- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
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"To the Sphinx," Page Proof, 1875
Collection Description & Creator Information
The collection includes personal and family papers of William Bell Scott (1811-1890), a Scottish poet, painter, art critic, and occasional engraver, known for his association with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in London, founded by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and John Everett Millais. Also present are personal and family correspondence and an estate document of Scott's life partner and mistress, Alice Boyd (1824-1897). William Bell Scott met Alice Boyd, also a painter, in London in 1859. They began a relationship that lasted for the rest of Scott's life. Beginning in the 1860s, Scott and his wife Letitia lived with Boyd in the summer and fall, while the three resided together at Scott's house in London during the other half of the year. Penkill Castle, the family estate in Ayrshire, Scotland, which Alice Boyd owned, served as an occasional refuge for many artists and writers associated with the Pre-Raphaelite circle, including the Rossetti family, William Morris, and W. J. Linton. Scott completed many books and paintings while in residence, and died at the castle in 1890, leaving many of his papers.
Scott's materials include manuscripts, drafts, and corrected page proofs for poetry and prose writings, drawings and sketches, engraving proofs, correspondence, record books of print sales, inscribed books, binding dummies, and personal documents, such as an address book and passport. Also included are many important official documents, autograph letters and ancillary holograph material regarding the Scott family, including William Bell Scott's brother, the painter David Scott (1806-1849), their father, the engraver Robert Scott (1777-1841), grandfather Robert Scott, and great-grandfather George Scott. Alice Boyd's papers include personal and family correspondence, as well as an estate document regarding her grandfather, William Losh, and an unsigned manuscript chronicling the history of Alice Boyd and the Pre-Raphaelites at Penkill Castle. A small group of related materials, with holograph poems by others and clippings, is also included.
The following standard abbreviations, or their variations, are used to identify materials in this collection: ALS = autograph letter signed, AL = autograph letter, TLS = typed letter signed.
- Custodial History:
This collection was a part of William E. Fredeman's large collection of books, artwork, and manuscripts related to the Pre-Raphaelites and their circle, which he developed from the 1950s through the 1990s. Fredeman acquired these papers, which were once housed at Penkill Castle, from descendants of the Alice Boyd family.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
All materials were retained with the collection, with the exception of a large metal strong box that originally housed the Scott family papers.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and 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:
"To the Sphinx," Page Proof; William E. Fredeman Collection of William Bell Scott, the Scott Family, and Alice Boyd, C1459, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
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