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Guide to the Whittaker Family Charles Dickens Manuscript Collection, 1831-2003

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Whittaker Family (Collectors)
Title: Whittaker Family Charles Dickens Manuscript Collection
Dates: 1831-2003
Quantity: 6.3 cubic ft. (17 boxes)
Abstract: Correspondence, sheet music, playbills, artwork, ephemera, realia as well as other miscellany relating to Dickens and his work.
Forms of Materials: Correspondence, sheet music, playbills, artwork, ephemera, and realia.

Biographical Note

Victorian writer Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of the most well-known celebrities of his day, and his work continues to appeal to a large and diverse audience. His popularity is evident in the myriad editions and re-interpretations of his novels and short stories, but also in the presence of Dickens and his characters in a wide array of material culture.


Scope and Content Note

The Whittaker Family Charles Dickens Manuscript Collection includes correspondence, sheet music, playbills, artwork, ephemera, realia as well as other miscellany relating to Dickens and his work. The variety of objects in various formats, styles and composition, created while Dickens was alive but also well after his death, illustrates the enduring popularity of the author's work. Of particular note are original watercolors by both Hablot K. Browne and Joseph Clayton Clarke ("Kyd").

For more information about the history and siginificance of this collection, see the online exhibit, Charles Dickens in the Marketplace



This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.


Subject Headings


  • Browne, Hablot Knight, 1815-1882
  • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
  • Kyd, 1856 or 7-1937


  • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 -- Characters -- Illustrations
  • Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 -- Friends and associates

Document Types:

  • engravings (prints)
  • plates (illustrations)
  • playbills
  • realia
  • sheet music
  • watercolors (paintings)

Encoding Information

Encoded by Laura Finkel, April 2009.


Preferred Citation

Whittaker Family Charles Dickens Manuscript Collection, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Processed by Laura Finkel and Jared Barenholz, 2008-2009.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Whittaker Family, 2008.


Series List

Series I. Dickens Biography and Reviews, 1843, 1854

Series II. Images of Dickens, 1875, n.d.

Series III. Correspondence, 1862 - 1870

Series IV. Material relating to Dickens' Work, 1838 - ca.1860

Series V. Playbills, 1836? - 1873, 1924

Series VI.Sheet Music, 1838, ca. 1860s, n.d.

Series VII.Art and Illustrations, 1831-1992, n.d.

Series VIII.Realia and Collectibles, 1912-1993

Series IX. Miscellaneous Dickensiana, 1846-2003

Container List


Folder 2.15 Brief article regarding American Notes review, National Intelligencer, 25 Feb 1843
Map case — drawer 35 "Charles Dickens A Fugitive Bankrupt," New York Semi Weekly, 4 Aug 1854


Folder 2.1 Watts, Walter Henry. Tinted pencil sketch of Dickens head, with Dickens' signature
Folder 2.2 Hollyer, Samuel (engraver). Engraving of Charles Dickens sitting in his Study at Gadshill, 1875
Hanging in Special Collections Hart, H. Blackburn (engraver). Mezzotint engraving after the 1859 portrait by William Powell Frith (framed)
Folder 4.1 Unknown artist. Print of a pencil drawing, undated (originally framed with an 1864 personal check signed by Dickens - now included in same folder)


Folder 5.1 Charles Dickens to Charles W. Kent, 8 June 1870 (facsimile)
Folder 5.2 Charles Dickens to Charles W. Kent, 15 Oct 1862 (ALS, envelope and transcription)
Folder 5.3 Charles Dickens to Mr. Armstrong, 9 May 1862 (ALS on All the Year Round stationery, also inc. transcription)


Folder 2.14 Barnaby Rudge, Chapters 19-20, New York Mirror, 29 May 1841
Folder 5.26 Advertisement for the first bound edition of Oliver Twist, 1838 (1 poster card)
Folder 5. 27 Advertisement for the first printing of Little Dorrit, 1857 (1 poster card)
Folder 7.11 Plates from the Pollock’s Juvenile Drama play set, Oliver Twist or, The Parish Boy’s Progress, (London: B. Pollock, [ca.1860]) (35 prints, including some torn items and several duplicates)


