The Byron Society Collection

Donors || History

The Byron Society Collection, founded by Marsha M. Manns and Leslie A. Marchand, was conceived of as a living collection to which Byron Society members and friends could contribute their own collections.

Housed in Drew University’s special collections, the nearly 5,000 items present a material history of Byron’s literary and cultural impact from the 19th century to the present day.

Among the collection’s holdings are:

  • 1,900 volumes, including many early editions
  • Letters from Catherine Gordon Byron, Thomas Moore, Lady Byron, and others
  • 600 books and 60 material objects belonging to Michael Rees, former Secretary of the International Council of Byron Societies
  • Visual representations and portraits, such as Rembrandt Peale’s 1825 lithograph of Byron, as well as statuary, mezzotints and engravings, Staffordshire figures, and decorative and other material objects that demonstrate the impact of Byron’s life and works on his readers, both past and present.
  • Papers, correspondence, books, and photographs once owned by the late Leslie A. Marchand, author of Byron: A Biography and editor of Byron’s Letters and Journals.
  • Byron-related papers of Jerome McGann, an important critic of Romanticism and Byron studies, and the editor of Byron: The Complete Poetical Works, as well as a large set of facsimiles of Byron MSS and associated Byroniana, scholarly, and critical materials.
  • The archives of the Byron Society of America

By nature the collection is interdisciplinary and is situated at the institutional intersection of the library and the museum. It is being developed for scholars, students, and individuals interested in the Romantic period in literature, in the Greek Revolution, in publishing history, in the decorative arts, and in cultural studies.
 
 
 
Founding Donors
Marsha M. Manns | Leslie A. Marchand

Supporting Donors
Kenneth Henriques | Margaret J. Howell | Jerome J. McGann | *Réal de Mélogue
*Jacqueline L. Palmer | Michael Rees | Charles E. Robinson | *Janice P. Smith

Donors

Peter X. Accardo
Angelique Amandry
Paul D. Barton
Anahit Bekaryan
Betty T. Bennett
Matthew and Linda Bennett
Emily A. Bernhard Jackson
Don Bewley
William W. Biddle
Geoffrey Bond
Susan Brynteson
Susan Daria Burhans
Peggy Catsikis
Billy Clark
Leonard Clarke
Peter Cochran
Monsita E. Correa
Maureen Crisp and Kenneth Purslow
Mario Curelli
Richard A. Davison
Carl Dawson
María DeVal and Bruce Silberblatt
Andrew Elfenbein
Stephanie Elliot
James G. Faller
Paula Feldman
Doucet Devin Fischer
Anne Fleming
Rosa Florou
Jane Frantz
Juanita Gaberdiel
Eleanor M. Gates
Barbara T. Gates
John S. Gatton
Marilyn Gaull
Joyce Gibbons
Cheryl F. Giuliano
Susan Goodman
Peter W. Graham
Fred Green
Robin S. Hammerman
Kainoa K. Harbottle
Donald M. Hassler
Itsuyo Higashinaka
Maxine Houck, in memory of James A. Houck
William L. Huettel
Peter Isaac
Kay Redfield Jamison
Rebecca Johnson Melvin
Frank Jordan
Eugenia Kefallineou
Katherine Kernberger
Imre Kish
Roland J. Kohen
*Anne Kraus
Richard F. Kuhns
Linda Leas
Pamela Lewis
Scott Lightsey
Virginia Love Long
William E. Manns
Marion Marchand
Jane Matsinger
Nancy Mayer
Ghislaine G. McDayter
Christopher McGunnigle
Bernard J. McKenna
Innes V. Merabishvili
Pansy Michaels
John and Virginia Murray
Yash Nandan
Patricia A. O’Hara
William B. O’Neill
Naji Oueijan
Massimo Mandolini Pesaresi
Donald B. Prell
Martin Prochazka
Dario Puccini
John A. Quintus
M. Byron Raizis
George G. Razzias
Cathy J. Reed (for Byron Chicklis)
Oliver Rees
Donald H. Reiman
Dr. and Mrs. Gordon Saskin
Caroline Schmid
Henry Sevan
James E. Shelton
Gene P. Smith, in memory of Janice P. Smith
Sophie Sperry
Jane Stabler
Andrew Stauffer
Ray Stevens
*Mark Stevenson
Marion K. Stocking
Suzanne Summerville
Mr. and Mrs. H. Symeonides
Catherine Taylor
Herbert J. Taylor
John B. and Emily Tepe
Thérèse Tessier
Gordon K. Thomas
Marjorie Tilghman
Betty Alexandra Toole
Dell Upton
Jeffery W. Vail
Christiane Vigouroux
Jacqueline Voignier-Marshall
Gerald N. Wachs
Jack Gumpert Wasserman
Tim Webb
Cheryl A. Wilson
Eric Wishart
Carl Woodring
Ben Yagoda
Ione D. Young
Joseph Byron Yount, III

Additional Donors
Ashgate Publishing
Associated University Press
English Department, University of Delaware
Greenpark Media Ltd.
The Overlook Press
Olivia Press
Peter Lang Publishing
Pickering & Chatto
Texas A&M University Press
University of Delaware Press
University of Kentucky Press
University of Nottingham

*Donation by bequest

 
 

History

Longtime Byron Society member Jacqueline L. Palmer cherished her Byron books and autograph material collected over a lifetime, and she often expressed her hope that the collection would remain permanently together. When she died unexpectedly, Marsha M. Manns and Leslie A. Marchand, the co-founders of the Byron Society of America, considered how best to honor her wishes. After some discussion, they decided to form a living collection where Society members and individuals interested in the literature of the Romantic period could donate their own collections. Individually, one collection might be difficult to place. But collectively, and well integrated with the collections of others, something unique and quite valuable was promised.

Thus it was, in 1995, that Manns and Marchand co-founded the Byron Society Collection with commitments of their own, as well as Jacqueline Palmer’s Byron collections. Initially the collection was instituted as a partnership between the Byron Society and the University of Delaware and housed within the English Department with oversight by Charles E. Robinson, Professor of English. The founding principles established, through donation and bequest, a living collection that presents a material history of Byron literary studies and cultural studies from the nineteenth century to the present day. The collection integrates the traditional elements employed in the study of a literary figure (e.g., rare books and autograph materials) together with visual representations of the poet (e.g., statuary, mezzotints, and engravings) and with other decorative arts and material objects that demonstrate the impact of Byron’s life and works on his readers, both past and present.

By nature, the collection is interdisciplinary and is situated at the institutional intersection of the library and the museum. It is being developed for scholars, students, and individuals interested in the Romantic period in literature, in the Greek Revolution, in publishing history, in the decorative arts, and in cultural studies. Since its founding, the collection’s holdings have grown significantly.

On January 22, 2010, the Byron Society Collection was deeded to Drew University, where it resides within the Special Collections Library, housed within the Methodist Archives building. A Collection advisory group consisting of three representatives appointed from the Byron Society and three appointed by Drew meet to review Collection cataloging and development matters. A significant recent gift includes the papers and working library of Professor Jerome J. McGann, an important Byron scholar and critic of Romanticism.