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About the Letters

This section of the Thomas Gray Archive contains a digital edition of Gray's known correspondence encoded in TEI/XML. There are also detailed bibliographic records for all 651 known original, copied, or published letters written by or to the poet. Each record is accompanied by digitised images of the manuscript (where available) or digitised images of the first printing.

About the letter manuscripts

The majority of the letters survive in autograph MSS or (near) contemporary transcripts. There are 133 letters for which no MS copy has yet been located, 59 letters are known to have existed, but have not survived. William Mason, who was authorized by Gray in his will to "preserve or destroy [Gray's papers] at his own discretion", edited many of Gray's letters for his edition of 1775, which for a number of letters is now the only authority. Today most of Gray's letters are preserved in libraries, archives, and museums around the world. A few are still privately owned.

About this catalogue

This correspondence catalogue is a standards-based and up-to-date record of Gray's known correspondence and is intended as a research tool for Gray scholars. It is work in progress: information on dates, contents, and contexts of the letters will be added and updated on a regular basis. Please see this help section for more information, and contact the editor with any queries regarding this resource, with information to add, or corrections to make.