House Archive, a large collection of Victorian manuscripts, scrapbooks, and drawings of a family with distant connections to Oscar Wilde – the Hope-Nicholson family of More House located at 34 Tite Street, Chelsea.  Tite Street was a hub of artistic and literary activity in the 1890s, and its residents included not only Laura Hope (the central figure in the More House archive), but Oscar Wilde himself, as well as a number of well-known painters of the day, like James McNeill Whistler, and Pre-Raphaelites such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Coley Burne-Jones.


Some of the many bundles of letters between Adrian Hope and Laura Troubridge Hope


The More House archive is large – over 70 boxes, many of them containing handwritten letters to or from Laura Hope.  As I have been processing the collection, a number of fascinating love stories have emerged – the most central of which is between Laura Hope (nee Troubridge) and her husband of 16 years, Adrian Hope.   More House was the name of their first home together on Tite Street.  There are hundreds of letters between the two of them (sometimes several letters per day!), including their so-called “letters of engagement,” written between 1884 and 1888 and also published in the book Letters of Engagement 1884-1888: The Love Letters of Adrian Hope and Laura Troubridge.  The letters are sweet – full of terms of endearment, and often including tokens of affection like pressed flowers, newspaper clippings, or drawings.  The couple was married on August 2, 1888 (“such a lovely bright day of sunshine,” writes Laura) and spent three weeks honeymooning aboard a houseboat on the River Thames called the Crocodile.  They reportedly enjoyed a very happy marriage until Adrian’s death from appendicitis in 1904, and had two children – Jacqueline and Esme (who, sadly, died as a child).

Adrian and Laura

Adrian and Laura

Laura and Adrian eventually became the guardians of Oscar Wilde’s two children with Constance Lloyd after his imprisonment for “gross indecency” in 1895.  They were also distantly related to another scandalous figure of the day – Una Vincenzo Troubridge (nee Taylor) who became infamous for her relationship with Radclyffe Hall, author of The Well of Loneliness.  The More House archive contains a number of letters from Una to Laura, as well as letters from Una to Laura’s daughter Jacqueline, who was just two years younger.  Una had previously been married to Laura’s brother Ernest (an admiral in the Royal Navy during World War I) but left him to pursue a relationship with Hall.  The two women lived together happily for nearly 30 years, and cut a rather glamorous figure, as evidenced by this photo of them in matching outfits at the Ladies Kennel Club Dog Show in 1920.

Radcliffe Hall and Una Troubridge

Radcliffe Hall and Una Troubridge

Ce livre de compte: Dominique Richaud’s cipher book

September 4, 2014

The Clark recently added two 18th century French manuscripts to its small but interesting collection of schoolchildren’s arithmetic cipher books.  One in particular, that of Dominique Richaud from Aix-en-Provence, is particularly notable for its elaborate and colorful illustrations.

full page


The tradition of the calligraphic arithmetic notebook was well-established in Europe and in colonial North America during the early modern era and these artifacts of past educational practices are not uncommon in special collections libraries.  However, because until recently they have been little studied and because there is no standardized vocabulary for their description, they seem to fly under the radar.  Most of the arithmetic cipher books at the Clark were purchased in the 1950s and they do not appear to have gotten much attention as a collection until the current staff started recataloging the manuscript collections in 2008.

Dominique Richaud’s cipher book is a particularly beautiful and exciting example of this document genre, with its multicolored decorations and illustrations.


Instead of working and  learning from math textbooks, students – and teachers – used cipher books like this as reference when it came to figuring out how to solve math problems both in the classroom and in the real world.  Students would copy correct answers into their cipher books and then illuminate the page with illustrations and embellishments.



Compared to the other arithmetic notebooks at the Clark, Richaud’s is much more colorful and much more elaborate.  It is also much larger – most are quarto and octavo size, while Richaud’s book is a tall folio.

a new mascot for the Clark?

a new mascot for the Clark?

We are excited about the addition of these two French cipher books to our collection, which until now consisted only of English examples of the genre.  You can find these new acquisitions and all of our other calligraphic cipher books in the UCLA Library Online catalog using the keywords arithmetic and calligraphy.

Dominique Richaud, Ce livre de compte a ete fait a Aix…, MS. 2014.008, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA.

Bookplates, librarians and zombie literature…

March 27, 2014


The Clark recently acquired an early scribal manuscript of Pierre-Corneille Blessebois’ 1676 play L’Eugenie, a work based on the story of St. Eugenia.  Though there are many reasons why L’Eugenie is interesting as a text (onstage nudity, transgender themes, and a libertine author who wrote the first zombie novel, just to name a few), I am particularly interested in one small aspect of our copy’s provenance.



