Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

About the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection focuses on British literature and art of the period 1850 to 1900, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and the writers and illustrators of the 1890s. It comprises more than 9,750 books, periodicals, letters, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, and artworks, including many items related by such figures as Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, Max Beerbohm, William Morris, Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Aubrey Beardsley.

While nearly all of the printed works, manuscripts, and artworks are listed in DELCAT, the collection contains additional items accessed through finding aids and an internal catalogue.

In 2016, Mark Samuels Lasner donated the collection to the University of Delaware. To mark the gift, the Library hosted an exhibition, “Victorian Passions: Stories from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection” curated by Margaret D. Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Humanities, and held a symposium, “Celebrating the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Victorian Literature and Art.

Notable collections within the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection include:

Cordelia Mary Lane Brimacombe Day Collection of Bodley Head Books, Gift of Sheila Ann Hegy
More than forty publications from the firm of John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1892-1920, and other books owned by Lane’s niece and her family. Related materials include two friendship albums compiled by Cordelia Mary Lane Brimacombe Day.

Alice and Wilfrid Meynell Papers
More than five hundred letters addressed to the poet and critic, Alice Meynell, and to her journalist husband, Wilfrid Meynell. The collection also holds manuscripts of Alice Meynell and many association copies and letters by the Meynell family and their circle.

Donald A. Roberts Papers relating to Henry Harland
Gathered by a professor at the City University of New York who intended to write a biography of the literary editor of the Yellow Book, this archive includes letters and manuscripts of Harland, along with letters to and about him from friends and associates, such as the publisher, John Lane, and his wife, the writer Annie Eichberg King.

J. G. Riewald Max Beerbohm Papers
Dutch academic Rielwald published Sir Max Beerbohm: Man and Writer in 1952. This archive contains correspondence and manuscripts by Beerbohm, letters from his friends and publishers to Riewald, and research materials used by Riewald for his many writings about Beerbohm.

Ellen Terry-May Ward Papers
More than a hundred letters from the famous Victorian actor to a fan who became a close friend center this archive which includes programs, scrapbooks of clippings about Terry, and photographs connected with Terry and turn-of-the-century theater.

Thomas J. Tobin Raphaelite Critic Papers
Photocopies of articles—many of them difficult to access—published in periodicals and other sources between 1850 and 1900, forming the basis of Tobin’s definitive bibliography (also website) of the literature about the Pre-Raphaelites.


Access is by appointment only. For information contact: