Early Collectors and Donors: Sophia Thoreau and Her Brother's Manuscripts and Books

10.  Henry David Thoreau.  Field-Notes of Surveys Made by Henry D. Thoreau Since November 1849, 1849-1861.

HDT, field notes -- cover

HDT Field Notes
Title Page

Ink and some pencil in bound volume of blue lined paper.  From the Henry David Thoreau Papers (part of the CFPL Vault Collection).  Deposited in the library by Sophia E. Thoreau, 1874/1875; bequeathed by her, 1876/1877.

When Henry Thoreau went out into the field to gather the data necessary to prepare a survey, he jotted down information on loose pieces of paper and later copied it into this separate bound volume, which served as a permanent record of his professional work.  When he died, the field notes were with the manuscripts that Sophia Thoreau deposited in and later bequeathed to the Concord Free Public Library.  Because Thoreau’s literary capital and collectability have increased dramatically from the mid-twentieth century, Thoreau surveys that show up on the market command prices on a par with other manuscript material related to the author.


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