The Milsand Archive - Catalogue of Collections

This section provides a catalogue of the collections in The Joseph Milsand Archive. The collections have been organized into six categories; these are described below.

Each entry follows a fairly standard format: a main heading followed by a description that can include inscriptions, editorial comments/publication details, and provenance. These elements are separated by a device (§). All items are located in the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University, as indicated at the end of the entry by the cue title “ABL/JMA” in square brackets.


Q. Books and Pamphlets

From all accounts, Milsand possessed an extensive library of nineteenth-century publications, with a strong emphasis on English literature. Unfortunately only a small fraction, mostly periodicals, has survived. Among the extant books is a rare copy of his Bianca Teobaldi (1842), published under the nom de plume of Antoine Dilmans. There are annotated first editions of the Brownings’ poetry that Milsand purchased before he met the poets and presentation copies of most of the Brownings’ subsequent works. Included are several gift items from Sarianna Browning to Milsand family members. Of particular interest is the only known surviving copy of RB’s A Selection from the Works of Robert Browning (1865), in eight parts in their original wrappers.


R. Periodicals

The Milsand archive is particularly strong in its holdings of journals, periodicals and newspapers. Early issues contain Milsand’s contributions under his nom de plume; later issues contain copies of his many articles on matters of French politics and religion. Many of the English papers were sent to Milsand by Browning or his sister and addresses appear in their hands. Included is a run of the Revue des Deux Mondes, January 1838–June 1872.


S. Manuscripts and Proof Sheets

Listed in this section are Milsand’s study notes dating from the 1830’s and a “Journal intime” beginning in the 1870’s. There are numerous manuscripts of published articles, including those on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, William Blake, Thomas Carlyle, Martin Luther and John Ruskin. Many of these manuscripts are accompanied by galley and page proof.


T. Albums

Over forty albums reflect the interests of members of the Milsand family. Of particular note are those albums that belonged to Milsand’s daughter Claire, which contain contributions by their wide circle of friends. Browning’s contribution is a fair copy of his “Hervé Riel,” signed and dated “Croisic, Sept 30. ’67” and “London, March 9. ’70.”


U. Sketches and Photographs

This section lists a pencil sketch by Browning of “Stigant Episcopus,” presumably drawn for and given to Claire Milsand on a visit to the Bayeux Tapestries with the Milsand family in September 1870. There are also sketches by Sarianna Browning, including one of Mrs. Sutherland Orr. Among the photographs are three of Browning, signed and dated by him.


V. Personal Effects and Miscellaneous Documents

The archive includes Milsand’s 1871–1872 passport, carried on his visits to England during those years, and a printed railway time table used for his 1873 journey to London. Various Milsand diplomas are in the collection; also a copy, in RB’s hand, of the 1867 diploma conferred on him by Oxford University. Nearly 250 calling cards reveal the diversity of the Milsand circle.