University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

A. J. A. (Alphonse James Albert) Symons:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Symons, A. J. A. (Alphonse James Albert), 1900-1941
Title: A. J. A. (Alphonse James Albert) Symons Collection
Dates: 1900-1941, undated
Abstract: Includes manuscripts and letters written by the English bibliographer and biographer A. J. A. Symons. The bulk of the collection concerns his bibliography of authors and books of the 1890s and contains related incoming correspondence from a variety of publishers and bibliophiles, most circa 1925-1926. Some of the letters concern works about individual authors, such as Laurence Housman, Vernon Lee, and others.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-4140
Extent: 3 boxes (1.26 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center



Open for research

Administrative Information

Processed by:

Joan Sibley and Jamie Hawkins-Kirkham, 2011

Note: This finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.

Container List


1.1 Address / Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that no one expects…, typescript with handwritten revision, 3 pages, undated.
A new, unfamiliar life had begun for the two lieutenants…, handwritten manuscript with revisions, 1 page, undated.
A select bibliography and history of the books of the nineties, with notes on their authors, composite manuscript of handwritten, typewritten, carbon copies, galleys, and tearsheets with handwritten corrections and emendations, 1309 pages, undated. Includes extensive handwritten and typed bibliographical notes on the individual authors:
1.3 Beardsley, Aubrey
1.4 Beerbohm, Max
1.2 Custance, Olive
Douglas, Alfred, Lord
Dowson, Ernest
Egerton, George
Grahame, Kenneth
Gray, John
1.5 Harland, Henry
1.2 Housman, A. E.
Housman, Clemence
Housman, Laurence
1.6 Johnson, Lionel
1.2 Keynotes
1.7 Le Gallienne, Richard
1.2 Lee-Hamilton, Eugene
Makower, S. V.
1.8 Moore, George
1.2 O’Sullivan, Vincent
2.2 Paget, Violet, pseudonym Vernon Lee
2.3 Pater, Walter
2.1 Peters, W. T.
2.4 Phillips, Stephen
2.1 Pierrot Library
Plarr, Victor Gustave
Rhymer’s Club
2.5 Ricketts, Charles
2.1 Ross, Robert Baldwin
2.6 Rothenstein, William
2.1 Shannon, Charles
Street, George Slythe
2.7 Symonds, John Addington
2.8 Symons, Arthur
3.1 Thompson, Francis
3.2 Wedmore, Frederick
3.1 Whistler, J. McNeill
Wratislaw, Theodore William Graf
3.3 Yeats, W. B.


3.4 TLS / incomplete to unidentified recipient, undated.
ANS to unidentified recipient, undated.
AL / incomplete to Brown, 2 March 1926.
2 ALS to Brunger re Vernon Lee books, 11 September 1925, undated. Handwritten answers to Symons’ questions on these.
ALS to Clowes (Wm.) and Sons re Vernon Lee books, 21 September 1925.
AL / incomplete to Coykendall, Frederick, 6 March 1926.
2 TLS, ANS to Ford, Gerald, 1936-1939.
ALS to Green-Armytage, R. N., 8 December 1925.
ANS to Irvine, Mrs., undated.
6 ALS, TLS, 3 ANS to J. K. I., undated.
3.5 14 ALS, 15 TLS, 2 ANS to Jackson, Holbrook, 1925-1941.
3.4 ALS to Jarchow, Christopher, 24 September 1935.
2 ALS, 3 TLS to John Lane, The Bodley Head Ltd re bibliographical points, 1925. Handwritten answers to questions are written on these.
AL / draft / incomplete, AL / draft to Mershon (W. L.) and Co., Rahway, New Jersey, 6 March 1926. Two versions of a letter inquiring about Henry Harland publications.
ALS to Peter, undated. Written on this: ANS from Symons to J. K. I.
TccL to Richards, Grant re John Gray’s Silverpoints, 12 August 1927. Attached to this: Signed printed certificate of posting, 12 August 1927.
ALS to Sandford, Christopher, 25 February 1940.


