Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson museums and library collections

Silverado | Edinburgh  | Saranac | Monterey | Vailima | Monastier | Brandywine (Wyeth)

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The Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum.
1490 Library Lane St. Helena, Napa Valley, CA . (Mailing address: P.O. Box 409, St. Helena, CA  94574, USA.) Phone: 707-963-3757, Fax: 707-963-0917. Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12 - 4 (the website mentions 'scheduled appointments outside of normal operating hours', but at the moment these are unlikely).

Founded in 1969 by Norman H. and Charlotte Strouse, the museum has a wide-ranging collection including letters (7 volumes of Fanny’s letters, some of Stevenson’s childhood letters, the galley proofs of Colvin’s 1899 edition of the Letters); manuscripts (including Lloyd Osbourne’s Casco diary; 38 poems and verse fragments; notebooks and notebook pages; a page of the draft of Jekyll and Hyde and a page of the final manuscript; 'Note' to The Master of Ballantrae; 'A Mountain Town in France'; notebook with 'On the Art of Literature'; version of 'Lay Morals'; Notes on Niue (Savage Island, Janet Nichol cruise 1890); single leaf containing part of ch 6 of Weir of Hermiston; Sam Osbourne's 1876 scrapbook with many of Belle's drawings of the life of art students in Grez and Paris); photocopies of the Monterey Scrapbooks; first editions; paintings (including works by Fanny Stevenson and Joe Strong), sculptures, photographs; his marriage license and wedding ring and other memorabilia (including S’s lead soldiers and the desk at which he worked) and over a hundred books from his library in Samoa (including the Hokusai books he bought with his payment for Treasure Island).

No published catalogue; incomplete catalogue at the museum.

Contact: Dorothy Mackay-Collin, Director, or Linda Brown, Assistant Director. Email:

The Writers' Museum, Edinburgh.
Lady Stair’s House, Lady Stairs Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PA.
Hours: 10-5 Mon-Sat all year (and also 2-5 Sun during Edinburgh Festival only).

Significant collection of personal items (including Stevenson’s pipe, fishing rod, ring, riding boots and cap, and the ‘Davos’ printing press on which he and Lloyd produced Moral Emblems and The Graver and the Pen), manuscripts (including many of Stevenson’s letters to W.E. Henley and Alison Cunningham; 5 poems), paintings (including a portrait by Nerli) and an extensive archive of photographs relating to the life and work of Robert Louis Stevenson. Photocopies of the Monterey Scrapbooks.

See: Elaine Greig (2005). ‘Unfinished Business’. Textualities. A presentation of the Stevenson collection at the Edinburgh Writers’ Museum along with appropriate quotations.


Bethune, Andrew & Ronald Davies [or: Edinburgh City Libraries] (1978). Robert Louis Stevenson : supplementary catalogue of the Stevenson Collection in the Edinburgh Room with a select list of books and manuscripts in Lady Stair’s House Museum. Edinburgh : Edinburgh City Libraries.

Contact: Elaine Greig, Curator. Tel: +44/131/529 4064; Fax: +44/131/220 5057; Email:

Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage (Baker Cottage), Saranac Lake.
Web site:
11 Stevenson Lane, Saranac Lake NY 12983.
Hours: 9.30-12 and 1-4.30, July 1-September 15; closed Mondays.

Stevenson stayed here with his mother, Fanny, and Lloyd from October 1887 to April 1888. While here he wrote several essays for Scribner’s Magazine (‘A Chapter on Dreams’, ‘The Lantern Bearers’, ‘Beggars’, ‘Pulvis et Umbra’, ‘Gentlemen’, ‘Some Gentlemen in Fiction’, ‘Popular Authors’, all later included in Across the Plains); he began writing The Master of Ballantrae; and he and Lloyd worked on The Wrong Box. It was during his stay here that he quarrelled with his friend and collaborator W.H. Henley.

The first Stevenson museum to open (1915), it received donations from Lloyd and Belle after the death of Fanny. The Museum contains the original furniture from Stevenson’s stay, books and ms materials from the Stevenson Society of America (seven albums of photographs and newspaper cuttings), two of Stevenson’s mother’s scrapbooks of reviews (and photocopies of the Monterey Scrapbooks), paintings, photographs, Davos woodcut blocks, and memorabilia (boots and beaver coat worn at Saranac; velvet jacket; a yachting cap from the South Seas period); bronze plaque by Gutzon Borglum (1916). The mantelpiece has burns where Stevenson left and forgot lighted cigarettes.

