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William Trost Richards papers, 1848-1920

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 6 series:

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  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.

Series 1: Correspondence , 1851-1917, undated
0.7 Linear feet
Box 1-2

This series contains Richards' incoming and outgoing correspondence with family, friends, artists, dealers, and collectors, and is divided into family and general correspondence. Files arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent and chronologically within each folder.
The Correspondence series is arranged into 2 subseries:
  • 1.1: Family Correspondence, 1878-1905, undated
  • 1.2: General Correspondence, 1851-1917
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
1.1: Family Correspondence, 1878-1905, undated
Family Correspondence includes letters from William Trost Richards or his wife, Anna M. Richards, to family members. The bulk of this subseries are intimate and detailed letters to their daughter Eleanor (Nelly) Richards Price concerning things such as the family, travels throughout Europe, raising children, clothing, and societal issues. Also found are letters to their son-in-law, William Price, one letter to their son Herbert, letters to their son Theodore and his wife, Miriam Thayer Richards, and letters to Anna's brother, Charles Matlack. Also of note are letters written by William Trost Richards to his wife while he was in Europe, which include many illustrations of his travels. Researchers should note that much of the correspondence was originally undated and was dated much later based on the content of the letter.
Description Container
William T. Richards to wife Anna, circa 1878-1885
1
1
Charles Matlack, 1896-1905, undated, 1878-1879
1
2
Eleanor Richards Price, circa 1880-1905, undated
18 Folders
1
3-20
William Price, circa 1880-1897
1
21
Herbert Richards, 1891
1
22
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore W. Richards, 1887-1905, undated
4 Folders
1
23-26
1.2: General Correspondence, 1851-1917
General Correspondence is with friends, fellow artists, collectors, and others and includes letters to and from William Trost Richards. Correspondence is with artists Fidelia Bridges, George Cochran Lambdin, and William H. Willcox, art dealer Samuel Putnam Avery, and Edward H. Coates, President of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Also found are numerous letters to and from his major patron and collector, George Whitney, and from his friend and patron, Elias Lyman Magoon. Items of note in the miscellaneous correspondence include, an 1877 letter from Thomas Eakins, an 1881 letter from Alexander Lawrie, and an 1883 letter from Charles Lanman.
Description Container
Charlotte Augusta Astor, undated
1
27
Samuel P. Avery, undated, 1869-1904
1
28
Fidelia Bridges, undated
1
29
Edward H. Coates, 1886-1905
1
30
George Cochran Lambdin, 1885-1887
1
31
Elias Lyman Magoon, 1871-1884
1
32
James T. Mitchell, 1851-1853
2 Folders
2
1-2
Harrison S. Morris, 1898-1905
2
3
Daniel Neall, undated, 1876, undated
2
4
A. E. Outerbridge, undated, 1887
2
5
George W. Outerbridge, 1894-1902
2
6
John R. Sheridan, 1892-1893
2
7
George F. Shrady, 1900-1905
2
8
Hannah W. Smith, 1866
2
9
George Whitney, circa 1860-1885
13 Folders
2
10-22
William H. Willcox, 1854, 1879, 1885, undated
2
23
Miscellaneous, 1853, 1864-1917, undated
5 Folders
2
24-28