3.6 Unidentified author. ALS to Symons re Laurence Housman books, 25 July 1925. Letterhead: Morris and Company Ltd.
Allen (George) and Unwin Ltd. TLI to Symons re Laurence Housman’s Ploughshare and pruning hook, 3 July 1925.
Astly, Madeleine. ALS to Symons, 1935.
Balfour, R. E. ALS to Symons, 18 December 1934.
Bauden, Edward. 4 ALS, ALI, AL to Symons, 1930-1931, undated.
Blackie & Son, Ltd. 2 TLS to Symons, 4 July and 24 July 1925.
Blackwell (Basil), Publisher. 3 TLS to Symons, 1925-1929.
Blackwood (Wm.) and Sons. TLS to Symons, 20 July 1925.
Blades, East and Blades, Ltd. TLS to Symons, 8 December 1925.
Blakeney, Edward Henry, 1869- . APCS to Symons, 29 April 1928?
Boosey and Co., Ltd. TLS to Symons, 8 July 1925.
Bright, Mary Chavelita Dunne, 1859-1945. ALS "George Egerton" to Symons, 24 June 1925.
Cape (Jonathan) Limited. TLS to Symons, 21 October 1925.
Cassell and Co., Ltd. TLS to Symons, 5 May 1925.
Catholic Truth Society. ALS, TLS to Symons, 12 May 1925, 12 May 1926.
Chapman and Hall, Ltd. 3 TLS to Symons, 1925-1926.
Chatto and Windus, TLI to Symons, 28 July 1925.
Chiswick Press. 2 TLS to Symons, 3 July and 7 July 1925.
Cleverdon, Douglas. ALS to Symons, 25 January 1926.
Clover, Donald. ALS to Symons, 29 November 1940.
Constable and Company, Ltd. TLS to Symons, 8 May 1925.
Constable (T. and A.) Ltd., Edinburgh. 2 TLS to Symons, 13 May and 17 September 1925.
3.7 Coykendall, Frederick. 5 ALS to Symons, 1925-1934. One letter encloses handwritten and typed manuscript bibliographical notes, 11 pages.
3.6 Daniel, Ivor. ALS to Symons, 16 January 1935.
Dent (J. M.) and Sons, Ltd. TLS to Symons, 8 May 1925.
Drysdale, J. G. ALS to Symons, 29 April 1926.
Duckworth (Gerald) and Co., Ltd. TLS to Symons, 9 July 1925.
Dunster House Bookshop (Cambridge, Massachusetts). TLS to Symons, addressed to the First Edition Club, 3 March 1926.
Edinburgh Press. TLS to Symons, 4 June 1925.
Esher, Oliver Sylvain Baliol Brett, 1881-1963. 2 ALS to Symons, 12 September 1925, 7 February 1926.
Faber and Gwyer Ltd. TLS to Symons, 15 December 1925.
Gibbings, N. W. ALS to Symons, 6 May 1926.
Grant, Lawrence. TLS / incomplete to Symons, 11 July 1934.
Guedella, Philip, 1889-1949. 2 ALS, TLS, 3 ALI, 3 APCI, 1925-1927 to Symons, undated.
3.8 Hardy, Thomas John. TLS to Symons, 25 August 1924.
Harper and Brothers. TLS to Symons, 22 September 1925.
Heinemann (William), Ltd. 2 TLS to Symons, 21 April and 17 July 1925.
Ipoly-Freystadt, George von. TLS to Symons, 5 October 1934.
Jackson, Holbrook, 1874-1948. TLI to Symons, 20 August 1925.
Jackson, Holbrook, 1874-1948. TLI, 7 TccL to Symons, 1931-1934.
Jardine, Lindsay. 2 ALS to Symons, 11 July and 1 September 1925.
Johnson, I. ALS to Symons, 20 January 1926.
Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd. TLI to Symons, 3 July 1925.
Lewis, T. B. ALS to Symons, 11 August 1934.
London. Church of St. Ethelburga. ALS W. F. Geikie-Cobb to Symons, 25 July 1925.
Long (John) Ltd. TLS to Symons re Oscar Wilde and myself by Alfred Douglas, 14 December 1925.
MacKay, W. MacDonald. 3 ALS, TLS to Symons, 1925-1926.
MacLaren, Neysa. TLS to Symons, 28 April 1935.
Mehlman, Sydney. 2 TLS to Symons, 19 September and 30 October 1938.
Methuen and Co., Ltd. 2 TLI to Symons, 1 May and 4 June 1925.
Meynell, Francis, Sir, 1891- . ALI to Symons, July 1930. Removed from PA 4244 M4 A27 1937 HRC copy 1.
Moore. ALS to Symons re Ernest Dowson, 29 January 1927.
Moore, Thomas Sturge, 1870-1944. ALS to Symons, undated.
Mulray, D. L. ALS, TLS to Symons, 9 February and 22 February 1934. Written on verso of TLS: handwritten notes by Symons re Rolfe’s writing. Letterhead on ALS: Times literary supplement.
Murray, John, firm, London. TLS to Symons, 14 September 1925.
Neale, V. ALS to Symons, 16-17 November no year.
Paget, Violet, 1856-1935. ALS "Vernon Lee" to Symons, 10 July 1925. Enclosed with this: typed list of her books with handwritten emendations by Violet Paget.
Phillips, May Lidyard. TLS to Symons re Stephen Phillips’ works, 25 October 1925.
Print collector’s quarterly. TLS to Symons, 31 March 1928.
Pudney, Louis. ALS to Symons, undated.
Rabie, Lis. ALS to Symons, undated.
Richards (Grant) Ltd., Publishers. ALI, TLI to Symons, 1 July and 17 July 1925.
Riverside Press Limited (Edinburgh). TLS to Symons, 14 September 1925.
Sampson Low, Marston and Co., Ltd. TLS to Symons addressed to the director, First Edition Club, 24 July 1925.
Stonor, Oliver, 1903- . TLS "Morchard Bishop" to Symons, 17 November 1940.
Todd, Michael. TLS to Symons, 30 November 1935.
Tomanetti, Francesco. ALS to Symons, 4 October 1933.
Unwin (T. Fisher) Ltd. TLI to Symons, 16 September 1925.
Virtue and Coy, Ltd. TLS to Symons, 1 July 1925.
Walpole, Hugh, Sir, 1884-1941. ALS to Symons, 16 August 1938. Removed from PZ 3 W1655 Joy HRC FEG.
Wedmore, Millicent. ALS to Symons, 16 October no year.
Wildenstein and Co. TLS to Symons, 21 November 1925.
Wilkinson, Louis Umfreville, 1881- . ALS to Symons, 1 June 1936.
Women’s Freedom League, London. TLI, TPCS to Symons, 17 August and 22 August 1925.
Yeats, Elizabeth Corbet, 1868-1940. 2 ALS to Symons, 18 March and 22 March 1926.
Yeats, Georgia Lees. 2 TLS to Symons, 23 March and 25 March 1926.