The Scrapbooks are: Scrapbook I (1874-1881, with large sections on An Inland Voyage and Travels with a Donkey), Scrapbook III (1886-7, with much on Jekyll and Hyde and Kidnapped), Scrapbook VII (‘1894: In Memoriam’). The Museum also has another scrapbook presented by Col. Walter Scott with a multitude of interesting articles spanning decades. (Four other scrapbooks are at Monterey with a fifth scrapbook mostly of biographical cuttings on the Stevensons and Balfours.)

Contact: Michael Delahant, Resident Curator. Tel. 518/891-1462 The Museum is also open throughout the year by special appointment with the Resident Curator. 

Stevenson House State Historical Monument, Monterey.
530 Houston Street, Post Office Box 2562, Monterey, California 93942

Girardin’s French House where RLS lived from September to December 1879, waiting for Fanny’s divorce and working on The Amateur Emigrant, ‘Pavilion on the Links’, and his essay on Thoreau. It is now a memorial museum containing articles of furniture, first editions, manuscripts, Stevenson’s mother’s scrapbooks, Fanny’s painting of the bridge at Grez, portraits of Stevenson (by Fanny, Joe Strong and A.J. Daplyn), Fanny’s Samoa diary, four of Stevenson’s mother’s scrapbooks of reviews, photographs and memorabilia given by members of his family.

The six Scrapbooks (Field/Strong Collection iv.8, Boxes 9-12) are: Monterey 1 (Dec. 1881- Feb. 6 1886); Monterey 2 (Sept 7 1887-Nov 11 1890); Monterey 3 ‘Mostly Biographical material on the Stevensons & Balfours’; Monterey 4 (June 19 1889 -Apr 15 1893); Monterey 5 (May 14 1893 - Nov 22 1894). (Three other Scrapbooks are at Saranac; 1876-81, 1886-7 and 1894 'in memoriam') There is also an index (Stevenson House Administrative Records, Box 1, Folder iv).


Lori Lindberg (2002). Guide to the Stevenson House Collection. San Francisco: California State Parks.

and online at

Information pages at Monterey County Historical Society  and at

On first arrival in Monterey and during Fanny’s initial indecision about divorce Stevenson took a horse to go camping in the Carmel Valley southeast of the town. Here he collapsed and was looked after for two weeks at the goat-farm of Jonathan Wright.

Contact: Kris Quist, Curator: (831) 647-6206 ;

Samoa Robert Louis Stevenson Museum at Vailima, Western Samoa
Contact (in USA): Jim Winegar, P.O. Box 842, Provo, UT 84604. Phone (801) 225 1929; Fax (801) 225 5046. (In Samoa): Leaupepe Latu Leaupepe, Samoa R.L.S. Museum at Vailima, P.O. Box 850, Apia, Western Samoa. Phone (685) 20 798; Fax (685) 25 428.

Tusitala resided in Western Samoa the last five years of his life, built his home there at Vailima, above Apia, and is buried on top of Mount Vaea, a short distance directly above the house.

On 5 December 1994, one hundred years after the death and burial of R.L.S., The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum/Preservation Foundation dedicated the completely restored building of Vailima and opened it to the public as the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.

Donors of R.L.S-related materials and historical artifacts are actively solicited. R.L.S. titles, especially rare and first editions are being collected currently.

Information at:

Monastier, Haute-Loire, France. Musée municipal, Château du Prieur

Open June-October.


One of the rooms is dedicated to Stevenson and his journey in the Cévennes. The town hall of Monastier also contains documents about Stevenson’s journey.


Some photographs at



Brandywine River Museum. The N.C. Wyeth Studio
U.S. Route
1, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Tel: (610) 388-2700.
Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Closed Christmas Day).

Contains ten paintings for illustrations to Treasure Island along with works from Kidnapped and The Black Arrow - displayed in rotation.

Information on Museum and Studio:
A description on the studio and museum; a brief biography of Wyeth

Yale University. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

121 Wall Street, P.O. Box 208240, New Haven, Connecticut, 06520-8240 USA
Tele.: 203-432-2977, Fax: 203-432-4047

The world’s largest collection of first and early editions of RLS (including translations), presentation copies, books from Stevenson’s library or with annotations by him; artwork, scrapbooks, photos, memorabilia; manuscripts: juvenilia (including ‘The Sunbeam Magazine’), many early essays, poems (including many from A Child’s Garden of Verses, Underwoods, Songs of Travel), The Wrong Box (ms and proofs), four leaves of the ‘Cévennes Journal’, An Inland Voyage, St. Ives, Catriona (intermediate version), The Amateur Emigrant (MS B 5956, galley proofs with comments by Colvin and Kegan Paul B65, 7403), The Ebb-tide, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (intermediate version, portions of the last three chapters, 24 ms. pp.: McKay 6934), ‘The Body Snatcher’, Weir of Hermiston (1894 ms and drafts)); the first Samoa notebook (B 6224); letters to, from and about Stevenson (including the Baxter correspondence; letters from Henley) - the Beinecke Library contains over half of the 2800 surviving letters written by Stevenson; also his mother’s diaries throughout his lifetime.

