Huntington Acquires Extensive Collection of Charles Dickens' Letters

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens announced today it will add to its Library holdings an extraordinary group of 35 letters written by Charles Dickens (1812-1870). The set of letters is one of four new acquisitions selected by the Library Collectors’ Council at its 13th annual meeting on Jan. 16. Also selected were A Monograph of the Paradiseidae, or Birds of Paradise, a spectacularly illustrated, hand-colored ornithological book published in 1873; an important group of photographs of Santa Barbara, Calif., by the firm Hayward and Muzzall produced in the late 1800s; and an elaborately illuminated English manuscript made in the 1590s to commemorate the victorious Siege of Calais in 1347.

“The Huntington’s Library Collectors’ Council consists of some of our most devoted supporters who are also very knowledgeable collectors. We’re thrilled that once again they have expanded the Huntington’s holdings both dramatically and wisely,” said Steve Koblik, president of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

David Zeidberg, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington, added, “The Council was formed to augment the collections at the high end, meaning members are asked to purchase materials we otherwise couldn’t afford. A rare group of letters by a canonized English literary figure like Dickens is exactly in that vein; and the other three acquisitions greatly enhance our usefulness as a research library in some of our strongest collection areas.”..

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