Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Ryskamp, Charles, 1928-
Charles Ryskamp Collection of William Cowper
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
12 boxes and 4.8 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-12


Consists of Xerox copies of works and correspondence by William Cowper collected by Princeton professor and scholar Charles Ryskamp, as well as correspondence, notebooks, and miscellaneous material of Neilson Campbell Hannay, another Cowper scholar and collector.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of Xerox copies of works and correspondence by William Cowper collected by Ryskamp, as well as correspondence, notebooks, and miscellaneous material of Neilson Campbell Hannay, a Cowper scholar and collector. There are copies of Cowper's works at the Huntington, Yale University, and Bodleian Libraries, letters at Princeton (1783-1799), including some in the Hannay Collection, and letters not at Princeton (1790-1799). The collection contains original correspondence (1925-1961) between Hannay and Cowper scholars, collectors, and manuscripts dealers, including M. King Martyn, Catharine Barham Johnson, and Kenneth Povey. There are four notebooks kept by Hannay listing autograph letters by Cowper in Hannay's possession, miscellaneous data relating to Cowper and his circle, a list of negatives of Cowper material, a bibliography, and Xeroxes of miscellaneous research material. Also included are photographs of Cowper's portraits, family, and friends, and topographical photographs relating to Cowper. In addition, there are negative plates of Hannay's Cowperiana, printed matter such as Sotheby's catalogues, and newspaper clippings.

An addition to the collection consists of one bound volume of material compiled by Frances Jane Monckton: containing nine letters and eight poems, 1815-1820, written by the English poet William Hayley (1745-1820) and sent to Frances Jane Monckton and occasionally her sister Eliza; one undated poem, "Beau's Reply" in the hand of William Cowper; and one poem, 1852, by Monckton on the presentation of the volume to her nephew, Richard Monckton Milnes (1809-1885). A box of additional copies of Cowper letters and manuscripts, as well as original correspondence of Thomas (founder of the Cowper Museum) and Angelina Wright, is included.


Arranged in this order: works (Xeroxes), correspondence in the Princeton Library (1783-1799), correspondence not in the Princeton Library (1750-1799); Hannay material--correspondence (1925-1961), notebooks, miscellaneous material, and negative plates of Cowperiana pictures.

Collection Creator Biography:

Ryskamp, Charles, 1928-

A graduate of Yale and Cambridge, Charles Ryskamp taught ? at Princeton. For seventeen years he was the director of the Pierpont Morgan Library, followed by nine years heading The Frick Collection, from which he retired in 1996.

Collection History


Gift of Charles Ryskamp.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory prepared by Fadzilah Yahaya GS in 2011.

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:

Charles Ryskamp 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:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-12