The Byron Society of America was founded in 1973 by Marsha M. Manns and Leslie A. Marchand to further the study of the life and work of Romantic poet George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824). In 1995, Manns and Marchand also founded the Byron Society Collection, which represents a material history of Byron literary and cultural studies from the 19th century to the present day. Conceived as a living collection to which Byron Society members and friends could contribute their own collections, it has grown significantly over the decades. The collection has been divided into five smaller collections: Byron Society Collection, Byron Realia Collection, Byron Society of America Archive, Leslie A. Marchand Papers and Ephemera, Jerome J. McGann Papers and Ephemera.
By nature the collections are interdisciplinary and situated at the institutional intersection of the library and the museum. They are being developed for scholars, students, and individuals interested in the Romantic period in literature, in the Greek Revolution, in publishing history, in material culture, and in cultural studies.
Byron Society Collection, Founded by Marsha M. Manns and Leslie A. Marchand
The collection includes many early editions of Byron’s works, scholarship and research, and other printed materials. Of note are letters and autograph materials of Catherine Gordon Byron, Thomas Moore, Edward Trelawny, Lady Byron, and others. Additionally, the collection contains books from the collection of Michael Rees, former Secretary of the International Council of Byron Societies.
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Byron Realia Collection
The Byron Realia Collection includes visual representations and portraits, such as Rembrandt Peale’s 1825 lithograph of Byron, as well as busts and Staffordshire figures, medals and plaques, drawings and engravings, and decorative and other material objects that demonstrate the impact of Byron’s life and works on his readers, both past and present.
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Byron Society of America Archive
The Byron Society of America Archive contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, financial files, newsletters, and articles that document the founding and activities of the Byron Society of America. The Society brings together Byron scholars and devotees to support scholarship, tours, conferences, lectures, and programs.
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Betty T. Bennett Papers
The Betty T. Bennett Papers contain the research, writings, correspondence, reproductions, and manuscript materials relating to Bennett’s academic research and publications. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence related to research and work in the field of English literature, specifically that related to Mary Shelley and her circle. Also included are numerous reproductions of Shelley’s letters and manuscripts from various cultural institutions.
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Leslie A. Marchand Papers and Ephemera
Leslie A. Marchand Papers and Ephemera contains the research, writings, correspondence, facsimile reproductions, and materials relating to his voluminous publications. Included are numerous facsimile reproductions of Byron’s manuscripts and reviews of Marchand’s main works: Byron’s Letters and Journals, Byron: A Biography, and Byron: A Portrait.
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Jerome J. McGann Papers and Ephemera
The collection contains Byron-related papers of Jerome McGann, scholar of 19th century literature and culture, and editor of Byron: The Complete Poetical Works. It also includes his working files for the OET Byron edition, a large set of facsimiles of Byron MSS and associated Byroniana, and scholarly and critical materials used in his work on Byron and the historical period.
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