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Anna Ticknor Papers, 1835 - 1837Manuscript MS-1249

Full Finding Aid


Anna Ticknor Papers, 1835 - 1837

Call Number:

Manuscript MS-1249

Collection Dates:

1835 - 1837

Size of Collection:

1 box (1.5 linear ft.)


Anna Ticknor (1800-1885), wife of George Ticknor. The collection consists of eight diaries of her travels through Europe with her family from 1835-1837.

Access to Collection:


Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Access to Collection


Use Restrictions

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

Contains eight diaries documenting Anna Ticknor's European travels from 1835-1837. The diaries contain detailed descriptions of activities, including stagecoach rides, booksellers' dinners, and visits to artists' galleries and factories. Anna's first diary begins on May 25th, 1835 and the eighth concludes on December 13, 1837. No detailed entries exist after this date, though a rough outline of events from December 12, 1837 to January 3, 1838 includes the names of friends who called, theaters they attended, and the arrival of letters.


Anna Ticknor was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on September 23, 1800. Anna was the daughter of wealthy Boston merchant, Samuel Eliot, and the wife of the American academic and Hispanist, George Ticknor. The couple had four children, two of whom died in early childhood. Anna died on February 14th, 1885 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Series, Box & Folder List

Series 1, Diaries, 1835-1837

Europe, 1835-1837.

Access Restrictions


Box: 1, Dates: 1835-1837

Access Restrictions


Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Volume I, May - September 1835

    Anna Ticknor describes how it feels to make a long sea voyage which nearly ends in catastrophe. She gives her first impressions of Liverpool, Birmingham, and London. She is horrified by examples of poverty and degradation, while enchanted by examples of wealth and luxury. She meets Maria Edgeworth, Mary Russel Mitford, the Wordsworths, and the Southeys.

  • Folder: 2, Volume II, September - November 1835

    Contains reports on daily life at several English country houses and long passages on the York Music Festival, the Doncaster races, Wentworth House, and the Fitzwilliam family.

  • Folder: 3, Volume III, November 1835 - May 1836

    Contains general impressions of the Continent, but also detailed and informative accounts of life in Dresden, where the Ticknors resided during the winter of 1835-36. Along with her husband Anna attends balls and befriends aristocrats and members of the royal family, including the future king of Saxony. Anna provides descriptions of scenes at court, as well as her response to works of art. The volume ends with her comments on the journey from Dresden to Berlin.

  • Folder: 4, Volume IV, May - August 1836

    Report on three cities – Berlin, Vienna, and Munich. In each, Anna visits museums, galleries, and institutes. Among the highlights of this volume are Anna's first meeting with Alexander von Humboldt; several dinners in different cities which allow her to comment on various styles of formal entertainment; and visits to a large number of churches and monasteries on the way from Vienna to Munich. Anna recalls a happy stay at the castle of Count and Countess Thum of Howenstein.

  • Folder: 5, Volume V, August - December 1836

    The family begins in Munich and ends in Rome. From Munich they go to Bern; they travel through the Swiss Alps, enter Italy by way of the Simplon Road, spend a week in Turin, a week in Milan, several days in quarantine at Castel Franco, and then nearly a month in Florence. Anna tells a story of the ascent of Righi by horseback and a nighttime storm at the summit, and rumors of cholera and the squalid condition of people in various parts of northern Italy. In Milan, at the Scala, Anna is enchanted by the opera, but puzzled at the ballet. The Ticknors continue to keep in touch with important people, including the Grand Duke in Florence.

  • Folder: 6, Volume VI, December 1836 - March 1837

    This volume is devoted almost exclusively to the Ticknor family's stay in Rome. They arrived in early December, and stayed in spacious quarters on the Pincio. Mrs. Ticknor's remarks are largely focused on the art world and cultural treasures she found there. However, Anna was unenthusiastic about Roman society, especially Italian female aristocrats.

  • Folder: 7, Volume VII, March - July 1837

    The Ticknors head north toward Paris. This volume deals with their final months in Rome and the family's travels to Perugia, Florence, Genoa, Venice, and the Lepontine Alps. Anna Ticknor chronicles days filled with art and language lessons, visits to museums and galleries, and tours of Rome. By the end of this journal, the family visits La Spezia and travels along the mountains of Italy's north.

  • Folder: 8, Volume VIII, July - December 1837

    In this volume of her journal, Anna Ticknor displays her interest with the Italian and Swiss Alps, the Rhine River Valley, and the botanical gardens of Liège and Paris. Her entries reveal her sharp eye for native costume, peasant crafts, and rural architecture. At the Bellagio, near the Splugen Pass, she finds comfort in lounging and drinking in the natural world around her.

Finding Aids