Manuscript Collections

The manuscript collections of the Helen Farr Sloan Library focus on three major collecting areas, each complementary to the strengths of the Museum’s permanent art collection. These collections, in conjunction with the book and Museum art collections, contribute to a unique research opportunity at the Delaware Art Museum.


Waterwillow-webSamuel Bancroft Jr., a successful Wilmington textile manufacturer, did not begin collecting the art of the Pre-Raphaelites until the last half of his life. Bancroft’s passion and resolve quickly made up for his late start. From 1890 to his death in 1915, Bancroft amassed one of the most important collections of Pre-Raphaelite art in America, with special emphasis on the works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Bancroft was an impassioned collector of Pre-Raphaelite art, but he also strove to understand all aspects of the Pre-Raphaelites’ lives.

His collection soon included published books, handwritten manuscripts, exhibition catalogues, and even personal letters of the artists. With the donation of Bancroft’s entire collection to the Delaware Art Museum in 1935, the Library and Manuscript collections were formed.


Howard-pyle-webThe Howard Pyle Manuscript Collection documents the life and work of one of the most influential American illustrators of all time. Howard Pyle’s work and teachings ushered in the golden age of American illustration, and influenced generations of illustrators in the United States. The manuscript collection includes Pyle’s correspondence, lectures, photographs, newspaper clippings, as well as scrapbooks of his book and magazine illustrations.
Complementary to the Pyle collection, the Library also collects manuscript materials of Pyle’s students. Important collections exist for artist/illustrators such as Gayle Porter Hoskins, Bertha Corson Day Bates, Elizabeth Shippen Green, N.C. Wyeth, Stanley Arthurs, Harvey Dunn, Katherine Pyle, and Maxfield Parrish. The Library is fortunate to have an extensive manuscript collection devoted to Howard Pyle’s student, Frank Schoonover. The Schoonover Manuscript Collection includes biographical materials, the artist’s personal record keeping, correspondence, photographs, picture files of models, and memorabilia.


sloan-on-roof-webJohn Sloan was one of the most important American painters and printmakers of the first half of the 20th century. As a member of “The Eight”, John Sloan became known for his gritty realism in the early years of the 20th century, and is considered seminal to the Ashcan School of Art.Helen Farr Sloan, widow of John Sloan and benefactor to the Museum, formally donated Sloan’s extensive library as well as the materials that would form the manuscript collection in the Spring of 1978.


Click collections highlighted in color for finding aid, listed in alphabetical order by title.

Arthurs, Stanley Massey, manuscript collection
Ashley, Clifford W., files

Baldridge, Cyrus Leroy files
Bancroft, Samuel and Mary R., manuscript collection
Bates, Bertha Corson Day, manuscript collection
Beerbohm, Max, caricatures 
Chalfant, Jefferson David, papers
Chapin, James, papers 
Chic  illustration collection, 1880-1881 
Crite, Allan Rohan photographic material
Cronin, David Edward, watercolors
Davies, Arthur B., papers
Davies, Arthur B., printing plates
Virginia M. Davies, correspondence, 1891-1935
Dunn, Harvey, files
East, Alfred, correspondence
Elliott, Elizabeth Shippen Green, files
Elliott, Elizabeth Shippen Green, photographs
Elliot, Huger, papers, 1943-1948
Fisher, Harrison, photograph and book jacket
Fraczkowski, Joseph, papers
Frith, William Powell, correspondence
Glackens, William, tear sheets
Hammitt, Clawson, photograph 
Homer, William Innes, research papers on Thomas Pollock Anshutz
Homer, William Innes, research papers on Robert Henri 
Hoskins, Gayle Porter, manuscript collection
Hoskins Family, scrapbook, 185x-1953
Judge Magazine, illustration collection
Lindsey, Albert Mumford, papers
Luks, George Benjamin, papers, 1920-1994
Marsh, Reginald, negatives
Myers, Jerome, papers 
Norris, Howes, Jr., autograph collection
Oakley, Violet, papers
Oakley, Thornton, papers
Outcault, R.F., photograph
Pach, Walter, papers
Parrish, Maxfield, illustrated letters to Henry Bancroft, 1884-1909
Peets, Orville, correspondence, 1944-1958

Perlman, Bennard B., papers
Puck Magazine, illustrations
Pyle, Howard, manuscript collection
Pyle, Katharine, letters, 1929-1936 and undated
Pyle, Katharine, papers
Pyle student Sketch Club correspondence and sketches, 1903-1905
Records of Art in Wilmington
Rockwell, Norman, collection of Saturday Evening Post covers, 1919-1976
Schoonover, Frank E., manuscript collection
Shinn, Everett, papers
Sloan, Helen Farr, autograph collection, 1886-1964
Sloan, John, manuscript collection
Sloan, John, correspondence to Will and Selma Shuster, undated and 1921-1947
Studio Group, archive
Students of Howard Pyle, files
White, Amelia Elizabeth, papers
Ward (Spy), Leslie Matthew, papers
Winter, Charles and Alice Beach, papers
Wireman, Katharine Richardson, archives
Wyeth, N.C., papers