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The Manuscripts Division has substantial holdings of original art from many historical periods and cultural contexts. The earliest materials are Pharaonic rolls from ancient Egypt, including several polychrome examples. Far more voluminous are illuminated Islamic manuscripts and miniatures from Safavid Persia and Mughal India; Western medieval, Renaissance, Byzantine, and post-Byzantine Greek illuminated manuscripts; and other examples of the art of manuscript illustration, including Ethiopic, Indic, Mesoamerican, European (since 1601), and American.
British artist and book illustrators are well represented in the holdings of the Manuscripts Division. The Robert H. Taylor Collection of English and American Literature contains art work of William Blake, Max Beerbohm, Hablot Knight Browne, George Cruikshank, Lionel Grimston Fawkes, Edward Lear, John Everett Millais, William Makepeace Thackeray, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, J.M.W. Turner, and members of the Brontë family. Original art is also found in the Morris Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists, including drawings and other illustrations by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"), George Cattermole, Joseph Clayton Clarke ("Kyd"), Harry Furniss, and others relating to Charles Dickens and his books. Worthy of special mention is the Aubrey Beardsley Collection, including about 130 drawings by this 1890s artist, collected by the American artist A. E. Gallatin, along with correspondence, manuscripts, and other materials. Some original art is found in the Manuscript Division's George Cruikshank Collection, Janet Camp Troxell Collecton of Dante Gabriel Rossetti Manuscripts, and in the selected papers of other English Pre-Raphaelites, such as Edward Burne-Jones and William Bell Scott; as well as the papers of British engravers Robert and Thomas Hartley Cromek.
For the 20th century, the Manuscripts Division holds many photographic portraits of Lost Generation authors by Man Ray, Berenice Abbott, Gisèle Freund, and others (Sylvia Beach Papers); two albums of 1920 with 23 watercolor sketches by British painter Gwen John (Arthur Symons Papers); correspondence by the Abstract Expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler (Sonia Rudikoff Papers); sketches and photographs by American sculptor George Segal (George Segal Papers); and some photographs and artists' props in the papers of German-American photographer Ruth Bernhard. Princeton also has good holdings of Western American photography, chiefly documentary and vernacular photography from the period 1870 to 1920; historical and archeological photography of Greece and the Hellenic world, ca. 1870-1910; and photographs pertaining to authors, theater, and cinema, 19th-20th century.