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The Princeton Library possesses an outstanding collection of material relating to the short-lived English illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. Though particularly rich in drawings, manuscripts, and letters, there are also printed materials.
The Gallatin Beardsley Collection.
The nucleus of the collection was received as a gift from Albert E. Gallatin. Presented to the Library in 1948, the collection included at the time 96 volumes with illustrations or cover designs by Beardsley, along with 10 volumes written by him. A large group of the books associated with the artist is also included. The collection is of exceptional importance in that it reveals the development and scope of Beardsley's work. It also supplements significantly the Library's collection of material relating to the Victorian era.
Included in the collection are also volumes which contain Beardsley illustrations, his own literary works, articles and monographs concerning Aubrey Beardsley, catalogues of exhibitions, dealers' and sales catalogues, and association items. These are cataloged and available in the Library's online catalogue.
The best short-form listing of the collection is The Gallatin Beardsley Collection in the Princeton University Library. A Catalogue compiled by A.E. Gallatin and Alexander D. Wainwright. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Library, 1952. [(ExB) 3622.48.073 and (F) 3622.48.073]. [full text] (Portions of this catalogue were first published in PULC, see: Princeton University Library Chronicle XII, 2 (Winter, 1951) pp. 67-82 [full text] , and Princeton University Library Chronicle XII, 3 (Spring, 1951) pp. 126-147 [full text] )
Since 1952, the collection has been distributed among the collections of the Department, with parts going to the Manuscripts Division (Aubrey Beardsley collection, 1890-1946 [(MSS) C0056]), the Rare Book Division, and to Graphic Arts. This chart maps the major series in the 1952 Wainwright catalogue to their present whereabouts. Another aid is a copy of the catalogue annotated for holdings and sometimes giving call numbers for individual items for items in sections III to XIII. This copy has the call number (Ex) NE642.B364 A1. However, more up to date for sections III to XIII is this listing prepared in 2012.
Today the collection numbers 425 volumes (catalogued and forming part of the General Rare Book Collection), since the Library has added a great deal to Mr. Gallatin's gift over the years.
Princeton acquired in 1954-55 the unique dummy copy of the controversial fifth volume of The Yellow Book with 11 cablegrams to and from John Lane concerning the suppression of Beardsley's drawings for the volume. For particulars refer to: J. Benjamin Townsend, '40, "The Yellow Book", in the Princeton University Library Chronicle XVI, 2 (Winter, 1955) pp. 101-103 [full text], which discusses the suppressed volume V.
Many Beardsley items can also be found in the Robert H. Taylor Collection.
See also: A.E. Gallatin, Aubrey Beardsley, Catalogue of Drawings and Bibliography. New York: The Grolier Club, 1945. [(ExC) NE642.B365 G13].
See as well Mark Samuels Lasner, A Selective Checklist of the Published Work of Aubrey Beardsley (Boston: Thomas G. Boss, Fine Books, 1994). Copy of page proofs in the Collections File under Beardsley. Copy of the bound book is in (ExB) Z8083.5 .S35 1995.