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Ada Lovelace was a mathematician in 19th century England and the only legitimate child of the poet George Gordon, Lord Byron. She is often recognized as the creator of the first set of instructions meant to be carried out by a machine, and is thus seen as a pioneer of what would later become computer programming. The Ada Lovelace letter is a one-page note to [Fortunato] Prandi, an Italian interpreter, regarding ten guineas Lovelace owed Prandi.

Consists of a single hand-written letter to [Fortunato] Prandi, dated Thursday 5th August. Date could be 1841 or 1847. One page, folded, written on front and back.

The letter is apparently in reply to a request for ten guineas owed by Lovelace to Prandi. She discusses putting off sending him the sum because of travel and also "disagreeable business." She goes on to say she is well in spite of being a "disconsolate widow" and will soon "leave town", "probably to Brighton". The letter closes with an apology for the lateness of repayment and includes a postscript noting her amusement at the "modesty" of his request. It is signed A. A. Lovelace.

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Agnes Smedley letters, 1930s-1947 0.1 Linear Feet — 3 items

Agnes Smedley was a journalist, writer, and left-wing activist remembered for her activity on behalf of the Communist cause in China during the 1930s. It is believed that she engaged in extensive espionage activities while she lived in Shanghai from 1929-1941. The Agnes Smedley letters consist of three letters by Smedley, the first of which was written while she lived in Shanghai, and the second two while she lived at the Yaddo artists' colony during the 1940s. The first letter is a request for a social engagement, and the second two letters discuss the particulars of her political observations and writings while she lived and worked in China.

The collection consists of three letters written by Agnes Smedley; the first to a Miss Gates, and the second two addressed to Corporal James A. Frankel. The single-page autograph manuscript letter to Miss Gates is written on letterhead stationery with Smedley's Shanghai address identifying her as the "Correspondent of the Frankfurter Zeitung in China." She asks Miss Gates to have "tiffin or tea" with her and wonders "Do you ever have extra time to see strange people?" The second manuscript letter, two leaves with text on all four sides, is dated December 27th, 1944. It primarily concerns Emily Hahn's book "China To Me." Smedley writes, “Miss Hahn spent 9 years sleeping around in Shanghai ... When the Japs took Hong Kong she wrote that she would just have died had she gone to a concentration camp like other Americans. So she went to the Japs and said, 'I’m a bad girl.' So the Japs left her free and she fooled around with them in Hong Kong, drinking and carousing, while the bastards were killing our men... But we Americans find this 'hot stuff' and put it up as a best seller... Miss Hahn is a propagandist for the Chinese reaction. She’s never seen a Chinese Communist, yet she’s agitating against them in N.Y... She led a purely personal life in two Chinese port cities but now poses as an authority on political and military matters of China." The third letter, autograph typescript dated March 23d 1947, was originally enclosed in Frankel’s copy of Smedley's book Battle Hymn of China, and addresses Frankel's questions about the Xi'an Incident of 1936 and the capture of Chiang Kai-shek. Smedley directs Frankel to her article on the topic published in The Nation magazine, as well as "her book."

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Collection comprises an pin with the text "American Women's Voluntary Services" on a background of red, white, and blue enamel. The back of the pin is marked "Bastian Brothers Co, Rochester, N.Y."
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Anna Letitia Barbauld was an English woman of letters who had great professional success at a time when women writers were still something of an anomaly. She is remembered for her poetry, children's literature, essays, criticism, and editorial works. She was rediscovered when feminist literary critics examined her place in British literary history. Barbauld was also an abolitionist, something she had in common with fellow educator and Stoke Newington resident William Allen. This item is a single small sheet of paper with an autograph manuscript poem by Barbauld on the front dated August 23, 1823, and another one on the back by William Allen dated August 30, 1823. Both poems were aimed at a juvenile audience. It is likely that their common interests and close proximity led them to develop a friendship. Although this was written towards the end of Barbauld's life, it is evidence that they still had at least an epistolary relationship in 1823.

Collection consists of a single piece of paper (20 x 12.5 cm) with an autograph manuscript poem by Anna Letitia Barbauld on the front and a poem called "Follow Me" by William Allen on the back. Barbauld's poem reads as follows: Born to the weighty honours of a name/Whose deeds of mercy England's shores proclaim/Yet know, you may inherit lands or pelf/But must, for praise - for love, be good yourself. It's signed A.L. Barbauld and dated August 23rd 1823. The verso contains a two-stanza autograph manuscript devotional poem by William Allen titled "Follow Me." It is signed Stoke Newington 30 of 8th month 1823. Barbauld and Allen were both educators and abolitionists who lived in Stoke Newington at the time of this writing. These poems are evidence that they had at least an epistolary friendship.

