Benjamin Franklin: Epitaph (includes photostatic copies, facsimiles, and correspondence regarding)
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library > Yale Collection of Benjamin Franklin Manuscripts (GEN MSS 1457) > Series I: Materials by, to, and about Benjamin Franklin > Benjamin Franklin: Epitaph (includes photostatic copies, facsimiles, and correspondence regarding)
- Benjamin Franklin: Epitaph (includes photostatic copies, facsimiles, and correspondence regarding)
- From the Collection: Mason, William Smith, 1866-
- Published / Created
- circa 1727
- Gift of William Smith Mason, 1935, with later acquisitions. Transferred from Sterling Memorial Library, 1984., The core of the collection is the manuscript portion of the William Smith Mason Collection of Benjamin Franklin. Donated to Yale in 1935, the Mason-Franklin Collection, as it was often called, was perhaps the single most valuable gift to the Yale Library up until that time. The collection included, in addition to the extensive manuscript holdings, books, pamphlets, periodicals, broadsides, cartoons, and other printed documents by or about Franklin and his revolutionary contemporaries, as well as a rich research collection of histories, biographies, and bibliographies concerning Franklin and the history of his period. Over time, additions were made by Yale to this core collection. The library continued to acquire single manuscripts and small groups of manuscripts from various sources, sometimes from Mason or with funds supplied by Mason, and between 1935 and 1980 or so these were routinely added by Yale University Library staff to the manuscript files of the Mason-Franklin collection, often accompanied by correspondence, invoices, or other purchase documentation. Brief descriptions of these acquisitions can be found in the Yale University Library Gazette. Mason himself had often preserved his acquisition correspondence and invoices. While some of that information is filed with the originals in this collection, much of it was organized by Mason’s personal librarian, and can be found in GEN MSS 1459, the William Smith Mason Papers. In addition, small groups of research correspondence were routinely filed by the Yale Library at the end of the collection during this period. The Mason Collection and these early additions to it were housed in a separate Benjamin Franklin room in Sterling Memorial Library from 1936 until 1984. From 1954 on, that room also contained the staff of the newly established Papers of Benjamin Franklin Editorial Project, a vast scholarly publication project undertaken jointly by Yale University and the American Philosophical Society. The decades-long work necessary to produce an approximately 47-volume edition of Franklin’s work also resulted in changes to the original Mason-Franklin Collection. As the editorial project grew, the files were joined by notes, transcripts, photocopies of material held by other institutions, card sets, and other documentation included by library staff in the course of the project. In 1984, following discussions about collection security and climate control, the entire manuscript portion of the William Mason gift, along with nearly all pre-1763 printed material (cataloged separately), was transferred to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. At about the same time, accessioning practices for Franklin-related manuscripts and printed materials were revised and new acquisitions of Franklin manuscripts ceased to be interfiled with the original Mason gift. The collection remains a unique combination of a collector’s collection and a major research collection devoted to one of the founding fathers and drawn upon by a university-sponsored editorial project.
- Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
- Call Number
- GEN MSS 1457
- Search for Additional Digitized Material in This Collection
- Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
- Yale Collection of Benjamin Franklin Manuscripts
- Series I: Materials by, to, and about Benjamin Franklin, 1699–1833
- THIS ITEM Benjamin Franklin: Epitaph (includes photostatic copies, facsimiles, and correspondence regarding)
- Container / Volume
- Box 1, folder 9-10
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- Yale Collection of Benjamin Franklin Manuscripts. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
- Orbis Record
- Object ID (OID)