Folder 2.10 The Strange Gentleman, St. James Theatre, [London], Oct [1836?] (extremely brittle)
Folder 1.2 Sam Weller! or the Pickwickians, Strand Theatre, London, July 1837
Folder 1.3 Sam Weller! or the Pickwickians, Theatre Royal, Bath, Dec 1837
Folder 2.10 The Pickwickians, Theatre Royal, Birmingham, Apr 1838
Map case — drawer 35 A Christmas Carol, Adelphi Theatre, London, Jan 1844
Folder 2.9 Nicholas Nickleby, Boston Theatre, Boston, Mar 1847
Folder 2.9 Nicholas Nickleby, Boston Museum, Boston, Jan 1849
Folder 2.9 Savage and the Maiden, National Theatre, [Boston], May 1850
Folder 1.5 Fortunio and his Seven Gifted Servants (featuring Charles Dickens, Jr. as King Alfourite), Theatre Royal, Tavistock House, 8 Jan 1855 (fabric - torn)
Box 1 original enclosure for Fortunio…
Folder 2.11 Holly-Tree Inn, Standard Theatre, London, Jan [1856]
Map case — drawer 35 A Christmas Carol, Adelphi Theatre, London, Jan 1860
Folder 1.4 Oliver Twist, Howard Athenæum, Boston, 1861
Folder 2.9 Oliver Twist, Boston Theatre, Boston, Jan 1870
Folder 2.9 Oliver Twist, The Globe, Boston, Mar 1871
Map case — drawer 35 Some Bells That Rang, Britannia Theatre, London, Mar 1873
Folder 5.4 Dickens Christmas Pageant, including The Fezziwig Swarry, Milwaukee-Downer College, Milwaukee, WI, 1924


Folder 1.6 "The Chimes Quadrille, Composed for the Musical Bouquet," undated
Folder 2.3 Bruton and Allen. "My Dear Old Faithful Doll." London: Charles Jeffreys, undated
Folder 2.4 Caldicott and Oxenford. "Jenny Wren (The Doll's Dressmaker)." London: Patey and Willis, undated
Folder 1.7 Carpenter and Crouch. "The Chimes Song." London: Duff and Hodgson, undated
Folder 1.8 Carpenter and Glover. "What Are The Wild Waves Saying." London: Robert Cocks and Co., undated
Folder 2.5 Glindon and Craven. "The Literary Dustman: A Comic Song." London: T. Purday, undated
Folder 2.6 Godfrey, Dan. "Little Nell: Waltz." London: Chappell and Co., 1860s
Folder 2.7 Lancelot, F. "The Cricket on the Hearth." London: Bingley and Strange, undated
Folder 1.9 Marriott, C. H. R. "Dolly Varden Quadrille." London: Ashdown and Parry, undated
Folder 1.10 Montgomery, W. H. "Little Dorrit's Polka." London: D'Almaine and Co., undated
Folder 1.11 Normann, Jules. "Little Dorrit's Polka." London: Musical Bouquet, undated
Folder 1.12 Roe, John, Jr. "Roe's Pickwickian Quadrilles." London: Duff and Co., undated
Folder 1.13 Russell, Henry. "The Ivy Green, A Ballad." Philadelphia: L. A. Alfred Schmidt, 1838
Folder 1.14 Van Noorden, P. E. "'All the Year Round' Schottische." London: George Emery and Co., undated
Folder 2.8 Van Noorden, P. E. Little Dorrit's Schottische." London: George Emery and Co., undated


