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Collection Overview

Bailey, Philip James, 1816-1902
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Philip James Bailey Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box, 2 items, and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


The Philip James Bailey Collection consists of correspondence, clippings, and miscellanea of the English poet Philip James Bailey (1816-1902).

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists primarily of correspondence by Bailey to a selection of correspondents, including letters by both Bailey and his wife, Anna Sophia, to Bailey's nephew John H. Brown. There are also two letters by Bailey to unknown correspondents, and letters written to Bailey, one each by Francis Foster Barham and John H. Brown. The remaining miscellaneous items in the collection include an autobiographical sketch by Bailey, a photograph of Bailey, a page proof of Universal Hymn, and assorted clippings. In addition, there are two bound volumes that belong to the collection but are housed separately: Bailey's The Mystic and Other Poems interleaved and bound with pages of autograph notes and additional verse by the author, and extracts from letters of Bailey to John H. Brown, possibly in Brown's autograph.

Note that two printed volumes by Bailey, both with autograph notes by the author and his wife, which were formerly included in the collection, have been transferred to the Rare Books Division: the tenth edition of A Poem (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1877), and the eleventh edition (fiftieth-anniversary edition) of A Poem (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1889).

Titles of bound volumes in the collection: bd. vol. no. 1 = Bailey, Philip James, The Mystic and Other Poems (London: Chapman and Hall, 1855) (interleaved and bound with pages of autograph notes and additional verse by the author) bd. vol. no. 2 = Extracts from letters of Bailey to John H. Brown, 1857-1885, possibly in Brown's autograph.

The following standard abbreviations, or their variations, are used to identify materials in this collection: ALS = autograph letter signed and AMs = autograph manuscript.


Organized into the following series:

Collection Creator Biography:

Bailey, Philip James, 1816-1902

Philip James Bailey was born April 22, 1816 in Nottingham, England. Although a noted poet and literary critic, Bailey's education background was in law, which he studied at the University of Glasgow and in London. He never practiced law, but instead chose to pursue his childhood interest in poetry with the support of his father. He is best known for his first work: Festus: A Poem. His later works did not attract as much praise, but Bailey remained revered in the British literary circle. Bailey eventually retired to Nottingham, where he died on September 6, 1902 from influenza.

Collection History


A small group of clippings and other items relating to P.J. Bailey, from the library of the late Mrs. F. Maud Brown is gift of E. Robert Edelsten. The remainder purchased from Bernard Quaritch, Ltd. in 2007.

Custodial History

This collection was formed as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection manuscript material of various accessions relating to a particular author.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jim Flannery in 2004. Finding aid written by Jim Flannery in 2004.

Biography written by Alyxandra Cullen, '09.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

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:

Philip James Bailey Collection; 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