In 1981, W. Hugh Peal, Class of 1922 and one of the University of Kentucky's first Rhodes scholars, donated his collection of rare books and manuscripts to the UK Libraries. The collection of over 12,000 books and 7,000 manuscripts represents one of the largest holdings of 19th century materials in the United States.
A particular strength of the collection is the assemblage of correspondence from major English Romantic writers and their contemporaries. The letters, unpublished manuscripts, poems, and essays of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, and Charles Lamb form the core of the collection which is enhanced by the correspondence of Thomas De Quincy, George Crabbe, Mary Shelley, Walter Scott, Sidney Smith, Thomas Campbell and many others.
Mr. Peal focused on the Romantics, but he also collected in many other areas. Letters of English landscape artists, autographs of royalty, essays from French Revolution figures, and copybooks and albums of luminaries such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning round out the collection.
Following is a sampling of the Peal Manuscript Collection. Please direct questions or comments to Jeff Suchanek.
Sample Images from the W. Hugh Peal Manuscripts Collection
C. L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Letter about Electric Lighting, 1896 (front)
C. L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Letter about Electric Lighting, 1896 (back)