|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged into 4 series.
The collection consists of 32 letters written by Samuel L. Clemens to Mary Benjamin Rogers (Mrs. H.H.), his niece by marriage, and four letters written to Clemens and forwarded by him to Mrs. Rogers with comments. The letters are very personal in tone, full of Clemens' well-known wit, and revealing of his personal characteristics. There are a few clippings, cartoons, and one photograph. Also, a collection of 18 letters written by Clemens to Dorothy Sturgis, 1908-1909, relating to the "Angel-Fish Aquarium." There is also one typescript of the Constitution of the Club"The Aquarium, Issued by the Admiral;" and a photograph album of the Mark Twain Dinner, 1905.
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); Mark Twain papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
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
Gift of Mrs H.H. Rogers, 1953.
Gift of Henry Rogers Benjamin, 1966.
Transferred from the Dramatic Museum, 1977.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Rogers, Mrs. H. H. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1953. Accession number--M-53.
18 letters to D. Sturgis: Source of acquisition--Benjamin, Henry Rogers. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1966. Accession number--M-1966.
Photo album: Source of acquisition--Dramatic Museum. Method of acquisition--Transfer; Date of acquisition--1977. Accession number--M-1977.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 05/04/1989.
18 letters to D. Sturgis Cataloged 1966.
Photo album Added to collection 1977.
2010-01-21 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Clemens -- Mark Twain -- was born in Florida, Missouri in 1835 and was raised in Hannibal on the Mississippi River. In 1856 he apprenticed himself to become a riverboat pilot and spent the next five years navigating the Mississippi. In 1862 he began work as a feature writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise and began to sign his work Mark Twain. The report of his journey to Europe Innocents Abroad 1969 became his first best-seller. In 1876 he published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and in 1894 he published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some modern readers are offended by the language Twain's books. His realistic prose style influenced numerous American writers. Twain was liberal on racial and social issues. One of the themes of Huckleberry Finn is equality for people of all races. Towards the end of his life Clemens was troubled by bad investments the loss of loved ones and depression. He died on 21 April 1910 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetry Elmira New York