HomeBrowseAdvanced SearchAboutHelpContact

Oscar Wegelin papers

Scope & content

The correspondence to Wegelin (circa 150 items) consists of letters from such scholars, littérateurs, and bibliographers as Robert F. Roden, A. Furman, Alfred Goldsmith, Charles F. Heartman, Harry Lyman Koopman, and others. There is much correspondence with institutions concerning the purchase of books from Wegelin's bookshop. A number of letters discuss the early American poetry and plays, as well as such writers as W.G. Simms, Samuel Miller Hageman, Jupiter Hammon, and others. There is also some discussion of Lincolniana. The Mabbott correspondence in general covers the period from 1900 to 1945, though some of it is dated after that time.

Wegelin's own correspondence (circa 100 items) extends from 1900 to 1966 and deals largely with routine business matters concerning the book trade. There is some correspondence following 1910 discussing a possible position in the John Carter Brown Library for Wegelin. Other letters discuss donations by Wegelin to Brown University.

Wegelin's prose manuscripts (25 items) include some apparently unpublished bibliographical essays; also included is a "Foreword" by Wegelin to A Letter of a '49er, the entire book having been copied by Mrs. Adele Wegelin.

Poetry manuscripts (circa 50 items) include a number of poems dedicated to Wegelin's friends and associates, e.g., Arthur B. Carlson, Elizabeth J. Wendell, Mendoza's Book Store, Susan E. Lyman, Vincent Portonova, and others.

Wegelin's plays (circa 60 items) are apparently unpublished, though some may have seen public performance. Almost all are short humorous skits or dialogues; some are in verse. Included with the plays are song lyrics by Wegelin.

In the collection are receipts (circa 80 items) which mainly record the sale of some of Wegelin's papers to Brown University. Some receipts record book sales from Wegelin's bookshop.

A few letters (5 items) are neither to or from Wegelin but discuss him. Of particular note is correspondence from H. L. Koopman to W. H .P. Faunce about Wegelin's possible position as a librarian at the John Carter Brown Library.

Printed materials (circa 50 items) include programs of short plays in which Wegelin is credited as actor or playwright. Most are programs from a theater group called the Nutmeg Club. There are a number of publications by Wegelin, including obituaries by him published in various book journals, clippings of his printed poetry, and articles on bibliographical matters. There are a few reviews of Wegelin's books, including those of Early American Plays 1714-1830 and the Simms bibliography. Also in the collection are miscellaneous prints, articles, and photostats of editions of the works of early American writers.