|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged.
Scope and Content
Original Rolfe materials in the collection include six folders of letters to Wilfrid Meynell, dating from 1892 to 1893, a fragment of an unidentified Rolfe manuscript in Italian, and bookplates designed by Frederick Rolfe for Edward Pirie-Gordon. The collection also includes reproductions of photographs by Rolfe, photocopies of Rolfe's letters to Barnard and Taylor written in 1904 and 1905, and handwritten copies (not made by Rolfe) of letters written to Charles Masson Fox by Rolfe in 1909 and 1910. Memorial cards for Frederick Rolfe and blank stationery for the Order of Sanctissima Sophia are included as well.
In addition, the collection contains secondary materials about Rolfe's life, work, and collectors. Some correspondence and ephemera related to Schimmel's acquisition of some items in the collection are included. Letters by James Agate to the Rolfe biographer and collector A.J.A. Symons from 1939 are also present, as are a typescript of Symons' lecture, "Frederick, Baron Corvo" from 1927 and a binder's dummy for the First Edition Club's 1937 publication of Rolfe's The Songs of Meleager. Printed materials include clippings and ephemera related to posthumous publications of Rolfe's works, biographies of Rolfe by Donald Weeks and Miriam Benkovitz, and exhibition materials from Marylebone Public Library's exhibition for Rolfe's centenary. Playbills, clippings, and a printed copy of Peter Luke's 1968 theatrical adaptation of Rolfe's Hadrian the Seventh, are also included.
This collection was formerly called the Frederick Rolfe papers. Its name was changed in order to differentiate it from the other two assembled collections of Frederick Rolfe materials at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located on-site.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Stuart B. Schimmel collection of Frederick Rolfe papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
See also: MS #1080, David Roth collection of Frederick William Rolfe papers; MS #1081, Columbia University collection of Frederick Rolfe papers; and MS #0610, Ned Edward Hoopes papers
Columbia University collection of Frederick Rolfe papers, A collection of Frederick Rolfe manuscripts and related materials assembled by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
David Roth Martyr Worthy collection of Frederick William Rolfe papers, The Rare Book and Manuscript Library's most extensive collection of Frederick Rolfe materials, assembled by the English book collector David Roth and named after the Hampshire village in which he lived.
Miriam J. Benkovitz papers, Benkovitz was a Frederick Rolfe biographer, book collector, and English professor at Skidmore College. Further materials related to her biography of Rolfe are located in the Benkovitz papers.
Ned Edward Hoopes papers, Hoopes was another Frederick Rolfe biographer; his papers include notes and other materials related to that work.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ownership and Custodial History
The collection was assembled by the book collector Stuart B. Schimmel in the early 1970s. He donated it to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1983.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Papers: Source of acquisition--Schimmel, Stuart B. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1983.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers Processed AMS 10/--/84.
Finding aid written by CLB May 2018.
This collection was processed in 1984. In addition to manuscripts and printed ephemera, it also originally contained books and periodicals, which were individually cataloged and incorporated into the Rare Book and Manuscript Library's book collections.
The collection was formerly called the Frederick Rolfe papers. Its name was changed in May 2018 in order to differentiate it from the other two assembled collections of Frederick Rolfe materials at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and to comply with DACS 2.0 rules.
A cataloging error identified a group of Rolfe collectors' letters, mostly to Donald G. Brien, as being components of this collection. Those materials are in fact components of the Columbia University collection of Frederick Rolfe papers (MS #1081).
2018-05-25 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Stuart B. Schimmel (1925-2013) was a prominent book and manuscript collector who lived in Greenwich, Connecticut. He joined the Grolier Club, a private society for New York City bibliophiles, in 1961, and served on its Council from 1972 until 1986. The Stuart B. Schimmel collection of Frederick Rolfe papers is one of several collections of rare books and manuscripts Schimmel gave to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University.
Frederick William Rolfe, whose pen name was Baron Corvo, authored numerous books and stories. Amongst the most famous are the Toto stories, HADRIAN THE SEVENTH, called by some the greatest ecclesiastical novel ever to be written, and the masterpiece THE DESIRE AND PURSUIT OF THE WHOLE. To say that Rolfe was at times eccentric, acerbic and petulant is understatement, but he was also an excellent story teller, conversationalist and amateur athlete. His life of trials and tribulations ended in 1913, when he died in Venice at the age of 53.