Collection inventory


Finding Aids

Richard Francis Burton Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University


Finding aid created by: FED
Date: Apr 1971

Revision history:
25 Apr 2010 converted to EAD (MRC)
20 Dec 2016 rehoused, inventory updated, index code updated (MS, MRC)

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890.
Title: Richard Francis Burton Papers
Dates: 1855-1891
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: British explorer of India and Africa, world traveler, orientalist, author, linguist, translator of The Arabian nights. Collection includes correspondence (1855-1891); contracts with publishers; and essays by Burton. Correspondence includes letters from Lady Burton (Isabel Arundell), including some to Algernon Charles Swinburne, and letters by Burton regarding Africa and the Orient.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) was a 19th century British explorer, translator, Orientalist, author, linguist, poet and translator of The Arabian nights.

Born in Devon, England, Burton's early education was largely from tutors due to his family's habit of extensive and frequent travel. He went to Trinity College, Oxford in 1840; upon his expulsion in 1842 he traveled to India, where he began his lifelong study of Eastern languages, societies and customs. The following years were filled with travel and adventure, including a pilgrimage to Mecca for which Burton disguised himself as a native, an exploit which made him famous. In the 1850s he explored the interior of Somali land and made an expedition to the sources of the Nile. In 1861 he married Isabel Arundell (1831-1896) and shortly thereafter entered the British foreign service and was consul in Fernando Po, Brazil, Damascus and Trieste. In his later years Burton produced many travel books as well as translations of The Arabian Nights and an edition of the Kama Sutra in English.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Richard Francis Burton Papers are arranged in four series: correspondence, legal records, writings, and miscellany. A small portion of the papers relate to Burton's wife, Lady Isabel Burton.

Correspondence, approximately 70 items, deal with Oriental languages, translation problems, theories about Africa, mining on the Gold Coast, foreign service and the like. There are also 17 letters from Lady Isabel, three of which are to the British poet Algernon Swinburne.

Legal records consists of two agreements between publishing houses and Lady Isabel.

Writings consist of two articles and two book reviews by Burton, in both published and draft formats.

Miscellany contains a copy of a contemporary review of Burton's translation of The Lusiads and a few other items of ephemera.


Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically; an index to correspondents appears at the end of this inventory. Other material is arranged alphabetically by type or title.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions: The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions: Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.


Subject Headings

Persons

Burton family.
Burton, Isabel, Lady, 1831-1896.
Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890.
Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 1837-1909.

Subjects

Authors and publishers -- Contracts and specifications.
Explorers.
Translators.

Places

Africa -- Discovery and exploration.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Contracts.
Correspondence.
Essays.
Manuscripts for publication.

Occupations

Authors.
Explorers.
Translators.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Richard Francis Burton Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Frederick P. Hier, 1955.

Purchase, 1955-1969.


Table of Contents

Correspondence

Legal records

Memorabilia - Scrapbooks

Writings

Miscellaneous

Index to correspondence


Inventory

Correspondence
Box 1 1855, 1865, 1868-1891, undated (21 folders)
Box 1 Baddeley, St. Clair 1883-1889 - album of letters from Burton
Legal records
Box 1 Agreement, I. Burton with H. King & Co. 1875
Box 1 Agreement, I. Burton with W. Tinsley 1868
Memorabilia - Scrapbooks
Oversize 2 "Agents" 1870-1888 - primarily accounting documents in scrapbook form, with some legal material
See also Commissions, below, for items which were laid in and have been foldered separately for preservation purposes.
Oversize 1 "Arabian Nights" 1885-1886 - clippings of reviews of the 1885 book 'Arabian Nights', including correspondence
Box 1 "Burton's Lusiads" 1876-1889 - clippings and reviews of the 1880 book of Burton's, including correspondence
Oversize 2 [Clippings] 1875, 1886-1887, undated
Oversize 2 Commissions [from the 'Agents' scrapbook] 1843, 1846, 1872, 1883
These items were originally laid in the "Agent" scrapbook above, but have been foldered separately for protections. Items include letters from the Governor Council in Bombay for Burton's Indian Army service, a letter of appointment as Consul to Austria in Trieste, and an appointment letter as Knight Commander in the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George from Queen Victoria.
Oversize 2 "Durrants and other press clippings 1893, chiefly on 'Life' " 1885-1896
Box 1 "The Inner Life of Syria, Palestine, and the Holy Land" 1975-1876 - clippings and reviews of the 1875 book by Lady Isabel Burton (Mrs. Richard Burton) along with correspondence
Box 2 "Isabel Burton Scraps also Sir Richard's from June'88 to February '89" 1880-1881, 1888-1889
Box 2 [Lady Burton] Scrapbook 1886-1888 - clippings mainly about Isabel Burton's translations of her husband's works
Writings
Articles
Box 2 Jose Basilio de Gama, the Man and the Poet circa 1878
Box 2 This is How the War Began 1882
Book reviews
Box 2 The Life of Stratford Canning by S, Lane-Poole 1888 - reproduction from The Academy (2 folders)
Box 2 Travels in Tunisia by A. Graham and H. S. Ashbee 1888 - drafts and reproduction (2 folders)
Miscellaneous
Box 2 Review of The Lusiads, other items 1861-1881

Index to correspondence