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Robert W. Chambers Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: 26 Apr 1989

Biographical History

Robert William Chambers was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 26, 1865 to William and Caroline (Boughton) Chambers. Chambers attended the Art Students' League in New York, as well as the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julien in Paris, France. In 1898, he married Elsa Vaughn Moller, with whom he had one son.

Chambers is known as being an author and novelist, as well as an illustrator for publications such as for Life, Truth, and Vogue magazines. Perhaps his best known work is his 1895 collection, The King in Yellow. Chambers is remembered for his supernatural horror fiction and his best-selling romance novels of the early 20th century.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Robert W. Chambers Collection consists of eleven outgoing letters written between 1903 and 1932 by Chambers and his wife, Elsie. The letters are a mixture of personal and business items and include this elucidation for Miss Whiting about one of Chamber's novels, Cardigan:

Silver Heels is composite. Cardigan is also composite, yet the character was suggested by a rather mysterious entry in Sir William Johnson's diary where he refers to "Micky" once or twice. Who this "Micky" was I do not know nor have I been able to learn. Possibly some unpublished papers of Sir William throw light upon the matter. These papers, I understand, are either in Albany or somewhere in Canada and I am on their trail.

Arrangement of the Collection

Most of the collection is arranged chronologically. The three letters written by Elsie Chambers are placed at the end of the collection, arranged chronologically.


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


American literature -- 19th century.
American literature -- 20th century.
Illustrators -- United States.
Novelists, American.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Robert W. Chambers Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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