Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Henry Charles Lea Papers - Series Description


I. CORRESPONDENCE. 22 boxes. Letters written to and by Henry Charles Lea, this series is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. With three exceptions, materials date from 1860 to the 1920s. (Two earlier items are family correspondence, one is a copy of an original letter at the American Philosophical Society). Within each correspondence file, letters are arranged chronologically with incoming and outgoing correspondence interfiled. A few items of unidentified correspondence are housed immediately after the alphabetical correspondence files.

Henry Charles Lea made many philanthropic contributions to various groups and institutions, this correspondence is filed under the heading for the institution rather than the individual correspondent; for example, the letter Lea received from Booker T. Washington thanking Lea for a donation for the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute is filed under the institution.

Lea corresponded with a large number of scholars and diplomats in Europe. These letters took from one to three weeks to cross the Atlantic and reach their destination; in many instances, letters did cross in the mail. This is particularly true of Lea's extensive correspondence with Ignacio Figueroa Hernandez regarding copies made for Lea of Inquisition materials in archives in Spain. Most of the correspondence from Lea consists of handwritten drafts of his letters which he kept for his own reference, rather than the actual letters sent by Lea. Lea was fluent in French and read Spanish and Italian (among other languages); later in life he taught himself German and Dutch. Correspondence in these files is in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German, with Lea writing in French and English. After Henry Charles Lea's death in 1909, his son and literary executor Arthur H. Lea wrote to many of Lea's prominent correspondents requesting the return of Lea's letters. Some correspondents did send the originals or copies back to Arthur. Arthur H. Lea then made typescripts and/or translations of this correspondence; these copies are filed separately in a folder following the original correspondence. Arthur H. Lea's correspondence with his father's literary, political, and business associates is filed with H. C. Lea's in this series, with the exception of correspondence concerning the Lea Library which is filed in the next series.

Lists of Henry Charles Lea's individual correspondents grouped according to his spheres of activity (e.g., historical research) can be found at the end of this register. A complete index to Lea's major correspondents will be available as the individual correspondents are catalogued in the AMC file of the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN) and will be appended to this guide.

II. HENRY CHARLES LEA LIBRARY CORRESPONDENCE. 1 box. This series, with materials dating from 1913 to 1947, consists of correspondence related to the donation, plans, and construction of the Henry Charles Lea library at the University of Pennsylvania, dedicated in 1925. Most of the 1913 correspondence is from Mary Farr, the librarian employed by Nina Lea to inventory and maintain H. C. Lea's library at the Lea residence before it was moved to the University of Pennsylvania. The other principal correspondents are Asa Don Dickinson, Librarian of the University of Pennsylvania, who corresponded with Arthur H. Lea, and University of Pennsylvania professors, E. P. Cheyney, A. C. Howland, and provost J. H. Penniman about the acquisition and arrangements for the library.

II. HENRY CHARLES LEA LIBRARY HISTORY, INVENTORIES AND CATALOGUES. 5 boxes. This series begins with one box of folders divided into two sections. The first is material related to the history of the Lea Library, including the formal dedication and opening of the library in May 1925, arranged chronologically. The second section of folders consists of inventories of Lea's books and manuscripts as they were compiled over the years through the 1960s. The next two boxes contain Lea's own catalogues of his library arranged alphabetically, an early catalogue is dated 1849, the later catalogue is not dated, but contains entries up until a few years before Lea's death. Lea dated his acquisitions on endpapers. The remaining two volumes are a 1931 catalogue compiled by the University of Pennsylvania Library and a catalogue of materials purchased for the Lea Library.

IV. HENRY CHARLES LEA HISTORICAL WRITINGS: BOOKS. 125 boxes. The manuscripts for Lea's books and articles are arranged chronologically, with a separate series for articles following the series for notes and drafts for book-length manuscripts. This series begins with one early manuscript that was not published, Lea's "Origin of the Capetians," commenced in 1857. This is followed by a box of "Notes on European Medieval History," arranged chronologically. There is a group of notes and drafts labeled by Lea's early editors "Dualism and Magic" and "Magic and Superstition." The remainder of the manuscripts in this series are related to the publication of Lea's books beginning with Superstition and Force in 1866. In this series the manuscripts are arranged chronologically by the date of the first publication of the book. Lea made extensive revisions for later publications of some of his works, writing corrections and extended passages on any available space on the pages of the previous editions. Lea's notes and drafts were reorganized by his editors in the 1920s and 1930s to compile the materials for the publication of Materials toward a Study of Witchcraft and the reprint in combined volumes of The History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages and The History of the Inquisition in Spain. For the most part the present order of these manuscripts reflects this previous reorganization of Lea's drafts.

