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Rare Books

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-258-3184
Curator of Rare Books
609-258-9942

J. Harlin O'Connell '14 Collection of English Literature of the 1890's.
Location designator: ExC

There are over 500 volumes (separately arranged, classed, and catalogued) in the O'Connell collection. There are many first editions of authors and artists such as Aubrey Beardsley, Max Beerbohm, Baron Corvo, John Davidson, Lord Alfred Douglas, Ernest Dowson, John Gray, A.E. Housman, Lawrence Housman, Lionel Johnson, Richard Le Gallienne, George Moore, Walter Pater, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Symons, and William Butler Yeats. Besides the monographs, many periodicals of the period are represented, including: The Yellow Book, The Butterfly, The Dome (Unicorn Press), The Savoy, The Strand Magazine, The Spirit Lamp, The Pageant, The Chameleon, The Albemarle, The Poster, The Century Guild Hobby Horse, and The Quarto.

The collection has examples from a number of presses. The collection seems to focus on the work of the publishers John Lane and Leonard Smithers. There are also specimens from Kelmscott Press, Daniel Press, and Ballantine Press.

For particulars refer to: J. Harlin O'Connell '14, "A Collector Looks at the Nineties" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle II, 4 (June, 1941) pp.121-132 [full text] . This article describes the exhibition of O'Connell's collection, which was held at Princeton before the Library received O'Connell's collection.

For further particulars refer to: Robert H. Taylor '30, "The J. Harlin O'Connell Collection" in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XIX, 3 & 4 (Spring and Summer 1958) pp. 149-152 [full text] .

Also see: Richard Ellmann. Wilde and the Nineties (Princeton, 1966) which also contains a retrospective view of the Exhibition by Alfred L. Bush [(Ex) 3989.5.658 and (F) 3989.5.658].

Note: During the academic year 1954-55 and through the generosity of the Friends of the Library, Princeton acquired the unique dummy copy of the fifth volume of The Yellow Book with eleven cablegrams to and from John Lane concerning the suppression of Beardsley's drawings for this volume. This is Volume 5 of (Ex) NE642.B363 Y3. See: J. Benjamin Townsend, '40, "The Yellow Book", in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVI, 2 (Winter, 1955) pp. 101-103. Also included is a copy of the approved vol. 5. In yellow half-morocco slipcase.