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Collection Overview

Covington, Annette, 1872-1964
Annette Covington Letters to Luther P. Eisenhart
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 1.7 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1


Consists chiefly of correspondence between artist Annette Covington and Princeton professor and dean Luther P. Eisenhart, and papers relating to the "Baconian" theory of the authorship of Shakespeare's plays.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists chiefly of correspondence of Annette Covington with Luther P. Eisenhart related to the "Baconian" theory of the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. A large portion of the material is in photocopy, with some annotations and corrections by the author. There are letters about Bacon's concealed cipher messages relating to the esoteric secrets of the Rosicrucians to be found in William Shakespeare's works. Covington used illustrations and diagrams to demonstrate her discoveries. Included is a copy of such a discovery which she presented "For the President of Princeton University," dated July 3, 1936. It consists of a diagram of the initials of the names of Francis Bacon's parents found in the title of his Instauratio Magna. In addition, there is a scrapbook which Covington presented to Eisenhart, containing newspaper clippings from The Madisonville Bulletin, in Cincinnati, Ohio. There is also one envelope of material sent to Princeton University Librarian Julian Boyd regarding the painting Doge by the Italian painter Tintoretto. Covington sent the material and photostats of the ciphers to Eisenhart, who was dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University, for safekeeping.


Arranged by subject.

Collection Creator Biography:

Covington, Annette, 1872-1964

Annette Covington was an American landscape artist, portrait painter, illustrator, and teacher. Her grandfather, Samuel Fulton Covington, aided in the development of the Ohio Valley. Covington was president of the Cincinnati Woman's Art Club, Cincinnati, Ohio, (1916.)

After receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1900, Luther P. Eisenhart was called to Princeton as instructor in mathematics where he contributed to the University's development in many ways: as a mathematician, teacher, chairman of his department; as chairman of the Committee on Scientific Research, dean of the faculty, dean of the Graduate School; and as father of the four-course plan.

The Baconian theory of Shakespearean authorship holds that Sir Francis Bacon wrote the plays normally attributed to William Shakespeare. The main Baconian evidence is founded on the presentation of a motive for concealment. The late 19th-century interest in the Baconian theory continued the theme that Bacon had secreted encoded messages in the plays. It was also believed that Bacon not only authored the Shakespearean works but that he was a child of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester.

Collection History


Gift of Dean Luther P. Eisenhart on January 4, 1960 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Dina Britain in June 17, 2009. Finding aid written by Elizabeth Mulvey in June 17, 2009. Folder inventory added by Feng Zhu '14 in 2013.

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:

Annette Covington Letters to Luther P. Eisenhart; 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