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Language and Literature Resources in the General Research Division: Special Collections

Language and Literature - Special Collections at The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature

The Berg Collection contains some 35,000 printed volumes, pamphlets, and broadsides, and 2,000 linear feet of literary archives and manuscripts, representing the work of more than 400 authors. Printed books in English date from William Caxton’s 1480 edition of the Chronicles of England to the present day, and the manuscripts encompass an almost equally lengthy period.

Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle

This Collection was the creation of the financier Carl H. Pforzheimer (1879-1957), who took a special interest in the lives and works of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley  and his contemporaries. The Pforzheimer Collection offers a wide range of collateral materials supporting study of the period, including biographies, criticism, political and scientific treatises, grammars, dictionaries, almanacs, and business directories. In addition, the Collection brings together topical pamphlets, broadsides, and other ephemera related to issues of the day such as the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 and the 1820 adultery trial of Queen Caroline -- events which prompted responses in verse by both Shelley and Byron.

Manuscripts and Archives Division 

The Division holds over 29,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives in over 5,500 collections. The strengths of the Division are the papers and records of individuals, families, and organizations, primarily from the New York region. These collections support research in the political, economic, social, and cultural history of New York and the United States.