Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Albert Edgar Lownes collection on Henry David Thoreau (Ms.80.1)

Brown University Library

Box A
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: Manuscripts: 401-863-3723; University Archives: 401-863-2148
Email: Manuscripts: hay@brown.edu; University Archives: archives@brown.edu

Scope & content

The Lownes Thoreau collection as a whole contains a wide variety of materials, the vast majority of which are Albert Lownes' collections of books, pamphlets and reviews concerning Thoreau, natural studies and New England. It should be noted here that while certain items are Thoreau's own personal manuscripts or possessions, most items in the collection only pertain to Thoreau.

The books and pamphlets number approximately 600 items; they consist of works by and about Thoreau, various editions of his writings, and volumes from his personal library. The collection also contains over 200 reviews and clippings concerning Thoreau and his works, many of which are from scholarly journals and magazines. In respect to these printed items, much more expansive and detailed information can be obtained from the Library's online catalog, Josiah, and from the Special Collections Card Catalogue, under the listing of Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862.

The Thoreau papers themselves consist of various pieces of his works, and related material. Included are pieces of correspondence, various drafts from his journal, poems and college essays, all in his hand, and some signed. Related material includes a letter from Emerson, obituaries and memoria appearing in newspapers at the time of Thoreau's death, and small pieces of visual memorabilia.

Mr. Lownes' personal Thoreauvian memorabilia, including photographs of Thoreau, his family, his associates and his homes, are also included in boxes accompanying the manuscript collection as are some correspondence and lists related to the collection.