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Documents & Manuscripts

Discover hand written letters, original manuscripts, historical documents, diaries, and so much more in this section. There's even a sub category for Illuminated Manuscripts, for those who search for gold! As the world's largest independent marketplace for new, used and rare books, you always get the best in service and value when you buy from, and all of your purchases are backed by our return guarantee.

Documents & Manuscripts Books & Ephemera



    The Province of Jurisprudence Determined. Second Edition [with] Lectures on Jurisprudence. Being the Sequel to "The Province of Jurisprudence Determined." To Which Are Added Notes and Fragments . . . Published from the Original Manuscripts. Three Volumes by John Austin

    London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1861-63. Contemporary calf, extra gilt, marbled edges and endpapers, very worn, one board detached, several labels lacking, some chipping and tape; a working set First and second editions of both of Austin's major works, of pervasive impact on Anglo-American law over the last two centuries and, in the words of H.L.A. Hart (who edited the 'Province' in 1954), "established the study of jurisprudence in England



    ORIGINAL TYPSECRIPT OF UNTITLED STORY (Published as Geometry of Love) by Cheever, John

    Near Fine. Quarto. Offered is a near fine twelve page unbound typed manuscript typed recto only. There are several holograph corrections, probably by the author, but this MS is not signed. A working title, this story later appeared under the title "Geometry of Love" in the Saturday Evening Post and "The Stories of John Cheever." With "Russell & Volkening, Inc., Literary Agents. 551 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10017" red ink stamp on cover page. Typscript pages are age toned.



    The register of the Guild of Knowle in the county of Warwick 1451 1535 from the original manuscript in the Public Reference Library Birmingham - Warwickshire by Bickley, W.B. [ed]

    Walsall: For the Archaeological Section of the Birmingham and Midland Institute, printed by W.H. Robinson, 1894 xlii, [vi], 272, xxxix pages + plates. Numbered 62 and signed by the publisher. Leather spine and green cloth covered boards, some wear. Ink owner's name to the front pastedown. A heavy volume, extra postage will be required to send outside the UK. Browning to the pages adjoining the plates. Binding a bit shaken and rear hinge loose. Pages top edge gilt, others untrimmed which are browned and soiled.. Hard Cover. Good.



    Manuscript on paper on mine surveying, with 12 large & fine folding manuscript plates, heightened in grey, blue, pink, & yellow wash by (CLAUSTHAL: MINE SURVEYING)

    40 leaves (the final blank). Small folio (332 x 210 mm.), orig. paste-paper boards (spine & extremities somewhat worn), uncut. [Clausthal?: ca. 1815]. A fine and legible manuscript instructional manual on techniques and problems of mine surveying. The text is divided into five chapters: "Von der Vorbereitung zum Markscheiden" ("On preparations for measuring the area in which mining may be carried out"), "Von Bennenung der Gänge und Klüfte" ("On the naming of seams and fissures"), "Vom Observiren" ("On Observations"), "Vom Vermaß oder Verbestimmung eines Grubenfelds" ("On measuring and defining a mining claim"), and "Von Wasserfällen, Wasserleitungen und Tiefbau" ("On waterfalls, water conduits and underground mining"). This manuscript was probably prepared in 1815 - plate X has the entry "Markscheide 1.7.15" - at the newly founded mining school at Clausthal, the famous mining town of the Harz Mountains in Lower Saxony (the fine plates name mining locations in the area). The most attractive plates - all of which contain a number of figures - depict mine shafts, mine surveying methods, cartographical considerations, techniques of prospecting and identification of mineral deposits, problems of ownership rights, and the constant problems of flooding. All the plates are finely drawn in black ink and have been heightened in grey, blue, pink, and yellow wash. Internally fine. Stamp of Georg Riemschneider (1888-1946), "Oberbergrat" of Clausthal-Zellerfeld.



    Boswell's London Journal 1762-1763. Now first published from the original manuscript prepared for the press, with introduction and notes by Pottle, Frederick A

    William Heinemann Ltd., Melbourne, London, Toronto, 1950. Good+. Unclipped dust jacket discoloured and torn around the edges, and foxed. Internally fine apart from some very faint spotting to the endpapers. 370pp.. First printing thus. . Hard with Dust Jacket. 8vo.. Good+. Illus. by B/w frontispiece..



