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Material relating to the R L Stevenson Memorial in St Giles, sculpted by Augustus Saint Gaudens

 Fonds — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-1549

Scope and Contents

The collection in 3 boxes is composed of correspondence, printed matter etc relating to the public subscription for the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial, including:

Box 1: File : General Committee

  1. 1 x copy of 'Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial' which includes subscription list and committee membership, 1897
  2. 1 x copy of 'Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial' which includes subscription list and committee membership, 1897, together with copy of return letter offering money and return envelope
  3. 1 x copy of 'Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial' which includes subscription list and committee membership, 1897
  4. 1 x copy of ms notes for 'Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial', 1897, signed 'David Masson', Chairman
  5. 1 x copy of 'Notes of progress of Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial'
  6. 1 x ts letter to The General Committee of the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial', December 1901
  7. 1 x ms 'List of Subscription', Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Fund
  8. 1 x printed matter, list of prominent individuals with statements of intention to subscribe, from Mr. William Archer to M. Stephane Mallarme
  9. 2 x copies printed letter from Walter Raleigh 'to supplement the enclosed circular with a few words on the part of the Local Committee'
  10. 1 x ts letter from R. A. Pinsent, 22 April 1897, stating that he 'shall be very glad to act as Honorary Treasurer'
  11. 1 x ms letter from C. Baxter, The Deptford Colour Printing Syndicate Ltd., 22 September 1896, to 'My dear Mitchell'
  12. 1 x ms letter from C. Baxter, The Deptford Colour Printing Syndicate Ltd., 1 October 1896, to 'My dear Mitchell'
  13. Bundle other items: correspondence, printed material, receipts etc

Box 1: File: Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham

  1. letters from R. A. Pinsent, Oliver Elton, A. W. Still and others, to J. H. Napier

Box 1: File: Subscriptions - returned letters

  1. Various

Box 1: File: Saint-Gaudens

  1. 4 x autograph letters signed 'Augustus Saint Gaudens' to J. H. Napier and to Sidney Colvin, undated and 1899, 1900, and envelopes

Box 1: File: Sidney Colvin

  1. Bundle of correspondence between Sidney Colvin and J. H. Napier

Box 1: File: Lord Rosebery

  1. Bundle of correspondence from Lord Rosebery to J. H. Napier and Colvin

Box 1: File: Overseas

  1. Bundle of overseas correspondence

Box 1: File: Memorial

  1. Bundle of material relating to the RLS Memorial itself

Box 2: File: Subscription

  1. Bundle of returned subscription forms, 1897-1898

Box 2: File: Autograph letter book

  1. Autograph letter book containing letters, cards etc., undated and 1892-1920

Box 2: File: Aberdeen, Glasgow, St. Andrews

  1. Bundle of correspondence inclusing several from Charles E. Beckett to J. H. Napier, undated and 1897

Box 2: File: Dublin, Oxford, Cambridge

  1. Letters, largely from Graham Balfour and R. A. Neil to J. H. Napier, undated and 1897

Box 2: File: other, Stevenson

  1. 1 x ts open letter dated 25 February 1890 to Rev. Dr. Hyde of Honolulu about Father Damien, published in 'Scots Observer, 3 and 10 May 1890
  2. 1 x copy ts 'An artist's reminiscences' by Walter Crane, pp.196-198 on 4-pages
  3. 1 x copy ts 'Stevenson's prayer-book', by Richard Burton. Extract pp.269-281
  4. 1 x copy ts 'from 'Millar's literary history of Scotland', Chpater XII
  5. 1 x index rerum, RLS Memorial
  6. 1 x copy ts 'Later essays', in a binder of Charles Jenner and Co.

Box 3

  1. 1 x copy of 'Aes Triplex', Robert Louis Stevenson, which had been one of 160 printed and given to Amercian subscribers of US$ 10 or more
  2. 1 x minute-book, Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Executive Committee, entries dated 13 January [1897] to 1 December 1899, and of Meeting opf gentlemen interested in proposed national memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson, dated 23 November 1896 to 2 December 1896, with enclosed copy of 'Letter to Mr Stevenson's Friends' autographed 'Misses Anderson', 'J.H.Napier' and 'Tena J. Bradley'
  3. 1 x letter-book, with minute notes, 23 November 1896, enclosed
  4. 1 x book with address list


  • Creation: 1892-1920


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

The renowned American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens was born on 1 March 1848 in Dublin. He was raised in New York, though he travelled to Europe for further training and artistic study before returning to the city.

He achieved success for his monuments commemorating heroes of the American Civil War, though he also had an interest in numismatics and designed the $20 'double eagle' gold coin for the US Mint in 1905–1907. He also designed the $10 'Indian Head' gold eagle coin.

Saint-Gaudens created the statue for the Charles Stewart Parnell monument at the top of Dublin's O'Connell Street, which was installed in 1911. His low-relief memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson, who died in Samoa in 1894, can be seen in the Moray Aisle of St. Giles, Edinburgh. The memorial was cast in bronze in 1904. Saint-Gaudens, had been an admirer of Stevenson.

Earlier, in Edinburgh on 10 December 1896, at a public meeting presided by Lord Rosebery, it had been decided that it was desirable that steps be taken 'to provide by Public Subscription a memorial in honour' of Robert Louis Stevenson. A first subscription list was published in May 1897, but in spite of wide support for the campaign insufficient money was raised for an open-air memorial. An approach was made to St. Giles for a mural monument. Saint-Gaudens visited Edinburgh in January 1899 to select a site for the memorial in the building and after various delays, it was placed into position in March 1904.

Other Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial committee office bearers were Professor Masson, Edinburgh (Chairman), and J. H. Napier, Edinburgh (Secretary).


3 boxes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material acquired through purchase. Accession no: E2014.38.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 9 June 2014

Material relating to the R. L. Stevenson Memorial (1904) in St Giles, sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907)
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379