Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)MS21
TitleCorbett Autograph Collection
Extent3 boxes
Date1679-c 1900
DescriptionA varied collection of autographs and letters compiled by John Corbett mainly consisting of the autographs of nineteenth century politicians, members of the aristocracy, literary and scientific figures and including some related printed engravings and illustrations. Included in the collection are a significant number of letters relating to prominent figures in the nineteenth century dramatic and theatrical world. These consist mainly of letters to Benjamin Nottingham Webster, manager of the Adelphi Theatre and Theatre Royal Haymarket in London by actors, dramatists and critics of the day including Charles Dickens and, together, provide an interesting glimpse into the lives of those involved in the theatre world at that time.
ArrangementItems in the collection were formerly arranged and listed within each volume page by page, but were not assigned individual numbers. A small number of items - for example, engravings and illustrations, newscuttings, envelopes and seals - were never listed. However, following conservation, it was not possible to return every item to its original page so each item has now been assigned an individual number and where there are several related items, each item now has a number followed by a letter. The catalogue listing now reflects, more closely, the arrangement of the items in the volumes. Items which were previously unlisted have now been included in the catalogue and numbered in sequence.
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue, or view the catalogue as a PDF file by clicking in the document field below. A paper copy is also available in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.
Access StatusOpen
Physical DescriptionThe contents of the three original volumes have been conserved and remounted in new volumes. Boxes 1 and 2 now each contain 3 volumes and box 3 is in 2 volumes.
Administrative HistoryJohn Corbett (1817-1901) of Impney, Droitwich, Worcestershire, Liberal MP for Droitwich, 1874-85 and Liberal Unionist MP for Mid Worcestershire, 1886-92. He was a promoter of the local salt industry and owned the Stoke Prior salt works near Droitwich. He was a generous benefactor to various Midland institutions including the University of Birmingham and following his death, his library was presented to the University. This gift, of some 8000 volumes, was particularly rich in county histories and works on art and economics.
Custodial HistoryThe three original volumes bore John Corbett's bookplate and it appears that they formed part of the gift of his library to the University in 1905. These volumes were formerly located at UC 1/ii.


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