McKay, George L. (1951-64), A Stevenson Library. Catalogue of a Collection of Writings By and About Robert Louis Stevenson Formed by E.J. Beinecke. New Haven: Yale University Library. 6 vols.

On-line search:

N.B. At the moment, though Books should be catalogued in the online ORBIS catalogue, most Manuscript records are not available online, the majority being listed in vols 5 and 6 of the McKay catalogue. However there are the following on-line finding aids, mostly of non-McKay and post-McKay materials:
1) Uncatalogued Acquisitions
2) Robert Louis Stevenson Collection - Supplementary List
3) Edwin J. Beinecke's collector's files relating to Robert Louis Stevenson (Uncat Ms Vault 805)
There are also pages of Digital Images Online

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108. Phone: 626-405-2100

65 items. The collection includes journals and notebooks (5 journals, including the ‘Cévennes Journal’ (HM 2408); the ‘Silverado Journal’ (HM 650); the ‘Equator’ cruise journal (HM 2412); a notebook with an early draft of ‘John Nicholson’ and other miscellaneous jottings, and notebooks with drafts of many poems, including the ‘very important Notebook D’), 32 poems, 25 prose pieces (including manuscripts of all or part of: Kidnapped (final version); In the South Seas; ‘The Beach of Falesŕ’; St. Ives (final version)), 91 letters (including most of Stevenson’s letters to Will H. Low), 3 drawings, 1 sketchbook, and 11 music scores.

Harvard University, Houghton Library
Harvard Yard, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

75 letters and 10 literary mss.: letters to Colvin from the South Seas, letters to Henry James; manuscripts (Memoirs of himself, ‘Markheim’, final version of Catriona); corrected galley proofs of ‘Confessions of a Unionist’.

Rosenbach, A. S. W. (1913). A Catalogue of the Books and Manuscripts of Robert Louis Stevenson in the Library of the Late Harry Elkins Widener. Philadelphia: (privately printed).

Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
29 East 36th Street, New York, NY 10016. Phone: (212) 685-0610
Reading Room open 9.30-4.30, Mon-Fri.; applications for readers ticket

Partial "Printer’s Copy" (final version) of Jekyll and Hyde [MA 628]; 1892 ms of Weir of Hermiston

Princeton University Library
Princeton University Library, One Washington Road, Princeton, New Jersey 08544

Archives of Charles Scribner’s Sons (C0101); Manuscripts (2 cancelled pages of the Jekyll and Hyde "Notebook Draft" [Morris L. Parrish Collection], juvenile story ‘The plague cellar’, earliest ms. of St Ives); two boxes of original 19th-century photographs of RLS.

Wainwright, Alexander D. [or: Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections] (1971). Robert Louis Stevenson : a catalogue of the Henry E. Gerstley Stevenson Collection, the Stevenson section of the Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists, and items from other collections in the Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections of the Princeton University Library. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton

The Catalogue of the Stevenson collection in the Parrish collection of Victorian Novelists is now available on-line in a pdf format. There are two files that can be accessed: Items acquired since 1971 (a small file that can be easily consulted) and the main 1971 catalogue by Alexander Wainwright, which is the one that gives the problems.


Here’s the way through the labyrinth to the Stevenson catalogues (or just simply click on the last URLs in this sequence): > Library Catalogs > Other Princeton Catalogs: Rare books and special collections finding aids > Finding aids and collections descriptions > M to Z  > Parrish: Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists (A Finding Aid prepared by Sylvia Yu) at > scroll down to the bottom of the page and: Related Publications: Index of /rbsc2/parrish at > scroll down to Stevenson.6.pdf  (the big file) and Stevenson.index.pdf (the small file)


Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists C0171, box 24:
24.9               Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift, 1840-1914, Miscellaneous Correspondence
24.10, 11      
RLS, Miscellaneous Correspondence