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Collection contains fourteen broadsides and handbills from British women's suffrage societies, primarily the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, but including the Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise Association and the London Society for Women's Suffrage, as well as one handbill from the Cambridge Daily News. Two broadsides announce suffragist marches, including one in support of women's military service during World War I. Several handbills provide general information on women's suffrage and suffrage societies, others are intended for specific audiences, including working and affluent women. Other topics include protests against use of violence in the suffragist cause, the Conciliation Bill for Women's Suffrage, and positions of various elected officials on the issue. The back of one broadside holds a handwritten excerpt from an unrelated drama.
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Christina Rossetti letter, 1881 December 17 0.1 Linear Feet — 1 item

Collection consists of a single letter from the Pre-Raphealite poet Christina Rossetti to an unnamed recipient in the publishing industry. She grants him permission to use poems from three of her published collections in an upcoming "Fine Art Book for Christmas 1882." Rossetti states that there should be no variation of the text from the source material, and that she chose those three collections because she personally holds their copyright.

Collection consists of an autograph manuscript letter signed Christina G. Rossetti, granting the unnamed recipient, presumably a publisher, permission to reprint some of her poems. The letter is written on a single folded sheet of paper with text on two pages. She lists her address as: 30 Torrington Square - London - W.C. Rossetti refers to the correspondent's "assurance that no variation whatsoever" will appear in "your Fine Art book for Xmas 1882." Rossetti names three of her books he may use as source material: "Poems," "Pageant," and "Sing Song." She writes, "I name these, because not every piece to be found elsewhere is in every instance of my own copyright."

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Lady Elizabeth Holford was born Elizabeth Lewis around 1650. She first married a merchant called Harbin, whose wealth she inherited. Her second husband was a poor baronet, Sir William Holford, who died before her. Lady Holford died on 3 November 1720, without an heir. Collection comprises a handwritten manuscript copy (70 pages; incomplete, the text ends mid-sentence) of Lady Holford's will and codicils, created around 1720, following her death. In the will, large sums of money are bequeathed to several Oxford colleges, including Christ Church, Pembroke and Worcester Colleges, and Hart Hall, along with Charterhouse School. There are also lesser legacies made to various London charity schools, along with other amounts left to individuals.

Collection comprises a handwritten manuscript copy (70 pages; incomplete, the text ends mid-sentence) of Lady Holford's will and codicils, created around 1720, following her death. In the will, large sums of money are bequeathed to several Oxford colleges, including Christ Church, Pembroke and Worcester Colleges, and Hart Hall, along with Charterhouse School. There are also lesser legacies made to various London charity schools, along with other amounts left to individuals.

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Collection comprises a certificate written by Fairfax stating that he examined Alsy (Alice), who was a slave being hired out to Charles Mothershead in Westmoreland Co., Va. He found that she had procidentia uteri (her entire uterus was outside the vagina), which caused her to be unable to work. He added, "She may be made useful by the application of an instrument properly adjusted, to keep the part from coming down."
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Edith Sitwell poems, circa 1940-1950 0.1 Linear Feet — 1 item

Dame Edith Sitwell was a British poet and critic whose work helped usher in the modernist era of British poetry. This autograph manuscript contains the text of two of her poems: "Lullaby" and "Serenade: From Any Man to Any Woman." Both poems were inspired by the early years of World War II and were published in her 1942 collection "Street Songs."

The five leaf holograph manuscript with text on the front side of each numbered page consists of two poems both titled at the top and signed "Edith" at the bottom. Both poems, "Lullaby," and "Serenade: Any Man to Any Woman" appeared in her 1942 collection "Street Songs." In this manuscript, "Serenade" is titled "Any Man to Any Woman." Both were inspired by the early years of World War II and are ironically titled. "Lullaby," sung by a baboon, describes a chaotic, primeval world destroyed by wartime chaos and despair in which, "All is equal - blindness, sight/There is no depth, there is no height." "Serenade" spoken by a dying soldier, regards his love through the lens of death and destruction. He identifies his love with a cannon and invites her to "die with me and be my love" in a reversal of the famous Marlowe line.

Both poems are referenced in the Edith Sitwell papers at the Ransom Humanities Center. Viewed March 9, 2017

Source: Misko, Ellen, "A Study of Dame Edith Sitwell's Later Poems: 1940-1945" (1972). Dissertations. Paper 1211. Viewed March 9, 2017

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Elizabeth Arden was a pioneering cosmetics entrepreneur. In this letter, she writes to advise a potential customer on matters relating to health and beauty. Arden advises her to get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet, and to use products from Arden's Venetian line in order to soothe her chapped hands. Arden writes, "I know that where one is a busy housewife and has many duties in a country home, it is hard to get rest and relaxation. Perhaps you are of the naturally alert, quick, nervous type and use up a lot of energy everyday."

