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Collection Overview

Smith, George, 1824-1901
Business Correspondence of Smith, Elder, and Co.
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


Consists, for the most part, of business correspondence of George Smith relating to the Cornhill Magazine, which he founded in 1859, and other publishing business of Smith, Elder, and Co., the London publishing firm.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists, for the most part, of business correspondence of George Smith relating to the Cornhill Magazine, which he founded in 1859, and other publishing business of Smith, Elder, and Co., the London publishing firm. Correspondents include Charles Allston Collins, Dutton Cook, James Hannay, William Gifford Palgrave, Russell Sturgis, Sir Henry Taylor, and Sir George Otto Trevelyan. In addition, there is a large folder of correspondence (1871-1874) with Edward Steinkopff and family, as well as one (1873-1874) with A. Donald Smith.

A group of 38 letters, the majority addressed to Reginald John Smith or Sir Leslie Stephen on similar literary business, were added more recently. Authors include Annie Besant, Egerton Castle, Percy Fitzgerald, Philip Bourke Marston, George Augustus Sala, and Halliwell Sutcliffe.

Collection Creator Biography:

Smith, George, 1824-1901

The publishing firm of Smith, Elder, and Co. was founded by George Smith (1789–1846) and Alexander Elder (1790–1876). Upon the death of his father, George Smith (son) took control and under his stewardship, the company flourished. Its first major success was the publication of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre in 1847, under the pseudonym of "Currer Bell." The firm is perhaps best known for publishing the first edition of the Dictionary of National Biography, widely popularized as the DNB.

Collection History


George Smith correspondence was purchased in October 1975 .

Additional correspondence was purchased in March 2012 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research/

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Business Correspondence of Smith, Elder, and Co.; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1