Title: Edmund Gosse Archive
Classmark: BC MS 19c Gosse
Creator(s): Gosse family
Main language: English; French; Swedish; Norwegian; Icelandic
Size and medium: 59 bound manuscript items, 108 boxes containing manuscript material (including 90 boxes of correspondence) along with photographs, drawings, and personalia, 2 folders, 1 poster roll, and 145 bound printed items.
Collection group(s): English Literature
The Gosse collection includes material from five generations of the Gosse family, but is largely the archive of Sir Edmund William Gosse (1849-1928), the writer and literary critic. The collection holds many of Sir Edmund’s manuscripts, photographs, drawings, personalia and books from his library. The collection also contains a facsimile of “The Book of Gosse” and a great number of original visiting cards recording his friends and acquaintances.
The Gosse Correspondence includes letters to and from many members of the Gosse family and is especially notable for an extensive collection of Sir Edmund’s incoming correspondence. The Gosse letters are not listed in this handlist, but are recorded in the Library’s Letters database which can be accessed via the following link:
The handlist is divided according to each member of the Gosse family. One upper-case letter of the alphabet represents a family member:
(A) Thomas Gosse
(B) Philip Henry Gosse
(C) Emily Gosse
(D) Edmund Gosse
(E) Ellen Gosse
(F) Philip Henry George Gosse
(G) Emily Teresa Gosse
(H) (Laura) Sylvia Gosse
In each case, the material is divided according to the following sections:
Section: Example of Shelfmark:
PRINTED MATERIAL BC 19c Gosse:
(1) By this person A-1 GOS (by T. Gosse)
(2) Relating to this person B-2 FRE (relating to P.H. Gosse, by Freeman)
(3) In possession of this person D-3 WOO (in possession of E.W., by Wood)
MANUSCRIPT MATERIAL BC MS 19c Gosse:
(1) MSS by this person D-1.2 (by E.W. Gosse)
(2) MSS relating to this person E-2.3 (relating to Ellen Gosse)
(3) Diaries F-3.4 (diary of P.H.G. Gosse)
(4) Drawings H-4.6 (drawing by L. S. Gosse)
PERSONALIA BC 19c Gosse D PER 2
PHOTOGRAPHS BC 19c Gosse H PHO 1
N.B. If a printed item contains manuscript material, this will be indicated as follows:
MS Manuscript material
• In the case of printed items, the first part of the shelfmark is given at the head of the section, e.g. BC 19c Gosse. The second part of the shelfmark is cited next to each entry in the handlist, e.g A-2 GOS [BOX 1].
• Please quote the complete shelfmark when requesting a printed item from the handlist:
Printed items e.g. BC 19c Gosse A-2 GOS [BOX 1]
• Manuscript items, photographs and personalia have unique numbers which should be cited in the following form:
Manuscripts e.g. BC MS 19c Gosse D 1.4
Photographs e.g. BC MS 19c Gosse D PHO 1
Personalia e.g. BC MS 19c Gosse D PER 2
Retrieval information for Staff:
• The material is listed in chronological order, but shelved in alphabetical order.
• Printed material is shelved according to the reference (e.g. B-2 STA) next to the bibliographic information.
• Loose, fragile, or pamphlet sized printed material is housed in numbered boxes or folders (in shelfmark order), indicated by, e.g. [BOX 1] or [FOLDER 5].
• Bound manuscript material is shelved in a separate sequence in alphabetical order according to the title. Each item is marked as [Bound] on the handlist.
• Loose manuscript material is stored in boxes marked with the respective person’s name and shelfmark, following the item numbers on the handlist within the box (where possible).
• Letters to and from Sir Edmund Gosse (i.e. The Gosse Correspondence) are not included in this handlist. A bound volume of letters and loose letters housed in boxes are shelved immediately after the Gosse Collection and are listed on the Letters Database: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/library/spcoll/letters/letlink.htm#gosse.
Further background information to the collection and Edmund Gosse can be found in 'A catalogue of the Gosse correspondence in the Brotherton Collection', with an introduction by Philip Gosse', 1950. A copy of this can be accessed in the Special Collections Reading room.
Additional item listed October 2017: artwork for 'Traveller's Rest' dustwrapper [BC MS 19c Gosse/F/3]
The Gosse collection includes material from five generations of the Gosse family, but is largely the archive of Sir Edmund William Gosse, the writer and literary critic. Seven members of Sir Edmund Gosse's family are represented in the collection. His grandfather, Thomas Gosse (1765-1844), was an engraver and itinerant portrait painter. His father, Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888), was a well-known natural historian and religious writer. In 1848 Philip Henry married Emily Gosse (1806-1857), who was also a popular devotional religious writer. Sir Edmund Gosse's wife, Ellen "Nellie" Gosse (1850-1929), was an artist and writer. All three of Edmund and Nellie Gosse's children are present in the collection; their only son, Philip Henry George Gosse (1879-1959), was a writer and physician, who gave many additional items to the Gosse collection in the 1950s. His sister, Emily Teresa "Tessa" Gosse is represented by some reminiscences about her father. Laura "Sylvia" Gosse (1881-1968) was an artist and painter, especially well-known for her etchings.
In the handlist the items are listed chronologically by person, but on the shelves they are arranged according to title or shelfmark. The Gosse correspondence is principally arranged by name of correspondent. The BC MS 19c Gosse catalogue is based on an historic inventory. The arrangement of material does not necessarily represent the original order of the archive and it is considered partly processed by an archivist. When making requests to consult, please be aware that there may be discrepancies between description and physical arrangement. The retrievable unit for this collection is file level.
Catalogues of archives are usually arranged in hierarchies - one hierarchy for each collection in the archive. The details on display will be of a record at a particular level of the hierarchy. There may be other records above, below, or alongside this record in the same hierarchy. The full hierarchy is shown below.
Books, manuscripts and archives in Special Collections are usually grouped together in collections. Catalogue records for individual objects link to a collection record, which show the object's context, and associated material.
You can see the full hierarchy under 'In this collection'.
Catalogues of archives are usually arranged in hierarchies - one hierarchy for each collection in the archive. The details on display will be of a record at a particular level of the hierarchy. There may be other records above, below, or alongside this record in the same hierarchy. You can see the full hierarchy under 'In this collection'.