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Garnett Family Papers

Identifier: MS164

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Garnett Family Papers are comprised of the correspondence, manuscripts, journals and diaries, documents, photographs, albums, and other archival materials concerning the Garnett family which were held by Richard Garnett at Hilton Hall near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, U.K. until 2008. Correspondence and manuscript materials were organized into chronological periods of the following Garnett generations and their related families: Rev. Richard Garnett (1789-1850), Dr. Richard Garnett (1835-1906), Edward Garnett (1868-1937), and David Garnett (1892-1981). Correspondence by ancestors of spouses in each generation, e.g. members of the Black, Patten, Marston, Potts, and Singleton families, is included in the chronological sequence. Some correspondence with David Garnett’s son, Richard Garnett, written between 1981 and 2005 is also included. Within each section, letters are arranged alphabetically by family members and then by miscellaneous writers.

Additional materials: A collection of letters from Nellie (Ellen Maurice) Heath to her friend Louise Guieysse-Bréal (1872-1954) or from members of the Garnett or Heath family to Louise written between 1914 and 1951 were acquired through a special purchase in 2019. The collection was purchased at an auction that also had various items from the family of Martin and Katherine Brunt. Katherine was descended from Auguste and Louise Guieysse-Bréal (aka Louisette).


  • 1784 - 2005
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1814 - 1981


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.


130.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The Garnett Family Papers are comprised of the correspondence, manuscripts, journals and diaries, documents, photographs, albums, and other archival materials concerning the Garnett family which were held by Richard Garnett at Hilton Hall near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, U.K. until 2008.

Arrangement Note

Sermons and correspondence related to Rev. Richard Garnett are in boxes 1-3. Letters concerning the Black and Patten ancestors are in boxes 4-6. Correspondence and manuscripts related to Dr. Richard Garnett and Olivia Narney Singleton Garnett, their families and friends are in boxes 7-13. Included are letters from Arabella Buckley Fisher and Violet Neale.  All correspondence and manuscripts related to the circle of Edward Garnett, Constance Black Garnett, and Nellie (Ellen Maurice) Heath are in boxes 14-20 and 27-29. Boxes 21-26 contain letters and manuscripts related to Edward’s sister, Olive Garnett, her trips to Russia and her Russian friends, particularly Fanny and Sergei Stepniak (S.M. Kravchinsky), Sidonie Sperk, Felix Volkshovsky, C.E.J. Allen, Edward A. Silsbee,  and May Sinclair.

Correspondence and manuscripts document the life and career of David Garnett from 1892 to 1981. Letters are arranged alphabetically in boxes 30-62 in the following sections as received: letters to and from family members, friends and acquaintances, publishers, scholars or academics regarding queries or lecture tours, and letters to David Garnett about his books. There are many letters with family members and with writers and artists who were part of the Bloomsbury Group. David Garnett maintained his friendship with many of them throughout his life, and he developed friendships with other American and English writers as well. Consult the finding aid container list for individuals.

David Garnett’s manuscript drafts, typescripts, notes and other materials related to his articles, lectures, and short essays and stories are held in boxes 63-68; journals and notebooks which include literary drafts or biographical events are in boxes 69-72; and manuscripts of major books are in boxes 73-83.

The remainder of the collection has been organized according to subject matter or format as follows: materials related to T.E. Lawrence; all miscellaneous oversize materials, manuscripts written by authors other than David Garnett; miscellaneous topical files and journals, especially related to Hilton Hall; reviews and ephemera about publications; David Garnett’s travel logs and visitors’ guest books; and pocket diaries and account books kept by Angelica or David Garnett (1923-1981). Consult the container list below for materials in boxes 84-97 and 121-127.

Genealogy materials on Garnett ancestors researched and collected by Richard, Edward, Ernest, Olive and David Garnett are in boxes 98-101 and in oversize boxes 115-118. These include scrapbooks with some photographs, correspondence, certified copies of birth, marriage and death records, pedigree charts and family trees, and miscellaneous notes and drafts of family histories. Loose materials have been removed to folders and boxes. Genealogy materials related to the ancestors of Nellie Heath are included in boxes 119-120.

The archive contains photograph albums, including 19th century family members and friends, and loose photographs which are organized by families. Negatives and slides have also been arranged according to information stored with the images. All loose photographic materials have been placed in archival sleeves. Photographic materials can be found in boxes 102-114. Some random photographs held with correspondence are noted in the finding aid.

Method of Acquisition

Special purchase from The Estate of the Late David Garnett in 2008. Additional materials acquired in 2019.

Related Materials

In 1971 the McCormick Library purchased a small archive of correspondence related to Dr. Richard Garnett, Edward Garnett and David Garnett (MS3). See also the Hamill & Barker, Inc. Collection (MS90).

Processing Information

Sigrid Pohl Perry, 2012, 2019.

Guide to the Garnett Family Papers
Sigrid Pohl Perry
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US