Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Columbia University collection of Frederick Rolfe papers, 1895-1986

Summary Information

Abstract

A collection of materials by and about the nineteenth century English writer and eccentric Frederick Rolfe (also known as Baron Corvo), assembled by the Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1081
Bib ID 4079824 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Rolfe, Frederick, 1860-1913
Title Columbia University collection of Frederick Rolfe papers, 1895-1986
Physical Description 1 linear feet (1 linear foot (2 boxes))
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Arranged into two series: Series I: Frederick William Rolfe manuscripts, 1895-1907; and Series II: Collector correspondence and exhibition materials, 1940-1986.

Description

Summary

Series I is primarily correspondence between Frederick William Rolfe and John Lane, whose Bodley Head publishing house published many of the leading writers of the 1890s. Most of the correspondence was published in WITHOUT PREJUDICE: ONE HUNDRED LETTERS FROM FREDERICK WILLIAM ROLFE (BARON CORVO) TO JOHN LANE. Folders containing Rolfe letters to Lane, which were not published in that work, are noted as such. The collection also contains letters written by Rolfe to Grant Richards, H. J. Jenkins, Frederic Chapman, C.B. D'Arcy, Edward Slaughter, and Hubert Bland. The majority of the letters pertain to the publishing of Rolf's translation of the RUBAIYAT. One original Rolfe manuscript, a 1907 dedication to Innocent the Great, is also included.

Series II contains correspondence among collectors, mostly to Donald G. Brien, about their Rolfe collections and the life and works of Rolfe. Among these correspondents are David Roth, A.J.A. Symons, Julian Symons, Donald Weeks, and Cecil Woolf. These letters date from between 1940 and 1961. Roth's letters, written between 1952 and 1956, discuss his Martyr Worthy collection of Frederick Rolfe papers, which were acquired by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1984. The series also contains several folders of Miriam Benkovitz's notes and drafts for her biography of Rolfe, which was published in 1977, and reproductions of photographs by Rolfe.

The collection was previously called the Frederick Rolfe papers. The name was changed to more clearly differentiate it from other assembled collections of Frederick Rolfe materials at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and to reflect that it was assembled by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

General Note

See also: MS #1079, Stuart B. Schimmel collection of Frederick Rolfe papers; MS #1080, David Roth collection of Frederick Rolfe papers; and MS #0610, Ned Edward Hoopes papers

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

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.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Columbia University collection of Frederick Rolfe papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material

Stuart B. Schimmel collection of Frederick Rolfe papers, Another collection of Frederick Rolfe manuscripts and related materials at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, this one assembled by the book collector Stuart B. Schimmel.

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, a Frederick Rolfe biographer, book collector, and English professor at Skidmore College, donated some of the Rolfe materials incorporated into this collection. 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.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

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, to clarify that it was assembled by 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 the Stuart B. Schimmel collection of Frederick Rolfe papers (MS #1081). Those materials are in fact components of this collection.

This collection was processed by HR, BRC, HEW, and JSM. Finding aid written by CLB in May 2018.

Revision Description

2018-05-24 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

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.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Benkovitz, Miriam J Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Book collectors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Brien, Donald G Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chapman, Frederic Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
English literature -- 19th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lane, John, 1854-1925 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Publishers and publishing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Richards, Grant, 1872-1948 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rolfe, Frederick, 1860-1913 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Roth, David Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Slaughter, Edward Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Symons, A. J. A (Alphonse James Albert), 1900-1941 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

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.