24.12               RLS, Letters to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Stevenson (parents)

24.13               RLS, Letters to Edmund Goss

24.14               RLS, Miscellaneous Documents

24.15               RLS, Catriona: draft of title page, under the title David Balfour

24.16               RLS, "Franklin... Dialogue concerning virtue and pleasure"


24.18               RLS, In the South Seas: chapter headings (Wainwright XIII.18)

24.19               RLS, The Master of Ballantrae: AMs, one leaf, mounted

24.20               RLS, St. Ives: title page

24.21               RLS, St. Ives: chapters 1-7

24.22               RLS, St. Ives: chapters 8-13

24.23               RLS, St. Ives: chapters 14-18

24.24               RLS, St. Ives: chapters 19-24

24.25               RLS, St. Ives: chapters 25-26 and miscellaneous leaves

24.26               RLS, "Though he that ever kind and true...": AMs of poem

24.27               RLS, The Wrecker: portion of Chapter XX

24.28               RLS, "The Young Chevalier" (8 lines of Stevenson's writing)

24.29               RLS, Pencil drawing of a village

24.30               RLS, Self-portrait in academic garb, matted

24.31               Stevenson, Thomas, 1818-1887, Miscellaneous Correspondence


Morris L. Parrish Collection of Victorian Novelists, Henry E. Gerstley Stevenson Collection, Wainwright XIII

XIII.1              The Beach of Falesŕ, 2pp AMs

XIII.2              musical manuscript, 1p. AMs

XIII.3              David Balfour [Catriona], title page 1 p. AMs

XIII.4              10 checks drawn by RLS 1886-7

XIII.5              ‘Cherish thou, O love’, 1p. AMs

XIII.6              codicil to will, 1892, 2pp. AMs

XIII.7              ‘Consolation’ (poem), 1 p. AMs

XIII.32            St.Ives, Ch. 1-24, 26-28 ; ch. 16-19, 25 and parts of 13, 15, 24 and 28 were printed from this Ms.

XIII.41            The Wrecker, 5 pp. AMs (part of ch. 20)



The British Library

Publishing agreements 1883-92 (Society of Authors Archive, Add MSS 56638-44), Correspondence with publishers about Stevenson’s works 1931-44 (Society of Authors Archive, Add MSS 56645-53), Letters to Gosse (Ashley MSS 1776-5056, A 1775-1796, B 1780-4310), Correspondence with William Archer (Add MS 45295), and with R.A: Mowbray (Add MS 40719, 28 letters); MS of ‘Ticonderoga’.

National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland

Letters from Stevenson (including 106 of his letters to Mrs Sitwell, also letters to Henley; letters to Blackwoods); letters to and from Baxter, Henley and others relating to the quarrel with Henley; S’s ‘Notebook T’; materials collected by Graham Balfour when preparing the first biography; juvenilia and essays; Stevenson’s copies (then presented to his parents) of Virginibus Puerisque and Underwoods with notes (65 in all) on where he wrote each essay and poem; the map drawn as frontispiece to Treasure Island; photographs (Gorrie collection).

Literary Manuscripts:

Acc. 10356:  'The History of Moses' (signed ‘R. L. B. Stevenzon’, composed at the age of 6, dictated to his mother, signed, with childish drawings, incl. watercolour picture of ‘Moses writing the 5 tables’ – sitting at a table looking towards God, just appearing over a tall altar – on cut-up mourning paper); same item also incl. early photo of ‘Cummy and RLS’ and prize ‘Happy Sunday Book of Printed pictures’; also copy of privately printed edition of the MS by A. Edward Newton (1919), and a note by Newton on his acquisition of the MS.
Acc.4534/153: 'Intermittent Lights' (Records of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, 1871)
Acc. 9690: 'Students Meeting and Class Excursion' (3 pp; account of an end-of-year party of the Engineering students and a class excursion the following day (April 1871))
MS 3794: 'Story of a Recluse' (unfinished story, 7 ff.)
Adv MSS 20 55 8: Graduation thesis in jurisprudence
F.5.d.20: Deacon Brodie (printed volume with annotations by Henley and (probably) Stevenson)
MS 3112: 'Random Memories: an Onlooker in Hell' (ff. 305-7; typed transcript ff. 308-311)
MS 9892: ‘Definition of Good Literature’ (1 f. of notes) in Balfour’s Notebook (ff. 18-19).
MS 19640: on 'Pain and Pleasure' 1 f. of notes (with a copy of 'Memory and Portraits')


