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Elizabeth P. Richardson papers

 Collection
Identifier: MRBC-MS-00007

Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth P. Richardson Papers consist of 15 linear feet of material, dating from 1865 to 1998. Types of materials include correspondence, a collection of scrapbooks containing articles and images related to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, reading notes, drafts of essays, notes and galley proofs for Richardson's A Bloomsbury Iconography (Winchester: St Paul's Bibliographies, 1989), and artwork. In addition there are computer files consisting of preliminary worksheets for Masterworks of American Painting and Sculpture from the Smith College Museum of Art edited by Linda Muehlig and others (New York: Hudson Hills Press; Northampton, Mass.: In association with Smith College Museum of Art, 1999). Elizabeth Richardson began editing this catalog until she was forced to withdraw from the project because of serious illness. There are also some digital files relating to updates to A Bloomsbury Iconography.

Dates

  • 1865-1998

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Power Richardson was born on August 28, 1922 in Newton, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College, graduating in 1943. Elizabeth Power Richardson was the supervising editor at McGraw Hill College Division, specializing in the physical sciences. She continued to work as a freelance editor after she married American Foreign Service officer W. Garland Richardson in 1949.

Richardson's interest in Virginia Woolf began at the age of twelve, when she first heard Flush read out loud. She began collecting articles for her Virginia Woolf scrapbooks in the early 1940s, with the idea of creating a book that would track the fluctuation in Woolf's reputation. Although this project was abandoned, Richardson's interest in Woolf continued as she accompanied her husband abroad to countries such as Suriname and Japan. Unfortunately, her first library of early editions of Virginia Woolf was dropped into Yokohama Harbor by mistake en route from Monrovia, Liberia, to Tokyo. But Mrs. Richardson continued to collect, expanding her collection to include members of the Bloomsbury Group and others associated with Virginia Woolf. Over the years her "working collection" grew to include nearly two thousand volumes along with numerous scrapbooks of ephemera. Richardson was inspired by Roger Fry's statement that "the really useful collector [is one] who by merely bringing objects together, classifying them, interpreting their interrelationships creates new values altogether."1

While living in Suriname, Mrs. Richardson began creating illustration lists for the books in her collection and continued to do so after her return to the United States. Indexing photographic reproductions of the Bloomsbury Group became a passion, which eventually resulted in Mrs. Richardson's meticulously researched publication A Bloomsbury Iconography (Winchester: St. Paul's Bibliographies, 1989). Soon after her bibliography was published, she moved from her home in Geneva, New York, to Northampton, Massachusetts. In 1985, Elizabeth Richardson presented to Smith College a photograph album compiled by Leslie Stephen in 1895. Mrs. Richardson's children presented their mother's Bloomsbury Iconography Collection to the Mortimer Rare Book Room after her death in 1998.

1 Richardson, Elizabeth P. A Bloomsbury Iconography. Preface. St Paul's Bibliographies, 1989.

Extent

50 boxes (15 linear feet)

.925 Gigabytes (300 digital files)

Overview

Editor and serious collector of the work of the Bloomsbury Group, Virginia Woolf, and other associated with her. Includes correspondence, a collection of scrapbooks containing articles and images related to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, reading notes, drafts of essays, notes and galley proofs for Richardson's A Bloomsbury Iconography, and artwork.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was assembled by Elizabeth Power Richardson and donated to Smith College in 1998. Original correspondence from Elizabeth Richardson was donated by Panthea Reid and J. Howard Woolmer. Tony Bradshaw donated letters written to Barbara Strachey.

Related Material

In 1985, Elizabeth Richardson presented to Smith College a photograph album compiled by Leslie Stephen in 1895.

General

The Elizabeth P. Richardson Papers are the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of works or their legal representatives.
Title
Elizabeth P. Richardson papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Compiled by Rachel Dwyer
Date
2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2005-09-23: manoscmr11 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2019-08-09: Added description of digital files

Repository Details

Part of the Mortimer Rare Book Collection Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063