Scope and arrangement
The Wilber force Eames Papers span the years 1850-1937 and reflect Eames's lifelong interest in books and his scholarly achievements in the field of bibliography. The collection touches many areas that were of special interest to Eames, especially his study of Americana. It also reflects the very broad range of Eames's scholarship which embraced many subjects including American History, Oriental History, African and Native American languages, Cartography, cuneiform tablets and the history of printing in the western world.
Eames's correspondence and copious notes document the attention and care with which he approached all bibliographic questions. His career, from his early days in the book trade to his years at the Lenox Library and the New York Public Library, brought him into contact with all aspects of the bibliophile's world and his reputation for scholarship, integrity and helpfulness made him a highly respected member of that community. The collection contains material relating to the history and study of books, the fields of bibliography and librarianship, the antiquarian book trade and book collectors.
The Wilberforce Eames papers are arranged in nine series:
Includes both business and personal correspondence with librarians, booksellers and bibliographers regarding bibliographic questions, sales information, exchange of photostats and comparisons of editions. Almost all of the correspondence is incoming. The letters are divided into General Correspondence and Individuals & Organizations. There may be some overlap in these two groups.
Include manuscripts of Eames's work, research notes, correspondence and printed matter relating to specific subject areas and to works by Eames. These are arranged alphabetically by subject and include files on Early New England Catechisms, The First Year of Printing in New York, Psalms and Psalmody and on the use of Hebrew Types in English America. Material on John Smith is filed in i the oversize box.
Include cut and pasted titles, typed citations, handwritten notes, correspondence and clippings. They have been divided into three subseries: Collected Bibliographic Notes, Miscellaneous Bibliographic Notes and Unsorted Bibliographic Notes.
Series reflects Eames's long and varied involvement with the book trade. It has been divided into four subseries: Bills and Correspondence, Private Library Sales, Catalogues and Booklists/Publication notices.
include lists of holdings (rare books, maps, etc.), prepared by Eames, reports on Library activities by Eames, Library printed matter, clippings and miscellaneous papers.
Series reflect Eames's enthusiasm for the out-of-doors and document his yearly camping trips to Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks, often in the company of L. Nelson Nichols of the New York Public Library. Five albums are devoted to Eames's trip to Quebec in 1915 with Henry F. De Puy. All of the photos in the 25 albums in the collection (inventory attached) were taken by Eames. The miscellaneous box includes pictures taken by Eames and also studio portraits of Eames and others. Several large photos, including one by Arnold Genthe are stored in the oversize box.
(list of albums attached).
Papers include photostats, printed matter, proofs, galleys and clippings. The photostats of material in other libraries were used by Eames for reference and research purposes. Proofs and galleys are for articles by Eames and also for articles by his colleagues sent to Eames for corrections and suggestions.