Barnard, Frederick
Folder 5.5 Character Sketches published by California Art & Engraving Co., ca. 1930 (9 prints)
Browne, Hablot K. (Phiz)
Folder 4.2 Stiles illustrations — Punch and Judy show (ink and watercolor)
Folder 4.3 Stiles illustrations — Punch and Judy show with child (ink and watercolor)
Folder 4.4 Stiles illustrations —"Follow. Follow Me! — Hunting party (ink and watercolor)
Folder 4.5 Stiles illustrations —Three men (ink and watercolor)
Folder 4.6 Stiles illustrations —Woman and pig (ink and watercolor)
Folder 4.7 Stiles illustrations —Woman leaning on stile (pencil and watercolor)
Folder 4.8 Stiles illustrations —Couple embracing (pencil and watercolor)
Folder 4.9 Stiles illustrations —Man lifting woman over, with windmill in background (ink and watercolor)
Folder 4.10 Stiles illustrations — Man lifting woman over, with town in background (ink and watercolor)
Folder 4.11 Stiles illustrations —Man helping woman (ink and watercolor)
Folder 4.12 Stiles illustrations —"Farewell Brother Noah, Farewell Sister Rebecca" (ink and watercolor)
Folder 5.6 Plates from Bleak House, unknown edition, but similar to volume 17 of the Gadshill Works of Charles Dickens (8 plates)
Buss, Robert
Folder 5.7 Plates from The Pickwick Papers, unknown edition (2 plates)
Clarke, Joseph Clayton ("Kyd")
Folder 6.1 Old Curiosity Shop — Nell (watercolor)
Folder 6.2 Old Curiosity Shop — Grandfather Trent (watercolor)
Folder 6.3 Old Curiosity Shop — Kit (watercolor)
Folder 6.4 Old Curiosity Shop — Quilp (watercolor)
Folder 6.5 Old Curiosity Shop — Dick Swiveller (watercolor)
Folder 6.6 Old Curiosity Shop — The Single Gentleman (watercolor)
Folder 6.7 Old Curiosity Shop — Sampson Brass (watercolor)
Folder 6.8 Old Curiosity Shop — Sally Brass (watercolor)
Folder 6.9 Old Curiosity Shop — Mrs. Jarley (watercolor)
Folder 6.10 Old Curiosity Shop — The Little Marchionesse (watercolor)
Folder 6.11 Old Curiosity Shop — Mr. Chuckster (watercolor)
Folder 6.12 Old Curiosity Shop — Jowl (watercolor)
Folder 6.13 Old Curiosity Shop — Short (watercolor)
Folder 6.14 Old Curiosity Shop — Codlin (watercolor)
Folder 6.15 Old Curiosity Shop — The Old Schoolmaster (watercolor)
Folder 6.16 Old Curiosity Shop — The Furnace Man (watercolor)
Folder 6.17 Old Curiosity Shop — Mr. Vuffin (watercolor)
Folder 6.18 Old Curiosity Shop — Slum (watercolor)
Folder 6.19 Cover of Character Sketches from Charles Dickens (watercolor)
Folder 6.20 Letter from Jerome Kern to Randolph Hearst expressing their mutual interest in the "Kyd" illustrations 14 Feb n.y. (accompanied Our Mutual Friend watercolor set)
Folder 6.21 Our Mutual Friend —Cover page for set
Folder 6.22 Our Mutual Friend — Jenny Wren (watercolor)
Folder 6.23 Our Mutual Friend — Mr. Boffin (watercolor)
Folder 6.24 Our Mutual Friend — Mr. Veneering (watercolor)
Folder 6.25 Our Mutual Friend — Sloppy (watercolor)
Folder 6.26 Our Mutual Friend — Bradley Headstone (watercolor)
Folder 6.27 Our Mutual Friend — Mr. Venus (watercolor)
Folder 6.28 Our Mutual Friend — Mr. Fledgeby (watercolor)
Folder 6.29 Our Mutual Friend — Mr. Podsnap (watercolor)
Folder 6.30 Our Mutual Friend — Silas Wegg (watercolor)
Folder 6.31 Our Mutual Friend — Rogue Riderhood (watercolor)
Folder 6.32 Our Mutual Friend — Mr. Twemlow (watercolor)
Folder 6.33 Our Mutual Friend — The Cherub (watercolor)
Folder 6.34 Our Mutual Friend — Mr. Dolls (watercolor)
Folder 6.35 Our Mutual Friend — Mrs. Todgers [?] (watercolor)
Folder 6.36 Our Mutual Friend — [Mr. Riah?] (watercolor)
Folder 6.37 Our Mutual Friend — 3 unidentified men (watercolor)
Folder 6.38 Miscellaneous Characters — Barnaby Rudge (watercolor)
Folder 6.39 Miscellaneous Characters — David Copperfield (watercolor)
Folder 6.40 Miscellaneous Characters — Uriah Heep (watercolor)
Folder 6.41 Miscellaneous Characters — Oliver Twist (watercolor)
Folder 6.42 Miscellaneous Characters — Fagin (watercolor)
Folder 6.43 Miscellaneous Characters — Mr. Bumble (watercolor)
Folder 6.44 Miscellaneous Characters — Dick Swiveller (watercolor)
Folder 6.45 Miscellaneous Characters — Mr. Pickwick (watercolor)
Folder 6.46 Miscellaneous Characters — Tony Weller (watercolor)
Folder 6.47 Miscellaneous Characters — Sam Weller (watercolor)
Folder 6.48 Miscellaneous Characters — The Fat Boy (watercolor)
Folder 6.49 Miscellaneous Characters — Mr Pickwick (watercolor)
Folder 6.50 Miscellaneous Characters — Unidentified man (watercolor)
Folder 6.51 Miscellaneous Characters — Major Bagstock (watercolor w/ description sheet)
Folder 6.52 Miscellaneous Characters — The Game Chicken (watercolor w/ description sheet)
Folder 6.53 Miscellaneous Characters — Rogue Riderhood (watercolor w/ description sheet)
Folder 6.54 Miscellaneous Characters — Job Trotter (watercolor w/ description sheet)
Folder 6.55 Miscellaneous Characters — Codlin (watercolor w/ description sheet)
Folder 6.56 Miscellaneous Characters — Sally Brass (watercolor w/ description sheet)
Folder 6.57 Miscellaneous Characters — Fagin (watercolor w/ description sheet)
Copping, Harold
Folder 5.8 Set of cards showing miscellaneous Dickens scenes and characters. Norfolk, England: Peacock Collection of Holt, undated (16 cards plus title card)
Cruikshank, George
Box 1 Plates from Oliver Twist, most from volumes published by Richard Bentley, London, 1837-1838 (24 items in a portfolio)
Folder 5.9 Plates from Oliver Twist (10 items)
Folder 5.10 Two engravings from wood blocks engraved by Thomas Williams after designs by Cruikshank. Printed and published by Nicolas McDowall, Old Stile Press, 1992 (No. 24 of 150 copies)
Folder 5.11 Notes, colored sketches, and a bill for copper plates (from J. Yates the engraver) for Chruikshank's illustration of Sketches By Boz. (3 items)
Folder 5.12 Letter to [Jones?] about the "corps" attending church in uniform, 23 Nov 1861
Furniss, Harry
Folder 5.13 Plates [possibly from Charles Dickens Library, vol. 4, Nicholas Nickleby (London: Educational Book Co., 1910)] (3 items)
Russell, Walter
Folder 5.14 Unidentified man (watercolor)
Seymour, Robert
Folder 5.15 Invoices for Seymour illustrations, 1831 (2 items)
Folder 5.16 "Sketches by Seymour: A Scramble for Puff Pastry…," S.n., 26 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, [London] (back cover illustration?)
Folder 1.1 "Sketches by Seymour: High Musical Connisseurs and A Monkey Fancier," William Spooner (for Mrs. Seymour), London, 1839 (print)
Miscellaneous and Multiple
Folder 5.17 Plates from The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and Blanchard, 1838
Folder 5.18 Silhouettes of Dickens and 19 of his characters. London: Dickens' Old Curiosity Shop (20 prints)


