Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Cowper, William, 1731-1800
Joseph Hill Collection of William Cowper
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1716-1825 (mostly 1760-1810)
1 box and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


The Joseph Hill Collection of William Cowper consists of correspondence between Cowper, a famed British poet, and Hill, his close friend and mentor.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists primarily of correspondence of Joseph Hill with Cowper and with members of the Cowper circle of family and friends. Four letters by Cowper are included. The collection also contains miscellaneous financial documents, engravings, and a copy of a poem about Cowper.


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Collection Creator Biography:

Cowper, William, 1731-1800

William Cowper was an English poet. Born in 1731 in Great Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, Cowper was schooled in Markyate and Winchester and trained for a career in law. However, he found himself ill-suited for the profession and instead was appointed a commissioner in bankruptcy. He suffered from severe mental instability and was institutionalized on several occasions. A true romantic, Cowper wrote much of his poetry in honor of the women in his life. Among his most famous compositions are The Task and The Journey of John Gilpin. Cowper died in 1800.

Joseph Hill was a close friend of Cowper who served as his mentor in matters of business.

Collection History

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2002. Finding aid written in 2002.

Biography written by Jessica Marati, '08.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

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:

Joseph Hill Collection of William Cowper; 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

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The following sources were consulted during preparation of biographical note: Biography from British Authors Before 1800 (1952).

Subject Terms:
Poets, English -- 18th century.
Genre Terms:
Hill, Joseph