MS 19637: Notebook T (?1883), 12 ff with 11 ff at the back: front (side without labels, so now apparently the back): f.3 drawing-room scene; f.4 drinking scene; f.4v notes for Black Arrow; f.5 list of character names for BA; f.6 map of BA; f.7 ch titles 1-8, 1-16; f.8 ch titles for BA 17-19, 11-24; f.9 calculations of pages for a vol of stories Otto, Lie, Thrawn, Will, MM and (added after) Franchard. Back (side with labels): f.1 tavern scene; f.4 drinking scene. At both front and back, poems of moral-emblems type.
MS 9822: 'Civil Law' c. 1874, with caricatures and scraps of verse
MS 9904: ‘Notebook R’, lecture notes on hydrostatics and electricity (P.G. Tait’s natural philosophy course 1867-8; date at the back: Monday March 2nd; p. 44, list of 11 plays, beginning ‘Edmund Fuller Tragedy in five acts’; p. 40 ff. draft of Act II, sc. iii of one of these (‘The Brothers’, a comedy about ‘a discovered will’); p. 17, map of an island with a bay and small island within it.
Acc. 10650: Notebook, including drafts of 'The Spaewife' c. 1881.
Acc. 11069: mfilm of notebook c. 1886 [no further info]



MS 9892: (i) misc.notes (1 f.); (ii) misc. articles by RLS, incl. 'Confessions of a Unionist' (written 1887; 4 galley slips); page proofs on Hawaii prepared by Colvin for 'In the South Seas'  in the Edinburgh Edition but not included (13 ff.).


MS 3790 (‘What can I wish’ frag, f.1), 3793 (‘Farewell to the farm’), 9821, 8790 ('The Iron Steed', 1875), 8791, 9754 (poem concerning RLS, f. 146), Acc 8842 ('Youth and Love'), Acc 11145 ('miscellaneous nonsense verse and English translations of')


MS 99: 102 letters to Mrs Sitwell

MS 19638 (with a copy of Treasure Island)'

MS 19369 (with a copy of 'Lay Morals')

MS 19640 (with ‘Memories and Portraits’ and a note by S on ‘Pain and pleasure’)

MS 19641, 19642 (with a copy of 'Underwoods', undated letters from S about early publications)

MS 3788-9, 3792

Adv. MSS 26.8.1 (to Baxter and Henley about the Henley quarrel, 78 ff.)

Av. MSS 26.8.2 (letters to Henley, 315 ff.)

Adv. MSS 26.8.3-5 (letters to Mrs Sitwell), includes Adv MSS 26.8.3 'Note (1875)' in the catalogue (brief letter to Mrs Sitwell announcing that he's passed the advocate's exam)

Adv. MSS 19.1.32 (letter 1871)
Also MS 4366, 4382, 4493: to Blackwoods the publishers MSS

MS 2522, 3364, 3278, 8790, 8791, 9821 (includes proof of Davos woodcut), 9828, 9755, 9983, 9891 (letters to and from RLS, mainly from Samoa), 10135, 10091

Letters and notes concerning: MS 170, 1044, 3355, 6295, 9786, 9862, 10790.


MS 9756: incl. large print of crew of the HMS Katoomba
MS 9907: photographs 1889, 1892-4, 1915, 1923, 1944, n.d., mainly of RLS and family (also S. Seas photos, incl. King Tembomuk)
MS 9908: album of photographs, n.d., views of Vailima, Visit of HMS Katoomba, Mataafa and his warriors
MS 9910: ff. 109, 112, 118, 136-7, 142
Adv MS 21.6.10: photos inllustrating the life of RLS
GRH.9 [3292]: The Gorrie collection of photographs


The Notes and Papers of Sir Graham Balfour, Stevenson's first biographer:

Acc. 9700, 1. diary of a visit to the USA, 2. letters 1891-2, trip to Hawaii, 3. ‘1892-3’ diary notes on Life at Vailima Aug-Nov 1892, trip to Fiji, Tonga etc., return to Samoa, life at Vailima Apr-Sept 1893, return to London via USA, 4. ‘Samoa 1894’, diary notes of journey from London, March-June 1894, life at Vailima June-Oct 1894, commonplaces and leaves written 1893, 5. ‘Diary Oct. 1894 – Feb. 1895’, 6. ‘Diary 1895-6’, 7. ‘Copies of my correspondence, Aug. – Dec. 1895 relating to the publication of Louis’ posthumous works. No value now’, 8. photos of RLS and others.
MS 9891 (bound in a large volume 9891-3 of collected documents) copies of letters by RLS and originals of letters to GB from Belle, from Baxter (about RLS's difficult financial position in 1894), a letter from RAMS to Fanny, letter from Nellie Sanchez to Fanny
MS 9892  1. misc. notes (f.1), 2. misc. articles by S, incl. 4 galley slips of ‘Confessions of a Unionist’ (wtn. 1887) (see Swearingen p. 122); notes incl. transcription of ‘Definition of good literature’ (f. 12)  – a one-page outline (‘Stevenson wrote a word or two under several headings of order, material, pattern, adornment of images and manner of treating a subject’, Swearingen p. 173). Below Stevenson’s notes Balfour wrote: ‘These holograph notes were written down probably in the autumn of 92, and were brought home by me among some waste paper in Sept ‘93’).