    TLS Thomas Parkinson to his wife, Ariel Reynolds Parkinson, January 25, 1973. RE: family by Thomas F. Parkinson (1920 - 1992)

    Berkeley, CA: Thomas F. Parkinson, 1973. Typed letter signed, Single Page, 8.5" x 11". Very Good. Written while Ariel Reynolds Parkinson was on a trip to NYC & elsewhere. Provenance: Peter Howard, Serendipity Books, Berkeley, Thomas Parkinson archive.



    The Tailor of Gloucester A Facsimile of the original manuscript & Illustrations by Beatrix Potter

    Frederick Warne and Company, Ltd, 1968 Black cloth book in very good condition. Limited edition of 1500 copies this being number 14. Slipcase has some edgewear and foxing. Book has a plastic cover over the black cloth boards, has a few pieces missing.. Scuff on the back of the slipcase.



    Rois De France. Original Manuscript by Fort, Paul

    Paris, 1930. Unbound. Paul Fort's original manuscript, neatly and beautifully written in ink; quarto, 79 leaves of heavy cream paper and laid loose into a green portfolio. Paul Fort drew much of his inspiration from the Middle Ages, and the aballad form that he used almost exclusively was taken from the same period. He filled some forty volumes with his delicate ballads. He was also active in the theatre, even before the turn of the century, writing some plays himself and producing what were considered "difficult" plays by some of his contemporaries. In 1956, he received the Grand Literary Prize of the City of Paris for his works. Fine. Together with the limited edition of the book (#48 of 200 copies), Inscribed to Madame Christian Schram Senior and with an 11 line holograph poem, initialed "P. F." and dated Paris, May, 1931; and with an excellent 4 page autograph letter signed and dated October 8, 1930. A near fine copy.



    Fine music and continental manuscripts: the collection of the late Dr Felix Salzer and Mrs Hedwig Salzer by Sotheby's; Novack, Saul; Schacter, Carl

    London: Sotheby's, 1990 53 lots. Including the autograph manuscript of the first movement of Beethoven's cello sonata in A major, op. 69; L. van Beethoven, autograph letter to Bettina von Arnim; signed first edition of Fidelio; W.A. Mozart, autograph manuscript of the rondo for piano, K 494; F. Schubert, autograph letter to Franz von Schober. . Wraps. Fine. 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall.



    To Mary in Heaven by Burns, Robert

    The Bibliophile Society, Boston, 1916. Edition Unstated. Hardcover. Very Good+/No Jacket. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Text body is clean and free from previous owner annotation, underlining and highlighting. Binding is tight, covers and spine fully intact. Ivory paper over boards, gilt stamped title on front cover, deckle edges, some pages uncut, 26 pages, title page in red, blue & black, embossed with Bibliophile Society's seal, facsimile fold-out of original manuscript of poem; remainder of text consists of quotations about Burns and his poetry by Swinburne, Whitman and more. Spine toned, cover toned in streaks, otherwise a nice copy. In a slipcase which is soiled and half of "spine" is missing and remainder is only attached on one edge. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: 1 lb 14 oz. Category: Poetry; Inventory No: 002011. .



    The Roentgen Rays in Medicine and Surgery as an aid in diagnosis and as a therapeutic agent by Williams, Francis H

    Birmingham, Alabama: Gryphon Press for the Classics of Medical Library, 1988. First Edition Thus. Hardcover. Near Fine. Numbered 2137 of a limited edition contribution to the series, The Classics of Medicine Library - Gryphon Editions, published in Birmingham, Alabama, and handsomely produced up to their usual high standards, taking classics from medicine and society, from laboratory and surgical clinics, from the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, printing in facsimile, and typically also with scholarly edifice, including full bibliography, index, notes and illustrations where first published, sometimes also with scholarly commentary on the provenance and meaning of the original manuscript. From the library of Ronald Litvak, M.D. xxx + 658 pp. Additional postage may be required for oversize or especially heavy volumes, and for sets.



    Descent of the Sun, The; A Cycle of Birth - Translated from the Original Manuscript by Bain, F. W

    Methuen & Co. Ltd; London., 1914. Good. Lacking dust jacket. Average wear. A little toning to endpapers. Prev` owner name neatly penned to fly-leaf. Laid paper. Uncut pages. A nice little book.. Originally published by Messrs. James Parker & Co.. Hard. 12mo.. Good. Illus. by Tissue-guarded frontispiece. .



    The Illuminated Manuscript by Backhouse, Janet

    Oxford: Phaidon, 1979. First edition. Hardcover. Fine/fine. 4to. Boards. Pp. 80. Illustrated. Over a thousand years manuscripts were illuminated. Here is a history of them, along with a description of how they were made.