The collection consists of a single autograph typescript letter dated 1926 June 26 written by Elizabeth Arden to a Mrs. Hyatt, who had contacted her for advice after hearing her speak on the radio. Arden writes, "I know that where one is a busy housewife and has many duties in a country home, it is hard to get rest and relaxation. Perhaps you are of the naturally alert, quick, nervous type and use up a lot of energy everyday." Arden advises her to "get a little rest period at least once a day and relax in a quiet room or take a soothing, warm bath and a little nap," as well as to eat a healthy diet. She goes on to recommend products in her Venetian Preparations line that will soothe chapped hands, and encloses her booklet "The Quest of the Beautiful." On letterhead stationery from 673 Fifth Avenue embossed with the Venetian trademark.

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Collection comprises a full-color, four-page manuscript metamorphosis book, with verses and pen-and-watercolor illustrations by Elizabeth Winspear, who was possibly a resident of New England. Each page features two flaps that fold out in stages to reveal new illustrations. Characters include Adam and Eve, along with a lion, griffin, and eagle, and themes include the attainment of wealth, and impact of sickness and death. Includes a clamshell box.
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Collection contains a letter from George Sand to Juliette Lamber, written 18 August 1867 at Sand's Nohant estate. The letter discusses possible plans to meet. Also, Sand acknowledges that she has been depressed by the death of her dear friend François Rollinat, and hopes their meeting can help her find courage to live. In a postscript, she adds that she has read Lamber's THE MANDARIN, and that Lamber has the elements of a serious talent. Includes an enclosure for the letter, as well as an English transcription.

Collection contains a letter from George Sand to Juliette Lamber, written 18 August 1867 at Sand's Nohant estate. The letter discusses possible plans to meet. Also, Sand acknowledges that she has been depressed by the death of her dear friend François Rollinat, and hopes their meeting can help her find courage to live. In a postscript, she adds that she has read Lamber's THE MANDARIN, and that Lamber has the elements of a serious talent. Includes an enclosure for the letter, as well as an English transcription.

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Collection comprises a 35-page memorandum book maintained by the Haulsey family of London, England, from 1646-1846. The memoranda usually record marriages, births, christenings, deaths, and burials, but there are also separate notes on family genealogy, as well as a few notes on land tenancy transfers, and money lent and received. There is one record regarding numbers of silver trays and candlesticks. Volume entries are handwritten on varying types of paper, and are not in chronological order. The volume also features an embroidered binding and a metal-clasp closure with initials G.W. (one clasp is missing). The embroidery includes images of day and night, as well as a dog, monkey, church, house, windmill, swallow, snail, and various plants and flowers.
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Helen Maria Williams was a British novelist, poet, and translator of French-language works. Collection comprises four letters written by Helen Maria Williams, two to her nephew, Athanase Laurent Charles Coquerel, one to Mrs. [Joel?]Barlow, and one to an unidentified recipient. One letter contains the date 1820; the other letters are undated. Topics in the letters include Coquerel's position, her income, the health and situation of friends and family members, an unnamed woman she wishes to avoid, along with the imprisonment of James Wol[l]stonecraft and Thomas Payne's [Paine's] efforts on his behalf. Three letters are accompanied by partial or full transcription.

Collection comprises four letters written by Helen Maria Williams, two to her nephew, Athanase Laurent Charles Coquerel, one to Mrs. [Joel?]Barlow, and one to an unidentified recipient. One letter contains the date 1820; the other letters are undated. Topics in the letters include Coquerel's position, her income, the health and situation of friends and family members, an unnamed woman she wishes to avoid, along with the imprisonment of James Wol[l]stonecraft and Thomas Payne's [Paine's] efforts on his behalf. Three letters are accompanied by partial or full transcription.

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Helen Paterson Allingham papers, 1868-1916, 2015 3.6 Linear Feet — 4 boxes — 11 items

Collection primarily includes four sketchbooks by Allingham, but also contains four letters, a carte de visite, and two exhibit labels. The four sketchbooks date from 1868-1916, and feature sketches and drawings made in graphite, watercolor, and pen and ink. Subjects are varied, and include English cottages and buildings, architectural features, sailboats and coastal scenes, figures, landscapes, and botanical items. The letters, dated 1881-1882 and undated, include three written by Allingham. There is one to Marcus B. Huish regarding her painting, The Tea Party, which she reports is incomplete, but she plans to finish before it is exhibited. There is a letter to a friend to whom she sends autographs, then describes her country place and garden, along with her 4-month-old son. Another letter focuses on the difficulty of finding unfurnished rooms. The final letter in the collection is written by Andrew Halliday to Dr. Watkins, regarding Allingham's address. There is also a carte de visite of English women's rights activist Emily Faithfull, with her signature, along with two modern exhibit labels on Allingham.