Page numbers given in the register and marked on the folders are usually Lea's; in some instances the pages were numbered by the printer or a later editor. These page numbers do not constitute an exact page or leaf count and in some folders pages from different manuscripts appear to have been filed together. Headings on the folders are also Lea's headings, including spellings.

The following list of Henry Charles Lea's published books serves as a chronological guide for the order of the manuscripts in this series. For a more complete (although not definitive) bibliography, see Bradley.

Superstition and Force. Philadelphia, 1866, 1870, 1878, 1892.
An Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy. Philadelphia, 1867, 1884, 1907.
Studies in Church History. Philadelphia, 1869, 1883.
A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages. 3 volumes. New York, 1888, 1906, 1922.
Chapters from the Religious History of Spain Connected with the Inquisition. Philadelphia, 1890.
A Formulary of the Papal Penitentiary in the Thirteenth Century. Philadelphia, 1892.
A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church. Philadelphia, 1896.
The Moriscos of Spain. Philadelphia, 1901.
A History of the Inquisition of Spain. 4 volumes. New York, 1906-1907.
The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies. New York, 1908.
A History of the Inquisition. 8 volumes. Complete and uniform edition of The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, 3 volumes; The Inquisition of Spain, 4 volumes; and The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies, 1 volume. New York and London, Macmillan Company, 1922.
Materials toward a History of Witchcraft. Arranged and edited by Arthur C. Howland, with an introduction by George Lincoln Burr. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1939.
Minor Historical Writings and Other Essays. Edited by Arthur C. Howland. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1942.

V. HENRY CHARLES LEA HISTORICAL WRITINGS: ARTICLES AND MISCELLANEOUS. 4 boxes. This series includes essays and book reviews that Lea wrote for various publications. His earliest historical articles, often book reviews that developed into substantial essays, were published in North American Review. Lea gathered the earliest of these, along with many of his political pamphlets, into a bound volume labelled "Miscellanies" dated 1869 (Box 154). Lea's articles in the following two boxes are arranged chronologically by date of publication; in the case of some of the undated reviews, the date of publication of the reviewed book is used. Publication data was based on Sculley Bradley's bibliography, although Bradley acknowledged that his list is incomplete. This series contains a few articles that Bradley did not include. One box of miscellaneous materials includes some of Lea's notes, which were found in boxes of newspaper clippings and some pamphlets not authored by Lea but which he used as sources in his writing.

VI. REVIEWS OF HENRY CHARLES LEA'S HISTORICAL WRITINGS. 5 boxes. Reviews are filed according to the title of the publication being reviewed, and arranged chronologically by the first date of publication. Most reviews are newspaper and magazine clippings provided by the clipping services which Lea employed. The final box in this series contains individual full-length reviews, arranged chronologically.

VII. HENRY CHARLES LEA'S POLITICAL WRITINGS. 5 boxes. Lea's political writings consist of pamphlets, tracts, memorials, and letters to the press on various topics. The series is arranged by topic with materials within each box arranged chronologically as much as possible (a number of items are not dated). The first box contains Lea's writings and notes on the Civil War, on the Bounty Commission regarding recruitment of soldiers, including African American regiments to fight in the war, and his formation of a home guard to protect Philadelphia during the Civil War. Lea was a founding member of the Union League of Philadelphia and wrote a number of pamphlets that were published by the League. The next two boxes consist of Lea's involvement with the reform of municipal government in Philadelphia and his interest in the reform of state and national Republican politics. The fourth box consists of Lea's writings on the municipal Gas Works, for which he had gathered comparative data from around the country. The final box in this series contains materials related to Lea's efforts to write and influence national legislation on the international copyright laws. Additional materials related to Lea's political activities can be found in OVERSIZE, in his scrapbooks, and in the series of clippings immediately following. The material in these boxes includes items that were not written by Lea but used by him in relation to political issues, including congressional reports, studies on municipal infrastructure, etc. An index to selected correspondents that follows the container list directs readers to specific individuals to whom Lea wrote on political issues. Directly related to this material are boxes 197-199 in OVERSIZE.