Cigarette Cards
Folder 7.1 Player's — Characters from Dickens, as drawn by Joseph Clayton Clarke (Kyd), [1923?] (50 cards)
Folder 7.2 R & J Hill —Historic Places from Dickens' Classics — small size, [1926?] (50 cards)
Folder 7.3 R & J Hill — Historic Places from Dickens' Classics — large size, [1926?] (50 cards)
Folder 7.4 Cope's — Dickens Character Series, [1939] (25 cards)
Folder 7.5 Godfrey Phillips — Dickens bust card, no. 41 of a series (1 card)
Tea Cards
Folder 7.5 Brooke Bond — Famous People series — Dickens, no 6 of a series of 50 (1 card)
Folder 7.6 Charles Dickens Centenary Testimonial Committee — Sheet of stamps created to commemorate the centenary of Dickens' birth, published by Strand Magazine, London and New York, 1912
Folder 7.7 Kenmore — Charles Dickens: Greatest novelist of All Time — set commemorating the centenary of Dickens' death, 1970
Folder 7.8 British Post Office —First day covers and stamps commemorating the centenary of Dickens' death, 1970
Folder 7.9 Fleetwood — Joyous Carols of Christmas —first day covers, 1978 (2 sets)
Folder 7.10 Miscellaneous stamps from a variety of countries, ca. 1970-1993
Box 8 Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth Charles Dickens, 1912 (1 brass coin)
Box 8 John Roberts coin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death Charles Dickens, 1970 (1 silver coin, numbered 00025)
Box 8 Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death Charles Dickens, 1970 (1 large brass coin)
Box 8 Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death Charles Dickens, 1970 (3 smaller brass coins)
Box 8 "God Bless Us Every One," undated (1 silver coin)
Box 3 Set of 12 spoons featuring Dickens characters, with accompanying rack. [Franklin Mint], [1981] (pewter [and plastic?])
Boxes 9 and 17 Set of 12 spoons featuring characters from "A Christmas Carol," with accompanying rack. [Franklin Mint], undated (pewter)
Box 10 Covered dish featuring Sairey Gamp. New Hall Hanley Pottery, undated (ceramic)
Box 10 Set of 6 pin dishes featuring Dickens Characters. New Hall Hanley Pottery, undated (ceramic)
Box 14 Decorative plate with portrait commemorating the centenary of Dickens' death. No. 158 of 5,000. England: Spode, 1970 (bone china)
Box 14 Decorative plate with portrait commemorating the centenary of Dickens' death. No. 1,100 of 5,000. England: Spode, 1970 (bone china)
Box 13 Set of four place settings, including dinner plates, bread and butter plates, salad bowls, cups and saucers. England: EIT [English Ironstone Tableware], undated (ceramic)
Place Mats and Coasters
Box 14 Set of 6 place mats featuring Dickens scenes. England: Pimpernel, undated (coated cork)
Box 14 Coasters — Set of 6 coasters featuring Dickens scenes. England: Pimpernel, undated (coated cork)
Box 15 Bookends — busts of Charles Dickens. NY: Pompeian Bronze Co., undated (bronze)
Box 15 Door knocker — Charles Dickens' head, undated (bronze)
Box 16 Statues — Bust of Charles Dickens, undated (ceramic)
Box 11 Statues — Set of 3 figurines of Dickens characters possibly by Peerage, 1966? (brass)
Box 12 Statues — Set of 4 figurines of Dickens characters possibly by Peerage, 1966? (brass)