    THE PRODIGAL VIRGIN by Thomas, Homer G

    Dijon, France [New York?]: Intercontinental Classics, 1960. Original wrappers. Perfect-bound, externally side-stapled. Light shelfwear; some rubbing to covers. Else very good. 211pp. An erotic novel, originally published in a limited editon of 700, at Dijon (in reality, New York) by Percy Shostac in 1935. Verso of the title page reads "In our opinion this book is the greatest ever written. Sold for $50.00 a copy in its original manuscript form now available for the first time at this price $2.25."



    Account [of] Sales of the Goods and Chattles of the Personal Estate by BRISCOE Samuel J

    1850. (SLAVERY) (BRISCOE, Samuel J.) TURNER, John R., clerk. Account [of] Sales of the Goods and Chattles of the Personal Estate of Samuel J. Briscoe late of Charles County Deceased. Chaptico, Maryland, circa 1850. Small folio (8 by 12 inches), string-bound ledger, 12 leaves (four blank). Housed in custom chemise and slipcase. $2600.Original manuscript ledger of the public estate sale of Samuel J. Briscoe, tobacco farmer of Charles County, Maryland, and owner of 23 slaves, seven of whom were court-ordered to be reunited with the Briscoe family— for a price.Charles County, Maryland was tobacco country. Indians in the region had long grown tobacco, mostly for ceremonial purposes. “It was natural for the settlers to farm tobacco. The land was well suited to it and the Virginia colonies had for some time been growing tobacco and selling it to England at a nice profit… The biggest problem of the infant County was labor. To prosper, [a farmer] needed cheap or free labor to work the fields. The institution of slavery was legalized in Maryland in 1663… [and], as the large landowners prospered, the number of slaves entering the County increased… So important was cheap labor to plantation owners that at the end of the Civil War, with the abolition of slavery, Charles County suffered an agricultural depression from which it did not fully recover until the 1920s” (Charles County Bicentennial Committee). Tobacco farmer Samuel J. Briscoe, who in 1830 had joined in a cooperative that supplied Philadelphians with their tobacco, owned 23 slaves. Briscoe died around 1850. He apparently died either intestate or in great debt, requiring even his own family members to buy items from his estate at public sale. Chief among the “chattles” for sale were his slaves: five men, four women, seven boys and seven girls. Present at the sale were A.L. Briscoe (and his wife), Janett Eleanor Briscoe (“Miss Jeanette”), “Miss C. Briscoe,” Walter Hanson Briscoe (“H. Briscoe”), William D. Briscoe and “Miss Nannie Briscoe.” “By order of [the] Court,” the family was able to buy back four of the men, Jim, Plato, Dick Brown, and Ben, the woman Matilda, and girls Susan and Martha. The family’s remaining purchases were primarily household furnishings, bedding, and horse trappings, with the exception of the “Family Bible” bought by Miss Nannie for “12-1/2” cents. Bookplate of San Francisco collector Francis A. Martin, Jr.Extremely good condition, with only a few ink smudges, minor patches of foxing, and shallow chipping to bottom corner. Scarce.



    A Report of Divers Cases in Pleas of the Crown, Adjudged and Determined . . . With Directions for Justices of the Peace and Others . . . From the Original Manuscript, under his own Hand [etc.] by John Kelyng

    London: Printed for Isaac Cleave, next Door to Serjeants-Inn [etc.], 1708. Contemporary calf, quite worn, rebacked, embrowning; a sound copy First edition of the first reports exclusively devoted to English criminal law, reflecting Kelyng's career both while a criminal lawyer and after becoming Chief Justice of King's Bench; seen posthumously through the press by Lord Holt



    THE GROUND WE STAND ON Some Examples from the History of a Political Creed [together with] THE USE OF THE PAST;[signed Typescript ] by Dos Passos, John

    New York; (1941): Harcourt, Brace and Co. First Edition. Hard Cover. 420pp., bound in red cloth, spine lettering gilt over black. Includes the above short story "The Use of the Past. A fine bright copy in very good pictorial dust jacket with fading to spine, minor edge wear and one short closed tear to front panel. Note: The first printing is substantially like the uncorrected typescript of the short story as presented here; [Together with:] Signed uncorrected typescript of the short story, np/nd. 19 pages, small quarto; signed by the author on the final page.



    The Decorated Letter by ALEXANDER, J.J.G

    New York: George Braziller, 1978. First Edition. Hardcover. Folio. 118p. with 40 full color plates illustrating the history of decorated initials or letters in Medieval manuscripts. Practically as new. Tiny bumps or spots of wear on rear upper edge of dust jacket.



