Henry David Thoreau collection
Scope and Contents
The collection is housed in two boxes and organized into three series according to provenance: Owen Franklin Aldis Gift, Henry Seidel Canby Gift, and Material from Other Sources. Box 2 contains Oversize material.
Series I, Owen Franklin Aldis Gift , consists of one letter, a brief ALS from Thoreau to the Harvard College librarian, and several holograph manuscripts. The writings include notes and drafts for poems, an article, and the concluding paragraphs to Walden. There are notes on insects for the years 1851-54 and on weather and other "general" conditions for the months of April, October, and December, with detailed charts for October and December for the years 1852-61 and 1850-61 respectively. The Aldis gift also includes the May 1852 survey Thoreau conducted for the "Noah & Joshua Brooks Farm" in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
Series II, Henry Seidel Canby Gift , consists of one holograph manuscript, photographs, and objects, and is organized into subseries for Writings and Other Material. The gift includes a heavily corrected manuscript for "General Phenomena for November" which, like the manuscripts in Series I, contains notes on weather and natural phenomena. The Other Material subseries includes photographs of a sketch of Thoreau and two sections of a stud(s), as well as two nails, from Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond. The stud sections and nails are stored separately and reference photographs are provided in the main files.
Series III, Material from Other Sources , is organized into subseries for Writings and Other Material. Writings include a holograph manuscript for an untitled essay by Thoreau, with a typed copy, and an article on Thoreau by Francis D. Sheldon and G. Peter Shiras. The article by Sheldon and Shiras documents the history of Thoreau's "hut" on Walden Pond and includes photographs by Roland Welles Robbins and Edwin Way Teale. The Other Material subseries includes a pencil box and pencils produced by Thoreau's father's firm, J. Thoreau & Co.
Oversize material, housed in box 2, contains material from Series I and Series III.
- 1841 - 1949
Conditions Governing Access
There are two cut film negatives corresponding to prints in the collection. The negatives are restricted and may only be seen with permission of the appropriate curator. Reference photographs have also been subsituted in the main files for material stored separately.
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
1.13 Linear Feet ((2 boxes) + 2 art, 1 broadside, 1 roll)
Language of Materials
- American literature -- 19th century
- Artifacts (object genre)
- Authors, American -- 19th century -- Archives
- Concord (Mass.)
- J. Thoreau & Co
- Nails (fasteners) -- United States -- 19th century
- Natural history -- Massachusetts
- Pencils (drawing and writing equipment) -- United States -- 19th century
- Photographic prints
- Robbins, Roland Wells, 1908-1987
- Sheldon, Francis
- Shiras, George
- Teale, Edwin Way, 1899-1980
- Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862
- Walden Pond (Middlesex County, Mass.)
- Guide to the Henry David Thoreau Collection
- by Michael L. Forstrom
- April 2005
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.