One of the former owners of this manuscript, whose red bookplate can be seen above, was the French writer and librarian Charles Nodier (1780-1844). As the director of the Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal in Paris, Nodier established a literary salon that brought together Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas and other young Romanticists, and was a major influence on their work.  Nodier’s own literary work touches on similar themes of the Gothic and fantastic; he was also extremely interested in the vampire novel.  Though L’Eugenie is not part of this genre, it does make sense that he might be particularly interested in work by the author of Le zombie du Grand-Perou!

Though Nodier is best remembered for his influence on the young French Romantics, his work as a librarian was also significant — indeed a 2003 article by Matthew Loving asserts that he should actually be considered “one of history’s great librarians.”  Nodier was a bibliophile from a young age and learned the art of bibliography while working in his father’s personal library.  He made a name for himself by traveling to nearby estates to catalog and inventory their libraries, and worked as a professional librarian in France and in Ljubljana, Slovenia before his appointment as bibliothéquaire de l’Arsenal in 1824. In his work as a librarian, Nodier advocated for the importance of bibliographic control and accuracy in cataloging. In fact, he was one of the first librarians to advocate for better standards for bibliography and cataloging, comparing the “science” of bibliography to the classification of plants and animals (which he knew something about, as he was also an amateur entomologist).  Nodier sold off portions of his library several times over his lifetime and there was also a large sale of his remaining books after his death in 1844.  I haven’t yet been able to find a mention of this manuscript in sales catalogues, but it would be interesting to see how Nodier himself cataloged it — hopefully our cataloging lives up to his standards!

Roads of Italy

November 5, 2013

By Library Assistant Karie Jenkins

Le porte-feuille necessaire a tous les seigneurs qui font le tour d’Italie(Roads of Italy: A guide book necessary for all gentlemen who do a tour of Italy…)

Roads of Italy Boot

This book acquisition by  the Clark Library was made to compliment the recent collection acquisition of twenty manuscript notebooks and journals of  eighteenth century science, travel, and culture by Louis-Benjamin Fleuriau de Bellevue’s Grand Tour of France and Italy, 1788-1791.

Fall has arrived at The Clark and many of us are mourning our summer vacations.  Just thinking about the possibility of taking time off to travel can make one absolutely wanderlust.  Some of the places one may wish to visit could be romantic and rich with history, or more picturesque and quiet.  Wherever it is we wish to go, we know transportation is reliable.  Traveling can be as simple as printing out tickets and jumping into a rental car with a built-in GPS.  Either way, traveling has become easy and efficient.  This level of advancement has caused the traditional use of maps and atlases to become antiquated. The maps and atlases of the past can tell us what travel used to be like back when these materials were essential tools for navigation.

Today I came across a bilingual travel atlas called “Roads of Italy,” published by Andrew Drury in London, 1774.  The atlas was printed in both French and Italian, as these were the primary languages of the time, and it was intended for the multilingual English traveler.  It has 27 hand-colored etched maps that fold out like mini-accordions.  The place names, cities, and landmarks were all printed in Italian.  According to the atlas, it can be assumed that being familiar with multiple, popular languages was crucial for navigation during the 16th century.

Roads of Italy Title Page

Aside from the maps, there is a section dedicated to the cost of room and board, and transportation.  Such questions are answered as will the English traveler be riding two horses or one?  What will the cost of lodging be and who are the most trustworthy innkeepers?  These questions of Drury’s travel atlas evoke a rather intimate relationship between person and object. The atlas is not simply a book, but a dependable guide that offers reliable information during moments of wanderlust or business travel.  The knowledge of the regions were reflections of Drury and his contemporaries based on past experiences and word-of-mouth.

There is not much written about Drury’s life aside from the fact that he was a member of the Duke’s court and a publisher of various atlases, some of which are located at The Clark Library. We may not know who the atlas was printed for specifically, but we can certainly understand how people during the late 18th century approached travelling by analyzing these books.  Today, Drury’s “Roads of Italy” can be seen as a tactile narrative of London’s history of navigation.  No longer used for a utilitarian purpose, the atlas has transcended into an eminent relic, which pronounces how immensely difficult traveling was and how courageous the men and women were to pursue such a feat.

Roads of Italy Milano

Clark Library Call Number:

DG424 .P84 *

New Acquisition from the London Book Fair: Oscar Wilde Lecture in Dublin, 1883

July 15, 2013

From Head Librarian Gerald Cloud

Last month’s London Book Fair provided the Clark with some choice new acquisitions, including a rare first hand account of Oscar on the podium. The letter, seen below, was written by Hannah Ann Robinson, latter known by her married name, Nannie Florence Dryhurst, 1856-1930. Written to her future husband, Alfred Robert Dryhurst, the letter describes how Wilde addressed his Dublin audience on 22 November 1883.


Along with the letter is included the promotional flier advertising the two talks Wilde gave in Dublin that Fall. The Clark holds examples of other similar advertising fliers from Wilde’s American tour.