3.9 Unidentified author. AL, undated.
Unidentified author. TccL to Nehlman, Sydney, 18 October 1938.
Adams Express Company. Receipt for Symons, 31 July 1916.
Chapman, Frederic, d. 1918. ALS to Harland, Henry, 3 May 1900.
Pinker (James B.) and Son. TLS Eric S. Pinker to Housman, Laurence, 9 November 1925.
Symons, Julian, 1912- . 2 TLS to Jackson, Holbrook, 21 July and 6 August 1941.
Watson, Edith. TLS to Jackson, Holbrook, 19 August 1941.

Explanatory Note Concerning Manuscript Collections Cataloged in the Card Catalog

Prior to 1990 when archival cataloging procedures were adopted at the Ransom Center, all manuscript collections were described in a card catalog.

Organization of Collections:

Manuscripts for each author collection were organized into four categories:

  • Works: manuscripts by the author, arranged alphabetically by title;
  • Letters: the author’s outgoing correspondence, arranged alphabetically by recipient name;
  • Recipient: the author’s incoming correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the author of the letter; and
  • Miscellaneous: all other manuscripts and correspondence, arranged alphabetically by creator.

Materials that did not fit into these categories, such as art, photographs, books, and near-print materials such as newspaper clippings, were dispersed to other Ransom Center collections for cataloging and storage.

Abbreviations Used in Descriptions:

The symbols below were used in combinations. For example ALS means autograph letter signed; Tccms means typed carbon copy manuscript, etc.

  • A = autograph (i.e., handwritten)
  • T = typed
  • S = signed
  • I = initialed
  • Ms = manuscript
  • Mss = manuscripts
  • L = letter
  • FL = form letter
  • N = note
  • D = document
  • C = card
  • PC = post card
  • cc = carbon copy
  • p = page
  • pp = pages
  • l = leaf
  • ll = leaves
  • nd = no date
  • inc d = incomplete date