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Collection Overview

Lieven, Dorothea, Princess, 1785-1857
Dorothea Lieven Letters to Klemens Metternich
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1820 January 6-1826 December 12
2 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-001246 to B-001247


Consists of annotated copies of Dorothea Lieven's (1785-1857) letters, dating from 1820 to 1826, to Klemens Metternich (1773-1859), which she documented in a series of 36 notebooks.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of annotated copies of Dorothea Lieven's (1785-1857) letters from London, dating from 1820 to 1826, to Klemens Metternich (1773-1859), which she documented in a series of 36 notebooks. Among other topics, Lieven's letters reflect her ambitions and political involvement; she freely expresses her opinions about various events and persons with whom she interacted during her time in London.

These letters were partially reproduced and translated into English by Peter Quennel, in The Private letters of Princess Lieven to Metternich, 1820-1826 (London, 1937).

Collection Creator Biography:

Lieven, Dorothea, Princess, 1785-1857

Dorothea von Lieven (1785-1857) was a Baltic German noblewoman and wife of Prince Christoph Heinrich von Lieven (1774-1839), the Russian ambassador to London from 1812 to 1834. Lieven was an influential political figure among many of the diplomatic, political, and social circles of 19th-century Europe, particularly in the diplomatic councils of Great Britain, France, and Russia, exercising an authority uncommon for women at that time. One of her many associates included Austrian Chancellor Prince Klemens von Metternich (1773-1859) with whom she had a close personal relationship.

Collection History


Purchased from Les Amazones Paris in 2019 . AM 2019-79.

Custodial History

These notebooks remained in the family and were kept a secret until the 1930s.


No materials were removed from the collection during 2019 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in February 2019. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in February 2019. Folder inventory added by Julia English '19.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

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:

Dorothea Lieven Letters to Klemens Metternich; 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): Boxes B-001246 to B-001247