Folder 2.12 Gadshill Place — Particulars and Conditions of Sale of Charles Dickens' home, County of Kent, 1879 (map included)
Folder 5.19 General Theatrical Fund — Advertisement card announcing First Anniversary Festival, 6 Apr 1846
Folder 2.13 General Theatrical Fund — Broadside announcing First Anniversary Festival, 6 Apr 1846
Folder 5.20 Dickens-Irving Fellowship Centenary —Letter from Eleanor Roosevelt to [Enid Dickens?] Hawksley, 7 Dec 1937 (1 ALS)
Folder 5.21 Dickens-Irving Fellowship Centenary — invitation to Sarah Herbert to join the committee and come to the dinner, 1937
Folder 5.22 Macready, William Charles (actor and friend of Charles Dickens) — Illustrated poem: "The King and the Norse King…" (Bound MS, 6 pages)
Box 2 Stonehouse, James. Poem "Addressed to Charles Dickens Esq., on the occasion of his presiding at the Annual Soirée of the Mechanics' Institution, Liverpool, Monday, February 26, 1844" (1 ms draft, 2 edited ts, 1 final ts)
Map case — drawer 35 Map: "Johnson's England and Wales,"
Folder 4.1 Personal check from Dickens to W. Ring, 1864
Folder 5.23 Brochure for the George and Vulture, undated
Folder 5.24 Newspaper clippings mentioning Dickens, 1915-2003
Folder 5.25 Invitation to the California State University Northridge Library's Dickens dinner, 2003
Folder 5.28 Dickens House — admission ticket and brochure, undated

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