Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 1A: "Private", 1836-1861

3 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This subseries contains approximately 800 letters, arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent. Putnam had ties with some of the greatest literary figures of his day, including Washington Irving and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. However, the following names of correspondents in this subseries are representative of how Putnam's circle extended beyond solely literary people to figures eminent in other walks of life who were also literary: Edward Everett who, in addition to teaching Greek literature at Harvard College, held office as Governor of Massachusetts; Richard Henry Dana, lawyer as well as author, later presiding over Jefferson Davis's trial for treason; physician and editor Oliver Wendell Homes, founder of the Atlantic Monthly and father of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Julia Ward Howe, poet and suffragist; militant abolitionist Congressman Charles Sumner: and John Pendelton Kennedy, Secretary of the Navy under Millard Fillmore. Also represented are William Cullen Bryant, who, in addition to being a popular poet, was editor of the New York Evening Post; Evert Augustus Duyckinck, who, starting in 1845, edited "The Library of American Books," for Putnam & Wiley; and scientist Joseph Henry, who taught at Princeton University from 1832 to 1846.


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Collection History


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Margaret Sherry in 1994. Finding aid written by Margaret Sherry in 1994.

For conservation purposes all letters have been dismounted and foldered, except for those in the scrapbook that was part of the 1993 purchase.

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:

Subseries 1A: "Private"; George Palmer Putnam Collection, C0685, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
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Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
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Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-3

Find More


Volume 14 of the Northwestern-Newberry edition of The Writings of Herman Melville includes the Melville correspondence from Princeton's George Palmer Putnam Collection. This volume has been edited and annotated, with an historical note, by Lynn Horth, revised and augmented from The Letters of Herman Melville (1960), edited by Merrell R. Davis and William H. Gilman.

G.P. Putnam & Co