Scope and arrangement
The Harkness Collection consists of autograph letters, documents, and signatures, chiefly of eighteenth through twentieth century British and American literary and historical figures. European figures and artistic and musical figures are also represented in the collection, some by items dating back to the fifteenth century. The items are usually mounted in volumes and accompanied by typed transcripts, portrait photographs and illustrations, and related letters, clippings, and other material. Charles Dickens; Benjamin Franklin; Marie-Louise, Empress of France; Mary Stuart; Edgar Allen Poe; John Ruskin; William Makepeace Thackeray; Henry David Thoreau; George Washington; and John Greenleaf Whittier are among the figures represented. Some volumes, as noted, have separate indexes.