COVID-19 Update

July 4, 2020: Biblio is open and shipping orders. Read more here.

Skip to content

Biblio logo: Used, Rare and Collectible Books for Sale

Add to want list

Rare Letters and Holographic Documents Books Rare & Antiquarian Books

Some of our most valuable and collectible items in the Rare Book Room are letters and holographic documents from authors and famous people throughout history. When browsing through these items, be sure to keep in mind an important distinction between letters and holographic documents. While letters can be typed or handwritten, holographic documents are documents that have been completely handwritten in the hand that signed the paper. Some of the letters showcased were written from authors to other writers, and others are personal missives in the form of journals and diaries. As with all delicate and fragile items, careful and appropriate care and handling is required, but these letters are well worth the trouble, as they often provide deep and personal insight into our favorite authors and historical figures.



President of the Confederate States Writes a Historic, Lengthy and Bitter Letter to His Wife, Varina by DAVIS, JEFFERSON

DAVIS, JEFFERSON. (1808-1889). American secretary of war and president of the Confederate States. ALS. ("Jeff. Davis"). 4pp. 4to. Washington, D.C., January 3 and 4, 1848. To "My Wife," VARINA BANKS HOWELL DAVIS (1826-1906). "After long expectation and pai...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc

$16,500.00


ARCHIVE OF LETTERS: 21 pages by McCOURT, Frank

1983 - 1990. Letters. Folds from mailing. Near Fine. Superb archive of seven letters from the author of ANGELA'S ASHES to R'Lene Dahlberg, fellow teacher at Stuyvesant High School, friend, wife of author Edward Dahlberg, and muse. Mostly chatty ...

From Charles Agvent

$9,375.00


An Essay on the Genius of George Cruikshank. Reprinted verbatim from the “Westminster Review” with a Prepatory Note on Thackeray as an Artist and Art-Critic by W. E. Church. by Thackeray, William Makepeace

Extra-illustrated. This copy contains the following, along with those published with the book: 32 portraits, 5 colored; 93 plates and caricatures (32 colored); 20 wood engravings; 6 ALS: Alfred Bunn, Manager of Drury Lane Theatre (2); C.W. Cope, the Royal...

From G.Gosen Rare Books & Old Paper, ABAA, ILAB

$7,500.00


Certificate. Fire Department, City of San Francisco. by Curtis, James F

San Francisco, 1851 4pp. Quarto. Printed and manuscript, with official seal. "Constitution of the Fire Department of the City of San Francisco" printed on third page. A fine copy. San Francisco, October 20, 1851. Possibly the earliest known cert...

From Argonaut Book Shop

$6,500.00


EVERYBODY'S POLITICAL WHAT'S WHAT? Manuscript Page, Page Proofs and 3 AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED (ALSs) by SHAW by SHAW, George Bernard

London: Constable and Company Ltd., 1943 and 1944. First Edition. Letter. Very Good to Near Fine in a custom slipcase. Laurence A246 for the printed book. This collection, all housed in a green cloth chemise within a half green morocco slipcase gilt-let...

From Charles Agvent

$6,250.00


Handwritten Letter on Musical Matters by KORSAKOV-RIMSKY, NICOLAI

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, NICOLAI ANDREYEVICH. (1844-1908). Russian composer of The Snow Maiden, Sadko and Scheherazade. ALS. ("N.A. Korsakov"). 1p. 8vo. Saint Petersburg, September 14, 1903. To Vasily Ilyich. In Russian with translation. "I did not have the time ...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc

$6,000.00


The Russian Novelist, Poet and Playwright Writes Out and Signs a Quotation from French Philosopher Voltaire by TURGENEV, IVAN

TURGENEV, IVAN. (1818-1883). Russian novelist, poet, and playwright; his novel Fathers and Sons is a masterpiece of 19th-century Russian literature. AMsS. ("Ivan Tourguineff"). 1p. Small 8vo. Bade[n], 1869. In French with translation on stationery blind-e...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc

$6,000.00


The Prussian-Born, American Revolutionary Army Officer Writes about Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the French Revolution by STEUBEN, BARON FRIEDRICH W. VON

STEUBEN, FRIEDRICH W. VON. (1730-1794). Prussian-born, American Revolutionary army officer and military adviser to General George Washington. ALS. ("Steuben"). 2½pp. 4to. New York, November 3, 1789. To French diplomat and Count ELÉNOR-FRANÇOIS-ÉLIE, M...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc

$6,000.00


Autograph Letter Signed, Voicing His Support for a Zionist Rabbi, Written the Year He Published "Der Judenstaat" by HERZL, THEODOR

HERZL, THEODOR. (1860-1904). Austrian-Jewish writer and the founder of Zionism; Paris correspondent for the Neue Freie Presse for which Herzl covered the infamous Dreyfus Affair, an event that contributed to his desire to establish a Jewish state. ALS. ("...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc

$5,000.00


Signed Copy of His Commissioned Report on the 1934 Textile Industry Crisis by ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D

ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D. (1882-1945). Thirty-second president of the United States. Twice signed typescript. ("F.D.R"). 38pp. 4to. (10½" x 7½"). N.p., September 17, 1934. Roosevelt's personal bound copy of the "Report of the Board of Inquiry For The Cotto...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc

$4,500.00


The Rise Of David Bowie, 1972-1973, numbered and signed, new in sealed box by Mick Rock

In 1972, David Bowie released his groundbreaking album The Rise and F all of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. With it landed Bowie's Stardust alter-ego: A glitter-clad, mascara-eyed, sexually-ambiguous persona who kicked down the boundaries betwe...

From Kedarah

$3,990.00


Typed Letter Signed by KELLER, Helen

1902. September 22 [1902]. Written to Mr. [William V.] Alexander, editor of Ladies Home Journal, who had requested a series of articles from Keller that were later published as The Story of My Life. Keller humbly thanks Alexander for payment for the last ...

From Ken Lopez Bookseller, ABAA

$3,500.00


The Cicadas [West's Copy of Huxley's Book, with Notes] by (WEST, Nathanael). HUXLEY, Aldous

London: Chatto & Windus. 1931. Nathanael West's copy of Huxley's collection of poetry, with West's holograph notes on five of the front and rear endpages. Approximately 250 words, mostly quotes of other writers -- Huxley, Gray, Shakespeare; some light, bu...

From Ken Lopez Bookseller, ABAA

$3,500.00


Bougainville Requests Support for an Officer Destined to Serve in the Falkland Islands and Aboard Bougainville’s Historic Circumnavigation of the World by BOUGAINVILLE, LOUIS-ANTOINE

BOUGAINVILLE, LOUIS-ANTOINE. (1729-1811). French navigator who led the first French voyage around the world in 1766-1769, making significant geographical observations; the South American climbing plant Bougainvillea is named in his honor. ADS. ("De Bougai...

From Lion Heart Autographs Inc

$3,200.00


Correspondence to and from Harvard and Massachusetts-related figures by AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION

A collection of 28 autograph letters signed, and 7 autograph signatures collected by Harvard Professor Theophilus Parsons, Jr. Complete details, including full transcriptions of each letter, are available upon request. Comprising: ALLSTON, Washington (17...

From Riverrun Books & Manuscripts

$3,000.00


Search Rare Books

Book lovers can save on books by joining our Bibliophiles club

Are you a frequent reader or book collector?

Join the Bibliophile's Club and save 10% on every purchase, every day — up to $25 savings per order!