MS 9893, (i) extracts from magazines of articles by RLS 1884, n.d. (f. 1); (ii) transcripts and printed texts 1883-4, n.d., of misc. writings of S (44 ff.).

MS 9894 Correspondence 1884-1899; incl. letters answering Balfour’s questions about Stevenson in preparation for his biography); see also MS 9900. [Note: it may be here that we find "Fanny's comments on fragments of Balfour's typescript for the biography (Note: ‘There was never any attempt to suppress matter nor to modify statements. The abbreviations were practically all on points of style.’); also comments by LO."

MS 9895 Correspondence 1900-11 (sometimes called ‘Balfour Biography Notebook’), incl. many letters from those who knew S;  also letters 1900-15 relative to the quarrel between Mr and Mrs Lloyd Osbourne and the latter’s demand of restitution of letters from S, allegedly given to Mrs. K. Osbourne by Jane Whytt Balfour
MS 9896, Correspondence and other materials 1914-1949, incl. newspaper and magazine clippings (showing growing reaction to 'the Stevenson myth'); 1922-49 correspondence about the authenticity of The Hanging Judge.

MS 9897, (i) unpublished articles by Balfour, (ii) transcripts of articles about S, (ii) miscellaneous notes, including transcription of diaries 1851-3 of S’s mother;

MS 9898, 'Guardbook': copies and extracts of S’s letters (mainly to his mother)

MS 9899, 'Guardbook': typescript of S papers transcribed while on loan from FVdGS

MS 9900, Notebook 1895: transcriptions of S’s poems and prose; many letters to Baxter (These fragments & letters were transcribed by me from the original M.S.S. brought home by me from San Francisco. Graham Balfour. Oct. 1895’)

MS 9901, Balfour Notebook 1896: transcripts of essays by S and letters written to him (‘Transcribed by me from the originals for my private satisfaction. The originals were sent in my care by Mrs Stevenson in Aug 1895 for Sidney Colvin’s use in writing the Life. There was a big long box full of papers heaped together, which I sorted and arranged for Colvin in the winter of 1895-6 at Bendarroch, Ottery St. Mary’).  Includes transcript of the unpublished 15-page fragment ‘On the art of literature’ (MS Silverado).

MS 9902 'Fragments of Stevenson': transcripts of miscellaneous writings of S, incl. (p. 1 'Companion to the Cook Book', p. 11 'The Ideal House', p. 17 'A Reading Book' (list of books).

MS 9903, ‘Notebook used in writing Life of R.L.S. in 1900-01 with many extracts from letters, M.S. etc.’, with alphabetic index at the front; short quotations and calendars of S’s movements and writings

MS 9904 See under Stevenson’s ‘Notebooks’ above

MS 9905 cuttings (1890 - ?) concerning Stevenson and his works;

MS 9906 cuttings (1886 – 1937) about people and places associated with Stevenson;
MS 9909: scrapbook of newspaper cuttings 1894, 1904, 1927, n.d. about the South Seas

MS 9910: copy of ‘South Sea Bubbles’ by Earl of Pembroke and George Kingsley (1874); note dated 1929 by GB about dispute between S and Lord Pembroke about Queen Moe.

MS 9911, copy of Tr Is, partly collated by Balfour with Young Folks versions


MS 9912, typescript of an unpublished play ‘The Dust of Defeat’ by Lloyd Osbourne


Balfour's transcriptions of writings by Stevenson (MS 9897-9901) include the draft of an essay on 'Boer Independence', referred to as 'Balfour papers' (Box 1, ms. 140) in Colley's RLS and the Colonial Imagination p. 142 (Swearingen locates the Ms in Yale) and Balfour's transcription of the MS of '[Stevenson's] Companion to the Cook Book'


The Balfour family:

GD69: Papers connected with the Balfours of Pilrig; comprises legal documents deposited by Mrs Balfour Gedded from the 18t Century to the late 19th, including the marriage contracts of Willie and Henrietta Traquair who ‘in a garden green with me were king and queen.....’.

