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Collection Overview

Dixon, William Hepworth, 1821-1879
William Hepworth Dixon Correspondence
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1855-1877 (mostly 1861-1867)
1 box and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists chiefly of correspondence of the 19th-century English author and editor William Hepworth Dixon.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of 100 letters or notes from nineteenth-century English novelists, poets, dramatists, journalists, antiquarian writers, historians, editors, scholars, public readers, publishers, professors of literature, miscellaneous writers, and other men of letters, often accompanied by clippings pertaining to the writers. Most of the letters have strong literary content and are addressed to William Hepworth Dixon.

A later accession consists of 28 additional letters (1855-1872) by English authors and editors to Dixon, with a Vanity Fair print of Joseph Moses Levy for March 22, 1873 ("Men of the Day, No. 59") by "Spy" (Sir Leslie Ward).


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Collection Creator Biography:

Dixon, William Hepworth, 1821-1879

William Hepworth Dixon was an English scholar, historian, traveler, author and editor. His first work, John Howard and the Prison World of Europe, appeared in 1849. In 1850 Dixon brought out a volume descriptive of "The London Prisons" and was appointed a deputy-commissioner of the first great international exhibition, and helped to start more than one hundred of its three hundred committees. His Life of William Penn was published in 1851, and in 1853 Dixon became editor of the Athenaeum, to which he had been a contributor for some years. Some of his papers in the Athenaeum led to the publication of the Auckland Memoirs and of Court and Society, edited by the Duke of Manchester. In 1861 Dixon traveled in Portugal, Spain, and Morocco, and edited the Memoirs of Lady Morgan, who had appointed him her literary executor. In 1863 he helped to found the Palestine Exploration Fund of which he eventually became chairman. He then published The Holy Land, (1865) and New America, (1867) which passed through eight editions in England, three in America, and several foreign printings. In August 1869, Dixon resigned the editorship of the Athenaeum, but he continued to write and publish material. Dixon was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Pennsylvania Society, and several other scholarly organizations.

Collection History


Purchased from David Holmes in 2005-2009 (AM2005-121, 2006-86, 2007-47, 2010-34).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Danielle Ford in May 2005. Finding aid written by Danielle Ford in May 2005.

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.

Credit this material:

William Hepworth Dixon Correspondence; 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