Series 2: Writings , undated, 1849-1905
0.8 Linear feet
Box 2-4

Writings include essays written by Richards in the early 1950s including "Flowers" and "The Spirit of Toil," as well as several essays for the Forensic and Literary Circle of Philadelphia. Also found are unpublished, homemade magazines, created by Richards, Anna, and their children. "London Days: A Homemade Magazine of Literature, Art, Science and Fun" was created while the family lived in London from 1879 to 1880, and upon their return the series was called "Our Own Monthly." Anna home schooled all of their children and these were made as part of their education. All of the magazines are illustrated by William and Anna.
Writings also include works by Anna, such as an edited manuscript of her poem "Chemistry" and annotated editions of her published work, Dramatic Sonnets. Also found is Anna's "commonplace book" filled with quotations, literary excerpts, and her own thoughts. This series also includes writings by others, including an "In Memoriam" poem for Richards by Esther Morton Smith.
The bulk of this series has been scanned. Three volumes of "London Days" are fragile and have not been scanned.
Description Container Select
"Flowers,", 1850
2
29
Forensic Literary Circle, 1850-1851
2
30
Humbly Dedicated to Marie by Her Friend Will,", undated
3
1
"London Days," Vol.1, Part I, 1879
Not scanned
3
2
"London Days," Vol.1, Part II, 1880
Not scanned
3
3
"London Days," Vol.1, Part III, 1880
Not scanned
3
4
"London Days,", undated
3
5
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 2, No. 18, March 5, 1881
3
6
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 2, No. 19, April 2, 1881
3
7
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 2, No. 20, May 7, 1881
3
8
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 2, No. 23, January 7, 1882
3
9
"Our Own Monthly," No. 25, circa 1882
3
10
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 26, April 1, 1882
3
11
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 27, December 9, 1882
3
12
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 28, January 7, 1883
3
13
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 29, February 3, 1883
3
14
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 30, March 3, 1883
3
15
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 31, April 7, 1883
3
16
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 32, May 1883
3
17
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 33, November 3, 1883
3
18
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 34, December 1, 1883
3
19
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 35, January 5, 1884
4
1
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 36, February 2, 1884
4
2
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 3, No. 38, April 5, 1884
4
3
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 4, No. 39, January 3, 1885
4
4
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 4, No. 40, February 7, 1885
4
5
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 4, No. 41, April 4, 1885
4
6
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 4, No. 42, November 7, 1885
4
7
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 4, No. 43, December 5, 1885
4
8
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 4, No. 44, January 2, 1886
4
9
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 4, No. 46, March 6, 1886
4
10
"Our Own Monthly," Vol. 4, No. 47, April 3, 1886
4
11
"Our Own Monthly,", undated
4
12
"The Spirit of Toil,", 1852
4
13
"Sunlight,", 1851
4
14
Miscellaneous writings by Richards, undated, 1852
4
15
Anna M. Richards, "Chemistry,", undated
4
16
Anna M. Richards, Commonplace Book, Vol. 4, undated
4
17
Anna M. Richards, Dramatic Sonnets, 1881
4
18
Writings by Others, 1849-1860, undated, undated
4
19

Series 3: Business Files , 1865-1920, undated
3 Folders
Box 4

Business files include various financial statements for the sale of artwork, purchase of materials, and shipping expenses. Also found are three copies of legal documents concerning Richards' artwork while living in London, and various real estate documents for his property in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Description Container Select
Financial Statements, undated, 1865-1920
4
20
Legal Documents, 1879
4
21
Real Estate Documents, 1874-1890, undated
4
22

Series 4: Printed Material , undated, 1850-1906, undated
5 Folders
Box 4-5

Printed material includes an exhibition catalog for a Richards exhibition at the Art Association of Newport and numerous clippings concerning Richards' artwork, his death, and a major auction of his work in 1906. Also found are event programs for gatherings of the Forensic and Literary Circle.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Description Container Select
Catalog, William Trost Richards, 1976
4
23
Event Programs, Forensic and Literary Circle, 1850-1953
5
1
News Clippings, undated, 1871-1906
3 Folders
5
2-4

Series 5: Miscellany , 1848-1876, undated
5 Folders
Box 5

This series contains artwork by others, including small paintings and prints, an award to Richards from the United State Centennial Commission, and a handwritten list of paintings by others, including painter, title, and dimensions of each work. Also found is a transcript of an interview with Mrs. Theodore (Miriam) Richards, primarily discussing her memories of Anna M. Richards.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Description Container Select
Artwork by Others, 1848, undated, undated
5
5
Award Certificate, 1876
5
6
Inventory of Paintings by Others, undated
5
7
Transcript, Mrs. Theodore Richards, undated
5
8
Unidentified Sketch, undated
5
9

Series 6: Photographs , circa 1850-1900
7 Folders
Box 5

Photographs include portraits of William Trost Richards as a young man, as well as later in his life. Two photographs of note are a daguerreotype of Richards from the 1850s, and a photograph of Richards painting in his studio. Also found are portraits of Anna Richards, two of Richards' children, possibly Theodore and Anna, a pendant with photographs of William and Anna, and photographs of the Richards family home on Conanicut Island.
This series has been scanned in its entirety except for negatives.
Description Container Select
William Trost Richards, circa 1850-1900
2 Folders
5
10-11
William Trost Richards, Daguerreotype, circa 1850
See Black Cabinet, Drawer 8: Cased Photographs
5
12
Anna Matlack Richards, circa 1880s
5
13
Portrait Pendant of W. T. Richards and wife Anna, circa 1860
5
14
Two Richards children, circa 1860s
5
15
Conanicut House, circa 1885
5
16
Negatives, William Trost Richards, circa 1850-1900
Not scanned
5
17

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.