Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Benjamin Disraeli papers, 1805-1896

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0348
Bib ID 4078702 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Disraeli, Benjamin, 1804-1881
Title Benjamin Disraeli papers, 1805-1896
Physical Description 1.5 linear feet (2 document boxes 1 archival shoe box)
Language(s) English .
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.



Arranged in four series.



Correspondence, photographs, and printed material by and relating to Benjamin Disraeli. There are nine letters from Disraeli to various persons including Sir Charles Adderly, First Baron Norton; the Duke of Northumberland; and Sir Henry Edwards. The letters span the dates 1849 to 1879. Also included are two letters from Disraeli's father, Isaac D'Israeli, 1766-1848, to Stephen Weston, 1805, and Edward Moxon, 1833, and a post card from William Ewart Gladstone. A letter from William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne to Sir William Owen (1837) has been removed from an extra-illustrated edition of "The Letters of Runnymede" (London, 1836) and cataloged for the collection.

The collection includes eight contemporary photographs of Disraeli; engravings of Disraeli and members of his family; advertisements featuring Disraeli; articles, Victorian figures; and memorabilia, and souvenirs. Also, a collection of first editions by Disraeli and works by and about him; two letters from Isaac D'Israeli to Edward Moxon; and a tinsel portrait of Queen Victoria. Two letters from Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas to Richard Bentley about Disraeli's "The Young Duke" have been added.

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. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Benjamin Disraeli 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 rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of William B. Liebmann, 1979 & 1984.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Liebmann, William B. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1979. Accession number--M-79.

2 letters from N.H. Nicolas to R. Bentley: Source of acquisition--2293B. Method of acquisition--Purchase; Date of acquisition--01/28/1999. Accession number--M-99-01-28.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 06/--/1989.

2 letters from N.H. Nicolas to R. Bentley Cataloged HR 07/18/2000.

Revision Description

August 2020 PDF replaced with full finding aid, YH

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Advertisements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Articles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Caricatures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cartoons (working drawings) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Engravings (prints) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Authors, English Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bentley, Richard, 1794-1871 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Diplomats Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Disraeli, Benjamin, 1804-1881 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Disraeli, Isaac, 1766-1848 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Edwards, Henry, Sir Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
English literature -- 19th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Families -- England Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gladstone, W. E (William Ewart), 1809-1898 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Melbourne, William Lamb, Viscount, 1779-1848 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Moxon, Edward, 1801-1858 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nicolas, Nicholas Harris, Sir, 1799-1848 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Northumberland, Algernon Percy, Duke of, 1792-1865 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Norton, C. B. Adderley, Baron (Charles Bowyer Adderley), 1814-1905 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Owen, William, Sir Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Portraits Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Prime ministers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Statesmen Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Weston, Stephen, 1747-1830 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Disraeli was Britain's first, and only, prime minister of Jewish descent (he was Baptized into the Church of England, July 31, 1817). He served twice as prime minister, from 27 February to 1 December 1868 and from 20 February 1874 to 21 April 1880. Disraeli is credited with establishing the modern Conservative Party by his creation of the Conservative Central Office. It was during his leadership that England gained control of both India and the Suez Canal. In 1878 Disraeli was elevated to the House of Lords as the Earl of Beaconsfield.

In addition to his political career, Disraeli had a successful career as an author. Among his publications are: "The Voyage of Captain Popanilla" (1828); "The Young Duke" (1831); "Contarini Fleming" (1832); "The Wondrous Tale of Alroy and the Rise of the Iskander" (1833); "A Year at Hartlebury" (1834) and the political pamphlet "A Vindication of the English Constitution in a Letter to a Noble and Learned Lord by Disraeli the Younger" (1835); "Coningsby" (1844); "Sybil" (1845; "Tancred" (1847); "Lord George Bentinck: A Political Biography" (1851) "Lothair" (1870); "Endymion" (1880).

Something of a dandy and wit, it is reported that William Gladstone said to Disraeli"I predict, Sir, that you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease". Disraeli replied"That all depends, sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.".

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Series I: Letters, Photographs and Printed Ephemera

Box 1 Original inventory list

Box 1 Cataloged correspondence

Series II: Printed Materials

Box 1 Advertisements

Box 1 Articles, clippings, newspapers

Box 1 Cartoons

Box 1 Portraits

Box 1 Souvenirs

Box 1 Miscellaneous Disraeliana

Box 1 Miscellaneous Printed

Series III: Photographs and Badge

Box 2 Framed photographs and memorial "badge"

Series IV: Art and Memorabilia

Mapcase 13-E-9 Framed tinsel portrait of Queen Victoria

Note: Fragile.

7 1/4" x 9 ½". Gold, silver and red tinsel decoration on her dress and hat and on the horse's saddle and harness.

Mapcase 13-E-9 Commemorative pitcher with Disraeli's face and death date, April 19, 1881

Note: Fragile.