    Notes on the History of Sheviocke ... THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT by KEMPTHORNE, Lt-Col. G. A

    c1934. Manuscript title, map, 70 pages inc. index, contained within a custom made foldover cloth case. Beautifully and neatly written on single sided lined paper with a number of pen and ink sketches by the author including a detailed map. Kempthorne's book,"A History of the Parish of Sheviock" was published in 1934. This is the author's original manuscript copy, from which the book was published, although the sketched illustrations and map were not included in the publication. A UNIQUE ITEM. Cloth. Very Good. 4to (270 x 205 mm). Manuscript.



    Russian Old Believer Manuscript containing two texts: Istoriia o otsekh i stradal'tsekh, and: Slovo vospominatel'noe o sviatykh chudotvortsekh v Rossii vozsiiavshikh by [Denisov, Semen, 1682-1740, and Andrei, 1674-1730]

    Russia, 1870. Folio (35 × 22 cm). Late nineteenth-century quarter calf; gilt-tooled leather spine label; edges green; 233 leaves. Two decorative headpieces and a few decorative initials. Paper with stamp of the "Troitskaia Fabrika Govarda, no. 6" to upper left corners, indicating that the paper was made around 1850 (Klepikov 1959, no. 36). Private exlibris and shelf mark of P. F. Simson to front pastedown and his (?) hand-written notation to front free end paper. Boards rubbed and scuffed; some wear to upper spine extremity; hinges somewhat tender, but binding intact and text very good. Nineteenth-century manuscript of numerous Russian Old Believer narratives, compiled by the brothers Andrei (1674-1730) and Semen Denisov (1682-1740), two major early leaders of the schism from the official Russian Orthodox faith. Andrei served as leader of the Vyg Old Believer community in the Russian northwest. Together, the brothers authored approximately two-hundred historical and liturgical texts. The longer of the texts included here relates the martyrdom of Russian Old Believers held at the Solovetsk monastery. The work could not be published in the Russian Empire, where Old Believer liturgical texts and secondary materials were only permitted after the partial abolition of censorship in 1905. This mid-nineteenth century manuscript copy comes from the library of Pavel Fedorovich Simson (1845- ca. 1920), a historian, pedagogue, and collector from near Moscow, who was active in Tver' and Kaluga. His primary interests were medieval Rus and Russian religious manuscripts. Simson also founded the Rzhev archaeological museum. in 1902 he published a descriptive catalog of his collection of manuscripts; the present manuscript is no. 75 (Opisanie rukopisei, prinadlezhashchikh P. F. Simsonu, p. 135). It is stated to have been bought in Kaluga. Evidently the collection was later dispersed; books with this provenance are occasionally seen in the trade and at auction.



    PLUTARCH, Pompei viri illustris vita [Life of Pompey], Latin translation by Antonius Tudertinus Pacinus [or Jacopo Angeli da Scarperia]; decorated manuscript on paper, in Latin by PLUTARCH, Pompei viri illustris vita [Life of Pompey]

    HUMANIST MANUSCRIPT OF ONE OF PLUTARCH'S LIVES IN A LATIN TRANSLATION OF THE GREEK ORIGINAL. Decorated manuscript on paper, in Latin, Northern Italy, Lombardy, perhaps Ferrara or Mantua?, c. 1470-1480. Dimensions 215 x 155 mm. 71 folios, on thick paper with watermark of the type Briquet, "Basilic," no. 2671: Ferrara, 1471 or nos. 2672-2673: Mantua, 1478-1483, written in an Italian humanistic slightly sloping cursive script on up to 21 long lines, headings in margins in pale red ink, contemporary marginal annotations in brown ink. BINDING: Nineteenth-century English brown Russia binding, smooth back with blind tooling and gilt lettering: "Pompei Vita / Plutarchus / MS.", blind-stamped and gilt with monogram and motto on upper board, and arms on lower cover, brown paper endleaves, edges gilt. TEXT: This manuscript contains the life of Pompey the Great (106-48 B.C.), the distinguished military and political leader of the late Roman republic and Julius Caesar's military rival, included in Plutarch's Lives. This is one of about 50 recorded Renaissance manuscripts of the Latin translation from the Greek original by either Antonius Tudertinus Pacinus or Jacopo Angeli da Scarperia. The present manuscript provides testimony that the lives continued to circulate independently in manuscript form, even after their assembly into one common collection. PROVENANCE: Script and watermarks all point to an Italian origin for this manuscript, likely Northern Italy, Lombardy. It was later in the collection of John Broadley, F.S.A. (1774-1833). CONDITION: Upper inner hinge loose, binding a bit scuffed, occasional minor stains to paper, else in very good condition. Full description and pictures available. (TM 214)



