Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Hall, S.C. (Samuel Carter), 1800-1889
Samuel Carter Hall Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


Consists primarily of correspondence and poetry of Samuel Carter Hall, a Victorian poet and editor of The Art-Union.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of letters and poetry of Samuel Carter Hall and some correspondence of his wife, Anna Maria. Included are letters from their contemporaries, mainly artists and writers, and a scrapbook, titled "Poems / S. C. Hall," containing holograph and published broadside copies of Hall's poems.

Collection Creator Biography:

Hall, S.C. (Samuel Carter), 1800-1889

Samuel Carter Hall was born on May 9, 1800, at the Geneva Barracks near Waterford, Ireland. The son of Robert Hall, a military officer, he spent much of his childhood in barracks and near battlefields. From youth, however, Samuel Hall was interested in the arts, enjoying theater and literature during trips to London. As a young man, Hall worked as a journalist and editor at numerous newspapers and literary magazines. These positions included reporting on Parliamentary debates for the British Press, for which Charles Dickens worked at the same time, and serving as sub-editor for the New Monthly Magazine, a famous literary journal. Hall worked many jobs simultaneously to make ends meet and suffered a brief nervous breakdown in 1830. He continued, however, to engage in a frenzied professional life until settling into a position in 1838 at The Art-Union.

During his time at The Art-Union, Hall reached his peak of influence, creativity, and impact. His leadership there helped to define the art world in an era of massive change, as old patronage systems collapsed and new artists had enormous difficulty being recognized. Hall helped to make the careers of numerous young British artists, as well as helping to direct the development of a new art scene. While Hall had enormous impact as an editor and writer, his reputation among Bohemians was not always favorable. Many artists were skeptical of his Puritanism and prudishness, so he often traveled only at the fringes of the important Bohemian social circles. Hall died on March 16, 1889, after a few years of quiet writing.

Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall (1800-1881), born Anna Maria Fielding, was an important writer in her own right, although many of her works were published under her husband's name. During his years working for literary magazines, the couple regularly worked as a team, and distinguishing their writings can be very difficult. Her specialties, like Hall's, were poetry and sub-romantic literature.

Collection History


Correspondence of Hall and wife purchased from Christopher Edwards in July 2005 (AM2006-3). Letters of Hall to others purchased from David J. Holmes in 2006 (AM2007-48). Holograph poem by Hall is a gift of Denny Hatch in 2010 (AM2010-145).


No further accruals are expected.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Anna Bialek and Danielle Ford in July 2005. Finding aid written by Anna Bialek and Danielle Ford in July 2005.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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:

Samuel Carter Hall Papers; 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