GD126 is from the Balfour-Melvilles mostly concerning Strathkinness, their estate in Fife.

GD192 is a miscellaneous collection from a Balfour-Melville descendent a Col. Davey, with many letters relating to the relationships of Margaret Stevenson’s aunts etc., who were the elders who watched the children in the garden of RLS’s infancy

Catalogues & Online Resources (i) Online catalogues Main catalogue (NLS collection); or (ii) Additional Online Resources (a) Scottish Bibliographies online (bibliographical database of works dealing with Scotland &c., 1987- ) (b) BOSLIT (Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation) – here, if a search under ‘title’ doesn’t work, try a ‘keyword’ search in the Advanced Search option.

Their website also has a ‘Digital Library’ section devoted to Robert Louis Stevenson with photos, illustrations etc.

Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia; Phone: 61 2 9273 1414, Fax: 61 2 9273 1255,

Manuscript of the 1890 printing of In the South Seas

University of South Carolina. The Thomas Cooper Library.
Department of Rare Books & Special Collections, Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA. Hours 8-4.30, Mon-Fri, except public holidays.

The RLS holdings include most first editions and many reprints from Inland Voyage on. Notable items are a letter from Stevenson to W. E. Henley, and the serial issues of Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Black Arrow, from Young Folks.

A checklist of RLS holdings, compiled by Bruce A. Bowlin, was issued in South Carolina Working Papers in Scottish Bibliography (1994), and an on-line list by Jason Pierce is available on the WWW; recent acquisitions are listed in USCAn, the library’s on-line catalogue, also available through the WWW.

Inquiries about the Scottish holdings, and the W. Ormiston Roy Visiting Research Fellowship, to: Patrick Scott, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections (

superb Robert Louis Stevenson on-line exhibit (ed. Jason A. Pierce, based on the 1994 centenary exhibition curated by Patrick Scott & Roger Mortimer, with assistance from Bruce Bowlin) [biographical and bibliographical survey based on first-editions interesting later editions, photographs, illustrations and manuscripts]


University of California Berkeley, Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000


Letters to his mother and father, to James M. Barrie, to Jules Simoneau and to others; a letter from his father; and letters, reminiscences, papers, etc., about him, assembled from various sources (BANC MSS C-H 107).

Elizabeth Strong, autobiographical sketch (undated, BANC MSS C-H 171): reminiscences of childhood in Samoa.

Papers collected by Anne Issler in her research and writing on Stevenson (BANC MSS C-H 169).

Stevenson-Osbourne family papers 1839-1970 (BANC MSS 71/281 c):. Letters written to various members of the Stevenson and Osbourne families from Jane Whyte Balfour, Lloyd Osbourne, Margaret I. (Balfour) Stevenson, Thomas Stevenson, and Isobel Strong. Last will and testament of Samuel Lloyd Osbourne; photocopies of letters of Lloyd Osbourne and Isobel Strong, concerning R.L. Stevenson's estate; extract from sermon preached on Stevenson's death; manuscripts by Lloyd Osbourne; ms. of an incomplete biography of R.L. Stevenson, author unknown. Letters of Lloyd Osbourne and Isobel Strong :photocopies (location of originals unknown). First draft of fifteen chapters of ‘Ramblings of a Housewife’ in S’s hand but based on Fanny’s experiences (fair copy Beinecke 7297).

Letters of Lloyd Osbourne and Isobel Strong (incl. 20 letters from Lloyd to Belle from Nice in 1940, BANC MSS 74/23).

Photos of Lloyd c1895, 1920 (BANC PIC 1980.114—PIC)



Syracuse University Library: Special Collections Research Center

222 Waverly Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244; (315) 443-2093


Robert Louis Stevenson Collection (


1) Three letters: 12 November 1878,  19 and 21 December 1880.

2) ‘Books and reading. / No. 2. How books have to be written’ (5 leaves)

3) ‘Did Chuchu sweat?’ (2 leaves)

4) ‘My first book / Treasure Island’ (8 leaves)

5) ‘St. Ives’ (1 leaf)

6) (i) ‘The tropics vanish, and meseems that I’; (ii) ‘To my old comrades’ [= ‘To My Old Familiars’]; (iii) ‘The House of Tembinoka’ (three poems from Songs of Travel (1895), not Underwoods (1887) as the catalogue has it).



