Contents and Arrangement

Domestic Pensées, 1964-2004

8 folders

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series documents the writing, development, design, publicity, and publication of the artist book Domestic Pensées by Ian Hamilton Finlay, which was published by Aggie Weston's in 2004. Materials consist of correspondence, drafts, mockups, photographs, ephemera, a copy of Domestic Pensées, and Finlay's notebook of material. The notebook that he kept contains "fragments, observations, verbal images, and concrete constellations." The correspondence documents decisions regarding design and production, such as the photographs used in the book, edition size, typeface, layout, and drawings. Some of the correspondents include Tom Bee, David Bellingham, Stephen Duncalf, Colin Sackett, and others. A small amount of correspondence pertains to A Colourful Little Boat, a work on which Mills and Finlay collaborated together, and published through Aggie Weston's in 1998. There are manuscript and typescript drafts, fragments, and notes, as well as copies of the manuscript with typeface and design annotations. There are black and white photographic prints in the collection, the majority of which were taken at Stonypath, Finlay's farm and property located in the Pentland Hills of Scotland. There is a small amount of ephemera, such as an Aggie Weston's newsletter, an order form for Domestic Pensées, a brochure, a mockup of the front cover, and an information sheet.


This series was arranged by the dealer.

Collection History


Photocopies of the Ian Hamilton Finlay notebook in the "Domestic Pensées" series were discarded, as the collection contains the original notebook.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Amy C. Vo in 2022. The dealer had primarily housed materials in plastic binder sleeves and binders. The majority of these binders were retained, and each sleeve contains item-level description from the seller. Materials were rehoused in folders and boxes in instances where binders were damaged or materials were loose in containers.

Several groupings of correspondence, which were separated by sender in the dealer's arrangement, were integrated to create the Correspondence series. The dealer groupings included the "Simon Cutts, Erica Van Horn, and Kay Roberts Correspondence to Stuart and Rosemary Mills" series, the "Ian Hamilton Finlay Correspondence" series, and a subseries of materials from the Aggie Weston's series called "Miscellaneous correspondence and orders from libraries, collectors, and dealers" (now called "Business") which actually also included correspondence related to Mills' work with Tarasque and Poet's Poems. A gift for Stuart Mills' son from Simon Cutts was also moved from the Tarasque series and added to Correspondence.

Finding aid written by Amy C. Vo in 2022, incorporating description written by the dealer, and retaining some dealer-supplied folder titles. Titles were changed to simplify arrangement and and title information was added to scope and content descriptions where appropriate.

The born-digital materials in this collection have been processed according to Princeton University Library's Born-Digital Processing Workflows. For more information on the workflow, please read our full Born-Digital Processing Information Note.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. No further duplication 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 Special Collections 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:

Domestic Pensées; Stuart Mills Papers, C1654, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Boxes B-001821 to B-001822

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