VIII. NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. 4 boxes. Lea was careful and methodical about clipping items from the local and national papers that related to his political and literary interests. He customarily dated the clippings and often used pencil markings in the margin to highlight passages of interest to him. In order to keep the existing order of Lea's materials intact, there has been no attempt to gather all of the clippings in the Lea papers into a single series. There are some newspaper clippings in virtually every series in these papers, e.g., clippings sent by individuals as part of their correspondence have been kept with the correspondence. There are also clippings on witchcraft, on the inquisition, and on the Catholic church between the pages of Lea's manuscripts. These have been left in place, using archival paper to protect the manuscripts from acid damage. Lea's own essays and letters to the press have been separated where possible and filed with his political writings.

H. C. Lea and his family used clipping services based in New York, Philadelphia, and Paris, and therefore had national and international coverage of the release of his books and commentary on his political activity. Three boxes, arranged roughly chronologically, relate primarily to Lea's interest in politics, municipal reform, public buildings, the gas works, Republican politics, and also the public announcements of his philanthropic gifts. One box consists of items Lea clipped relating to religious issues, beliefs in witchcraft, anomalous events, the Catholic church, faith healing, and other beliefs. In general, many of these clippings, especially those dated after 1888, have deteriorated and should be handled with the utmost care. Some of the clippings on acidic paper which were folded have been retained with the collection but cannot be unfolded without damaging the clippings. Other clippings can be found in Lea's scrapbooks.

IX. HENRY CHARLES LEA'S WRITINGS: POETRY AND TRANSLATIONS. 2 boxes. Translating poetry from the Greek was an exercise young Henry Charles Lea undertook as part of his lessons in classical studies, which he continued to pursue as a young man after his formal schooling had ended. Lea also composed his own verse, creating a handmade volume titled, "The Student's Tale and Other Poems by H. Carter Layton." He later published some of his original poetry along with translations in a privately-printed volume titled Translations and Other Rhymes (1872).

X. HENRY CHARLES LEA'S WRITINGS: SCIENTIFIC WORK. 2 boxes. Some early lists of collections of specimens made by HCL and the notes and drafts for his paper read before the American Philosophical Society when he was eighteen. Notebooks for The Synopsis of the Family Naiades appear to be Isaac Lea's and show how closely Henry Charles Lea modeled his scientific work on his father's.

XI. JUVENILIA. 5 boxes. Early journals, notebooks, sketchbooks. Notebooks were employed mostly for school exercises. Lea was educated at home by private tutors and never attended school. Workbooks are arranged chronologically by the earliest date found in the notebook. Many notebooks were used from back to front as well as front to back. The cover with the date on it (or the cover with the earliest date) has been taken as the "front." The short descriptions following the dates in the container list are intended only to distinguish one item from the next, by quoting from the cover or the first few words on the first page: they are not full descriptions of the contents of the notebooks, which may have more than one subject in them or which may have been reused at a later date (as scrapbooks, for example.) Undated notebooks follow the chronological series.

XII. MEMORABILIA AND FAMILY PAPERS. 12 boxes. The first box in this series contains an autobiographical sketch that Lea wrote a few years before his death. Most information gathered for Lea's biographies came from family and friends, many of whom wrote tributes to Lea after his death. There are two boxes of items related to the construction of the home of Henry C. Lea's son Charles M. Lea in Devon, Pennsylvania.

XIII. OVERSIZE. 11 boxes. Oversize items include Lea's Civil War Scrapbooks; memorabilia, including his membership certificates and diplomas; and political materials. Box 197 contains memorials to the United States Congress, to the Pennsylvania State legislature, and to Philadelphia City Council on political problems, many of which are signed by prominent Philadelphians who were supporters of Lea's.

Lea Home Container List

Last update: Friday, 31-Jan-2003 20:47:42 EST
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