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Rare Letters and Holographic Documents Books Rare & Antiquarian Books

Some of our most valuable and collectible items in the Rare Book Room are letters and holographic documents from authors and famous people throughout history. When browsing through these items, be sure to keep in mind an important distinction between letters and holographic documents. While letters can be typed or handwritten, holographic documents are documents that have been completely handwritten in the hand that signed the paper. Some of the letters showcased were written from authors to other writers, and others are personal missives in the form of journals and diaries. As with all delicate and fragile items, careful and appropriate care and handling is required, but these letters are well worth the trouble, as they often provide deep and personal insight into our favorite authors and historical figures.

President of the Confederate States Writes a Historic, Lengthy and Bitter Letter to His Wife, Varina by DAVIS, JEFFERSON

DAVIS, JEFFERSON. (1808-1889). American secretary of war and president of the Confederate States. ALS. ("Jeff. Davis"). 4pp. 4to. Washington, D.C., January 3 and 4, 1848. To "My Wife," VARINA BANKS HOWELL DAVIS (1826-1906). "After long expectation and pai...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc


[Autograph Manuscript, Signed ("M.T."), Incorporating an Autograph Note, Signed] by Clemens, Samuel L

Quarry Farm, Elmira, NY, 1895. One page, in ink, on quarto front panel of a large linen-lined envelope. Marginal pencil note crossed through, several ink squiggles in blank areas symptomatic of a struggle with an unreliable pen, otherwise very good. A ma...

From William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB


ARCHIVE OF LETTERS: 21 pages by McCOURT, Frank

1983 - 1990. Letters. Folds from mailing. Near Fine. Superb archive of seven letters from the author of ANGELA'S ASHES to R'Lene Dahlberg, fellow teacher at Stuyvesant High School, friend, wife of author Edward Dahlberg, and muse. Mostly chatty correspo...

From Charles Agvent


Certificate. Fire Department, City of San Francisco. by Curtis, James F

San Francisco, 1851 4pp. Quarto. Printed and manuscript, with official seal. "Constitution of the Fire Department of the City of San Francisco" printed on third page. A fine copy. San Francisco, October 20, 1851. Possibly the earliest known cert...

From Argonaut Book Shop


[Original Autograph Letter, Signed ("Mark") To Willard Church] by Clemens, Samuel L

Buffalo, NY, 1870. Two full pages, in ink, on recto and verso of octavo sheet of lined paper. Ca. 150 words. Folded for mailing, and slightly fragile at folds, short, closed tear in blank upper margin, otherwise about very good. To Willard C. Church, in ...

From William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB



London: Constable and Company Ltd., 1943 and 1944. First Edition. Letter. Very Good to Near Fine in a custom slipcase. Laurence A246 for the printed book. This collection, all housed in a green cloth chemise within a half green morocco slipcase gilt-let...

From Charles Agvent


The Russian Novelist, Poet and Playwright Writes Out and Signs a Quotation from French Philosopher Voltaire by TURGENEV, IVAN

TURGENEV, IVAN. (1818-1883). Russian novelist, poet, and playwright; his novel Fathers and Sons is a masterpiece of 19th-century Russian literature. AMsS. ("Ivan Tourguineff"). 1p. Small 8vo. Bade[n], 1869. In French with translation on stationery blind-e...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc



Dated March 24, 1674/5 .. Single page ink autograph letter with signature of William Petty, endorsed on verso by John Evelyn. At the lower margin is an ink note "Sir William Petty, to John Evelyn by whom it is endorsed, W. Upcott". This letter was taken...

From Roger Middleton



Camden [NJ]. One page, on verso of penny postcard (7.5 x 13 cm), ca. 50 words, in ink, addressed by Whitman on the verso. Small spot on right edge, touching slightly a couple of letters, otherwise very good. Addressed to [William] Sloane Kennedy, early o...

From William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB


[Autograph Letter, Signed "Mark," to Richard Watson Gilder] by Clemens, Samuel L

Kaltenleutgeben, near Vienna., 1898. 3 1/3 pages, in ink, on rectos and versos of two octavo lettersheets. Modest tanning, old folds from mailing, slightly weak at one fold, one word slightly smudged below baseline, otherwise very good. To "Dear Gilder,"...

From William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB


[Autograph Letter, Signed, About Joan of Arc] by Clemens, Samuel L

30 Wellington Ct., Albert Gate, London, 1900. 3 1/4 pages. on four panels of a folded octavo sheet of letterhead. A few minor finger smudges, folded for mailing (with careful repair to break at one fold) otherwise very good or better. To Canon [Basil] Wi...

From William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB


[Original Autograph Letter, Signed ("Father"), to His Daughter, Jean Clemens] by Clemens, Samuel L

New York, 1908. Four pages, in ink, on folded quarto sheet of simple letterhead (21 Fifth Avenue), ca. 275 words, with envelope addressed in his hand, with signed ("S. L. Clemens") return address. A warm and loving letter from Clemens to his youngest dau...

From William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB


Signed Copy of His Commissioned Report on the 1934 Textile Industry Crisis by ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D

ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D. (1882-1945). Thirty-second president of the United States. Twice signed typescript. ("F.D.R"). 38pp. 4to. (10½" x 7½"). N.p., September 17, 1934. Roosevelt's personal bound copy of the "Report of the Board of Inquiry For The Cotto...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc


[Autograph Letter, Signed ("SL Clemens") to Virginia Frazer Boyle] by Clemens, Samuel L

Ampersand, NY, 1901. Two pages, in ink, on two small quarto lettersheets. Old folds from mailing, with clean breaks at margins at folds, otherwise very good. With the original envelope, addressed in his hand. Clemens writes appreciatively of a gift, or a...

From William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB


[Autograph Letter, Signed ("SL Clemens"), to Richard Watson Gilder] by Clemens, Samuel L

Hartford, 1887. Two pages, in ink, on two panels of folded quarto lettersheet. Folded for mailing, a few smudges, otherwise very good. To "My Dear Gilder," in the recipient's role as editor of CENTURY MAGAZINE: "Do you want a powerful readable short arti...

From William Reese Company - Literature ABAA-ILAB


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