Other Libraries

(1) U.S.A.

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York: The Lockwood Library
Has 39 books from Stevenson’s library

Columbia University Libraries: Rare Book and Manuscript Library
801 Butler Library, New York, New York NY 10027, USA; Tel 212 280-2231/2232
Has the MS of "Mock Trial" (NUC MS 65-1198)

Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC
Has ‘Autolycus in Service’, an early farce that may have been used for material for Prince Otto.

Georgetown University Library
Has the correspondence between Graham Green and Sir James Marjoribanks in which Greene expresses his admiration for RLS:

Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania
Magill Library
PR5489.G3 M8:  ‘The Geometry Notebook’—‘one of the most interesting surviving copybooks from S’s student days’ (Lewis). Contains interesting remarks that are similar to ‘An Apology for Idlers’

Nantucket Historical Association Research Library
7 Fair Street, Nantucket, MA 02554, USA;
Austin Strong (son of Belle) lived and died in Nantucket and some of his Stevenson possessions have ended up in the Library: a sketch of Stevenson, and artefacts (one of the mats draped over his coffin) and perhaps some books and manuscripts. Someone should go and see what is in the collection.

New York Public Library: Berg Collection
Letters and poems (incl. 'Robin and Ben'); Autolycus in Service; Great North Road; In the South Seas; The Manse; Le Monastier; Belle Strong's notes on what must come out of Clayton Hamilton's On the Trail of Stevenson and other Clayton Hamilton Stevenson papers; Nabokov’s lecture notes on Jekyll and Hyde; Nabokov's annotated copy of Jekyll and Hyde; 2 letters to RLS from Meredith (1878, 1894)

Andersen Library, University of Minesota, Mineapolis
113 Andersen Library, 612-624-4576
A ‘Treasure Island Collection’ of over 450 illustrated editions, collected by Lionel Johnson, were donated in 2000 to the Children’s Literature Research Collections. It includes the first printing of the first illustrated edition, published by Roberts Bros. of Boston in 1884.

Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia
2008-2010 DeLancey Place, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
MS of ‘Ticonderoga’ older than the one in the BL.

University of Rochester: Sibley Music Library
Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York NY 14604, USA; Tel 716 275-3046
Has musical mss.

Stanford University Library (Special Collections).
Isobel Strong papers 1949-52: Pen pal letters (May 1949-November 1955) from Mrs. Field to Hector Bolitho with comments by Mrs. Field about her step-father Robert Louis Stevenson. Also includes letters from Mrs. Field's nurse, pictures of Mrs. Field and Robert Louis Stevenson, clippings, Christmas cards, photocopy of a poem by Stevenson, and a manuscript, "A Pen-friendship, with Robert Louis Stevenson's Step-daughter" by Hector Bolitho.

University of Texas at Austin
‘A letter to Mr. Stevenson's friends’ privately printed by Lloyd Osbourne, describing Stevenson’s death. First edition of Moral Emblems, Testimonials in favour of Robert Louis Stevenson, advocate (1881), first editions.

Washington University in St. Louis: Special Collections, Olin Library

Olin Library, Campus Box 1061, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130; Tel (314) 935-5495;

The William Keeney Bixby Papers (WKB d. 1931): WTU00013 Box 16, Folders 138-143. 3 letters, Musical compositions; ‘The Sleeper Awakened’ (draft of a play); uncorr. Galleys of ‘Ticonderoga’; photo.


(2) U.K.

The Bodleian Library, Oxford
 1885-93 correspondence with Ida and Una Taylor (MS Eng lett c 2)


Other Internet resources

Historical Manuscripts Commission
A guide to Stevenson manuscripts worldwide with details about holdings in the UK is to be found at the UK Government’s Historical Manuscripts Commission at

The Scottish Archive Network  is a part of SCAN, the Scottish Archives Network. It has a site with transcripts of Scottish wills, including that of the entry in the Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court Inventories of an inventory of RLS’s property and a transcript of the London probate of RLS’s 1893 will, both made by Chalres Baxter in 1897 at; the will of RLS’s grandfather, Robert Stevenson (died 1850) at Both of these are available free as documents on famous Scots; for the will of Thomas Stevenson, RLS’s father, however, you have to pay Ł5. Note that if you search for ‘Robert Stevenson’ and ‘Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson’ in the main database you are asked to pay Ł5 for each document, with no information that they are freely available on the ‘famous Scots’ part of the site – it’s not clear if the documents you pay for are identical to those freely available, but it seems so.

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