The Lewis Walpole Library is a research center for eighteenth-century studies and an essential resource for the study of Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill. Its collections include important holdings of eighteenth-century British prints, drawings, manuscripts, rare books, paintings, and decorative arts. Given to Yale by Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis (1895-1979) and Annie Burr Lewis (1902-1959), the Lewis Walpole Library is located in Farmington, Connecticut, in several eighteenth-century buildings on a fourteen-acre campus. The Lewis Walpole Library is a department of Yale University Library and open to researchers.

At the library....

The Library will be CLOSED on Wednesday, March 21, due to the predicted snowstorm. We plan to reopen on Thursday, March 22.

Half-length portrait of Theodosia Burr Alston, depicting a young woman in a white empire dress with lace trim, her hair up in a cap, curls in frontThe library is looking forward to welcoming the Nag’s Head Portrait back to Farmington. The oil painting, thought to be of Theodosia Burr Alston, has been on loan to the Museum of the Albemarle since last summer. The painting was a feature in their current, long-term exhibit, Our Story: Life in the Albermarle. More information about the exhibit can be found on the museum website

The painting, along with the fate of the woman herself, are shrouded in mystery. There are many rumors and legends about the disappearance of the ship, one of the most popular being that it was attacked by pirates and Theodosia was forced to walk the plank. What we do know is that Theodosia Burr Alston left South Carolina and set sail for New York in 1812 to visit her father, former Vice President Aaron Burr. There was a storm and the ship was lost at sea. The portrait, which was purportedly on board, allegedly resurfaced in 1869, in the possession of a woman in North Carolina.  Many years later it was purchased by the aunt of Annie Burr Lewis and now hangs in the Lewis Walpole Library.


Image for the 23rd Lewis Walpole Library Lecture "Pride, Prejudice, & Portraits: The Rice Portrait of Jane Austen" shows the title to the left of a detail from the portrait of a young woman in a white dress and short auburn hair (possibly Jane Austen)
March 1, 2018
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 5:30 pm Yale Center for British Art Lecture Hall, 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510 Claudia L. Johnson, Murray Professor of English Literature...
March 1, 2018
The Mysterious Mother Staged Reading May 2, 5:30 PM Yale Center for British Art The Lewis Walpole Library and the Yale Center for British Art are collaborating to present a...
Photo of Elliot Briery, a young man with dark hair and glasses, seated at the table in the LWL Reading Room, looking at a limp vellum-bound manuscript volume of Letters from the Levant Company
January 22, 2018
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