Collection primarily includes four sketchbooks by Allingham, but also contains four letters, a carte de visite, and two exhibit labels. The four sketchbooks date from 1868-1916, and feature sketches and drawings made in graphite, watercolor, and pen and ink. Subjects are varied, and include English cottages and buildings, architectural features, sailboats and coastal scenes, figures, landscapes, and botanical items.

The letters, dated 1881-1882 and undated, include three written by Allingham. There is one to Marcus B. Huish regarding her painting, The Tea Party, which she reports is incomplete, but she plans to finish before it is exhibited. There is a letter to a friend to whom she sends autographs, then describes her country place and garden, along with her 4-month-old son. Another letter focuses on the difficulty of finding unfurnished rooms. The final letter in the collection is written by Andrew Halliday to Dr. Watkins, regarding Allingham's address. There is also a carte-de-visite of English women's rights activist Emily Faithfull, with her signature, along with two modern exhibit labels on Allingham.

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Letter written by abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson regarding an upcoming lecture entitled A Visit to the Family of John Brown.

The collection consists of a single page autograph manuscript letter from abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson to an unknown male correspondent. Wentworth writes that he has prepared a lecture called A Visit to the Family of John Brown. Sources indicate that Higginson had returned from visiting the Brown family in the Adirondacks on November 4th, 1859. He writes that no one else from Massachusetts has visited the Brown family that he's aware of, except for fellow abolitionist Franklin Benjamin Sanborn. He asks if the recipient would prefer this lecture to the one Higginson had previously prepared. This lecture was likely turned into a chapter in Higginson's 1898 book Contemporaries called A Visit to John Brown's Household in 1859.

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Isabella S. Gardner diary, 1852-1874 and undated 0.6 lin. ft. Linear Feet — 8 items

Collection comprises a printed 1853 "West of England Pocket Book or Gentleman's Diary with an almanack" presented to Isabella Gardner by her husband in 1852. Gardner filled the volume with routine diary entries, usually briefly mentioning the weather and the health of family members, whether they were any visitors, along with any travel or activities and with whom the family took tea or had dinner. More unusual entries have to do with a tooth extraction, the birth of Frank, and a fire at their home. Entries became less frequent from October to December 1853. Also, several pages list household accounts and amounts paid, usually for food and servant salaries. Several items post-dating the diary were laid-in, including four brief letters to and from family members, a recipe for a throat tonic, a note with dates of ancestors, and a religious flier. A child later made drawings in available spaces on pages of the diary.
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Children's book author and socialite Julia Ellsworth Ford writes to fellow children's book writer Helen Hoke offering an introduction to the Yeats family while Hoke is in Dublin. Ford particularly wishes Hoke to meet Elizabeth Yeats because of her printing work with the Cuala Press. She writes that she considers William Butler Yeats the greatest poetic genius to emerge from England and Ireland in the 20th century, but that it will be difficult to meet him because he "is more or less a recluse because of writing all the time."

Collection consists of a single two-page autograph typescript letter on letterhead stationery dated 1935 October 16 with manuscript postscript. Julia Ellsworth Ford writes to Helen Hoke offering an introduction to members of the Yeats family while Hoke is in Dublin that winter. Ford particularly wants Helen to meet Elizabeth Yeats because of her work printing with the Cuala Press; Ford owns a complete set of their books. Ford writes that she had hosted the father, John Butler Yeats, in New York, where he stayed until his death in 1922. If Hoke wishes to meet William Butler in Ireland, she should ask Elizabeth, but that he "is more or less of a recluse because of writing all the time."

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Lady Wilde letter, 1852 November 19 0.1 Linear Feet — 2 items

Collection comprises a letter from Lady Wilde discussing the loss of her mother, followed by her marriage, and announcing the birth of her eldest son, William Charles Kingsbury Wilde. She also comments on marriage, "a woman's duty ends with marriage. She becomes a vegetable, a house leek, a mop--I feel that I am 'potted' for the rest of my days...." Includes an enclosure with a note written in another hand identifying Wilde along with the letter's recipient, whose last name may be Grant.
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Collection comprises a letter written by "Nonia" on June 16, 1913, regarding how she managed to obtain the Emily Wilding Davison memorial items, including a bulletin for the memorial service, an official program for the funeral procession, and a memorial card. Nonia was likely an upper class woman, for Princess Alice of Teck assisted her in collecting the items; the princess was afraid they would be considered suffragettes. The collection also holds a transcription for the letter.