Dyrhurst herself would go on to become a schoolteacher, but more adventurously, a strong advocate for Irish Independence and various anarchic causes in Europe in the early-twentieth century.


New Acquisitions: The Grand Tour of Louis-Benjamin Fleuriau de Bellevue, 1788-1791

June 11, 2013

From Head Librarian Gerald Cloud

The collection is elegantly housed in custom slipcases

The collection is elegantly housed in custom slipcases

Fresh off the boat from the continent is this fabulous collection of eighteenth century science, travel, and culture, comprising twenty manuscript notebooks and journals of more than 1,150 pages describing Louis-Benjamin Fleuriau de Bellevue’s Grand Tour of France and Italy, 1788-1791. Fleuriau de Bellevue was a mineralogist and geologist whose collections formed part of the foundation for the Museum of Natural History at La Rochelle. The unpublished notebooks are illustrated with numerous sketches and drawings, and include valuable mineralogical observations as well as remarks on churches, architecture, art, social customs, inns, and other travelers’ information. In addition to Italy Fleuriau’s travels took him to and Malta, Switzerland and the Tirol, a portion of which was in the company of the famous French geologist Deodat de Dolomieu, after whom the Dolomites were named.

The Roman notebooks

The Roman notebooks

The Roman notebooks

The Roman notebooks



The notebooks are well preserved and will serve a wide variety of researchers and scholars interested in 18th century travel, science, culture and more. The collection is currently being cataloged and will be available to scholars soon…

A drawing of a port in the Mediterranean from notebook number 5

A drawing of a port in the Mediterranean from notebook number 5

“Wilde in San Francisco”

March 8, 2013

From Gerald W. Cloud, Clark Librarian

At the 46th California International Antiquarian Book Fair in San Francisco last month I asked Ed Maggs the question I ask as many booksellers as will listen, “Do you have any Wilde material?”  Ed replied that he did indeed and produced from his glass-fronted cabinet the photograph shown here:

William Morton Fullerton (1865-1952)

William Morton Fullerton (1865-1952)

Portrayed here is William Morton Fullerton (1865-1952), in an original cabinet portrait, inscribed “To André Raffalovich from William Fullerton. 1887.”  A quick check of the Clark’s catalog revealed that the library already owned correspondence between Wilde and Fullerton (in particular, a four page letter which Mr. Clark acquired in the Dulau sale, described thus: “Addressed from Paris, 1899. Commencing ‘Monsieur Melmoth’. A pathetic letter, refusing with extreme politeness and reluctance a request for a loan” [Dulau, 96]).

Hoping for a good story I asked, “But who was William Fullerton?” Mr. Maggs did not disappoint, and he kindly provided the follow account:

“William Morton Fullerton was one of the most interesting non-entities of the fin-de-siècle. His early literary talent never really developed throughout a career of jobbing journalism that peaked early with his coverage for The Times of the Dreyfus trial, and he is remembered now for the astonishing variety and vigor of his love life.

Leon Edel, in his one volume life of Henry James, on Fullerton: “Singularly attaching… a dashing well-tailored man with large Victorian moustaches and languid eyes, a bright flower in his button hole, and the style of a ‘masher’. He had considerable sexual versatility.” [see photo]

After Harvard, where he was intimate with George Santayana and close to Bernard Berenson, he moved to London where he befriended the writer and socialite Hamilton Aidé and became the lover of the notorious Lord Ronald Gower, sculptor and model for Lord Henry Wotton in The Picture of Dorian Gray. There was a long affair with the Ranee of Sarawak, Margaret Brooke, a short marriage to a Parisian woman who later blackmailed him (she was covertly paid off by Henry James and Edith Wharton), and a short but very intense love affair with Wharton. He was one of the “younger ardent men” (Edel) who gathered round James in the early 1890s, when he “made himself agreeable in a tender romantic way”, and is widely supposed to have been a large part of the inspiration for the character of the journalist Densher in The Wings of a Dove. The fling with Edith Wharton was a remarkable episode, in which one suspects the 46 year old novelist had her first fully realized sexual relations, the intensity of which led to the writing of the pornographic short story Beatrice Palmato, published in Lewis’s biography. Her letters to Fullerton, now at the University of Texas and partially published in the UT Library Chronicle, show a woman aware of Fullerton’s impossibility, but unable, on grounds of emotional intoxication, to let him go.