    The manner of holding parliaments in England by Elsynge, Henry 1606?-1656

    Dublin: Irish University Press, 1971. Facsimile reprint of 1768 ed., London, T. Payne, 1768; and of the original manuscript text of c.1626. - xix,xx,298,(275)p ; 28cm. Title page imprint, Shannon. - Parallel manuscript and printed text. A nice clean copy, just a bit dusty to fore edges of the block, not affecting greatly or to the facing pages.( Images to follow ). Hard Cover. Very Good. 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall.



    MANUSCRIPT AUTOBIOGRAPHY, CA. 1800-1820 by Thompson, John

    Farmington, Maine. [100] pp, in the form of twenty-five four-page letters, each folded to 7.75" x 10". Occasional short splits at folds [no text loss], clean. Very Good plus. [offered with] AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF DEACON JOHN THOMPSON OF MERCER, MAINE. WITH GENEALOGICAL NOTES OF HIS DESCENDANTS. COMPILED BY HIS GRANDSON JOSIAH H. THOMPSON IN THE YEAR 1920. Farmington, Maine: Franklin Journal Company. [1920]. 152pp, photo illustrations. Original brown cloth, gilt title on front board [light wear at corners and spine ends]. Very Good plus. [offered with] MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF JOHN THOMPSON OF MERCER, MAINE, DECEMBER 29, 1845 - MAY 4,1850, WRITTEN IN AN ELEMENTARY COPY BOOK. Manuscript journal, 6.5" x 8". [24] pp. Original yellow illustrated wrappers [light spotting]. Lined pages, stitched, in neat ink manuscript. Very Good. The complete holograph manuscript autobiography of Maine pioneer John Thompson, offered here, consists of letters written to his daughter Olive Thompson around 1850. The manuscript was privately published by the family in 1920 [as above], virtually complete, with minor stylistic changes. Thompson [1784-1868] was born in Middletown, Connecticut. Part of his youth was spent in central and western Massachusetts, in such places as Blanford and Savoy. After a stint on a crew building the Dedham Turnpike, Thompson migrated to Maine and established a homestead in Mercer, about 30 miles northwest of Augusta. From around 1800-1807 the narrative focuses on Thompson's experiences in Worcester County, and in Worcester, "but a village then," also in western Massachusetts. A keen observer, Thompson reports on working conditions, his comrades, and some horrendous accidents. In 1807, Thompson heads for Maine: "I had always entertained the idea that I should go into some of the western states where... many of my old acquaintances had gone, but it was otherwise determined by an overruling Providence ... I had my mind fixed on going Down East." His journey to Maine, by land and boat, his homesteading, and his frequent trips between Mercer and Boston over the next eight years are interesting accounts of this largely unsettled territory and some of its pioneering families. At Augusta he witnesses a farcical trial for adultery, of which he gives an amusing account. Another time he returns to the farm with a "bundle of quince sets... and a small lilac bush... the first ever brought into the place." Several times he is delegated to deliver Mercer's taxes ["twenty dollars... that was all Mercer paid at the time"] to Boston. Near the end is a seven page account of Thompson's experiences in the local militia, called up in 1814 when the British took Eastport. While the printed version ends in 1819, the manuscript concludes in 1820 with brief mention of the Missouri Compromise and Maine statehood. Also present is Thompson's manuscript journal [unpublished] of life in Mercer, with dated entries from 1848 to 1850. The first two pages are the official records of the Anti-Slavery Missionary Association of Mercer, beginning with its establishment on December 29, 1845. The group convened at the Beech Hill school house, articulated its purpose, and named its officers. Thompson was secretary and treasurer, the only two positions formed. Also listed are Moses C. Pike, Levi Gates, Asa Paine and A.J. Downs. The Association was formed to observe "the concert of prayer for slaves once a month and take up a contribution at [said] meetings for missionary purposes." Its doings are described, including raising funds for the "Canada missions." The remaining pages chronicle work performed at Thompson's farm-- planting, ploughing, milling logs, killing a pig, bringing wool to Wilton Factory. Daily details include notes about travels to market, funerals, religious services, peace meetings, the need for a petition to be circulated for cheap postage, and a barn raising. The names of several additional members of the town are listed.

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