Contents and Arrangement

Swan, John Macallan, 1889-1891

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


Consists of a collection of over one hundred letters, primarily to Briton Rivière (1840-1920), the Victorian artist and illustrator, and to his family members, as well as some letters to others. One notable item is a 1872 letter by Charles Darwin relating to Rivière's illustration of two dogs for Darwin's The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). Members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and other Victorian artists and writers figure prominently among the correspondents, who include Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Edward Burne-Jones, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Frank Dicksee, Alfred Gilbert, Edmund Gosse, Anstey Guthrie, William Holman Hunt, George Dunlop Leslie, Frederick Lewis, Robert Walker Macbeth, John Everett Millais, George du Maurier, Edward Onslow-Ford, Edward Poynter, Linley Sambourne, John Singer Sargent, Herbert Spencer, John William Waterhouse, and others. Letters pertain to both personal and professional matters and are sometimes decorated with sketches and drawings. The collection sheds light on artistic cooperation, philanthropy, and friendship among a circle of predominantly English writers and artists in the late 19th century.

Collection History

Custodial History:

This collection of letters was passed down through the Rivière family via Briton Rivière's daughter, Theodora (Theo) Rivière, and her descendants.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No materials were removed from the collection during 2019 processing.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

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:

Swan, John Macallan; Briton Rivière Family Correspondence, C1637, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box B-001339