The recipient, André Raffalovich (1864-1934), wealthy aesthete and quintessential Uranian poet, established a literary salon in Mayfair, somewhat in the shade of Wilde’s salon in Chelsea. He was the life partner of John Gray (1866-1934), poet and nominal inspiration for the eponymous Dorian G. Gray fled the Wilde scandal into the arms of the Catholic church, and removed himself to Edinburgh, the predominantly Protestant of Scotland’s two great cities. Raffalovich followed him and, in the sort of gesture reserved unto the wealthy, built him a church. Raffalovich established his literary artistic circles in Edinburgh, and the two continued to see each other, once a week, after Mass. A small footnote is that the acquisition of Gray and Raffalovich’s library (from the church) marked the beginning of the career of Anthony d’Offay, initially a bookseller and later to become one of the giants of the modern art trade.” [courtesy of Ed Maggs]

Who could resist such a colorful character as Fullerton?  In any case, I could not and the photograph has been added to the Clark’s growing collection of Oscar Wilde and his Circle.

Item of the Week: Louÿs and his Astarte

June 3, 2011

Over the last few years, the Clark has been actively acquiring the work of Pierre Louÿs, a French poet whose connections to Oscar Wilde and the decadent movement make him a perfect fit for the Clark.

Our most recent acquisition is a special copy on Japon Imperial paper of Louÿs’ first published book, Astarte, printed in 1892.  This edition was limited to 100 copies, and ours is one of 12 printed on Japon Imperial.  The book was originally bound in yellow paper wrappers, with a color lithograph illustration by Albert Besnard, though our copy is now encased in a sumptuous red morocco binding.

Albert Besnard's lithographed design for the original paper covers

Our copy also includes a letter from Louÿs to Pierre Bracquemond, concerning republishing Astarte under the title Poésie.

Another special addition to our copy of the book is a photograph of the author himself.  This photograph was also printed on Louÿs’ personal stationary (though the library does own several letters by Louÿs, unfortunately we don’t own any with this photo gracing the letterhead!)

This edition of Astarte is also beautified by an original watercolor by Georges Rochegrosse on the preliminary title page, illustrating the Louÿs poem “Les filles de Dieu.”  Rochegrosse was an Orientalist painter and a popular illustrator of works by symbolist poets.

This volume joins many others in our growing collection on Louÿs, which includes books, personal papers and manuscripts.  A finding aid available via the Online Archive of California describes some of these items, as does an earlier post on The Clog.

Item of the Week: Numismatics, Birds and Bulls

May 4, 2011

Last week, the Clark Library welcomed our intrepid volunteer Marvin Lessen and his friend George Kolbe, a numismatist and Bible enthusiast, for a morning tour. They were here to view the current exhibition, Bible. English. Authorized: Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible. As a very generous thank-you gift, Mr. Kolbe donated a four-volume illustrated edition of The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Numismatic Library auction catalog, compiled by Mr. Kolbe himself.

This is a particularly welcome addition to the Clark because the front cover of each volume was designed and typeset by Henry Morris, the proprietor of the Bird & Bull Press, of which the Clark Library owns many works. Mr. Morris also wrote an introductory essay explaining the process of how he helped to create the front covers. There is only one other copy of this catalog recorded, and that is at Notre Dame.

The Clark Library has a very modest collection of early numismatic literature. Books can be found in the UCLA online catalog by searching the keyword “numismatics” or “numismatists.” Bird & Bull Press titles can also be found in the catalog by searching under the press name or under “Morris, Henry, 1925-” (or under one of his pseudonyms: “Bachaus, Theodore, 1925-“ or “Bogus, Roger, 1925-“ or “Nova Villa, Henricus de, 1925-“).

The King James Bible exhibition is on view until June 30, 2011.

Thank you Mr. Kolbe!

Item of the Week: Salammbô by Schmied

April 28, 2011

When Ward Ritchie died in 1996, he bequeathed his personal library to the Clark. Amongst its many treasures was a collection of works by François-Louis Schmied, a Parisian book artist and printmaker with whom Ritchie studied during the 1930’s. Schmied’s mastery of the xylographic process, his use of color, and his sense of pattern and sequence is unparalleled in the world of the livre d’artiste.

Bit by bit, the Clark Library has been able to add works produced or illustrated by Schmied, and our latest acquisition is the 1923 edition of Gustave Flaubert’s Salammbô. Printed in a limited edition of 1,030 copies, our copy is no. 446 of 850 that are printed on “Velin de pur Chiffon des Papeteries de Voiron.” The text was printed by Frazier-Soye for “Le Livre.” The book was originally bound in navy wrappers with the title stamped in silver, but this copy has been sensitively rebound into half vellum with marbled paper boards and endpapers. The aubergine, brown, pink, violet, navy blue, and lavender colors of the marbling has been enhanced with gold for even more richness. The title on the spine is in manuscript and includes a charming pen and ink drawing, presumably of Salammbô herself. The original paper wrapper has been bound in.

For more information on Schmied, we recommend the book Art Deco : the Books of François-Louis Schmied, Artist / Engraver / Printer : with Recollections and Descriptive Commentaries on the Books by Ward Ritchie ; with a preface by Lawrence Clark Powell. Published by the Book Club of California in 1987. To see more of his work, come for a visit.