Fonds Bewick MS 012 - Geraldine Cole Fonds

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Geraldine Cole Fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on content of fonds.

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Reference code

CA RBD Bewick MS 012

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Dates of creation area


  • 1813-2016 (Creation)
    Cole, Geraldine Kennedy, 1927-2015

Physical description area

Physical description

21.5 cm of textual records
1 photograph : colour
1 photograph : black and white

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Biographical history

Geraldine Kennedy Cole was born in San Francisco in 1927. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1949, where she met her husband, Jerry Cole, with whom she had four children. Cole was an antiquarian book collector, most notably of the works of English engraver and printer Thomas Bewick, and a long-time member of the Grolier Club and the Roxburghe Club.

Custodial history

Fonds consists of material created or collected chiefly by Geraldine Cole and donated to the McGill Library as part of the Cole-Thomas Bewick Collection (Rare Books and Special Collection).

Scope and content

Fonds consists chiefly of ephemera and correspondence relating to the work of wood engravers of Thomas and John Bewick of Newcastle, England, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The ephemera found in series 1 includes various examples of fine printing, including proofs and printed keepsakes featuring Bewick engravings from printers such as Havilah Press and Anchor and Acorn Press. Series 2 contains correspondence, chiefly between Geraldine Cole and booksellers, as well as general correspondence with friends and acquaintances. Series 3 consists primarily of bookseller descriptions and clippings and excerpts from catalogues describing Bewick works (generally with the catalogue cover appended to a loose page on which a Bewick item appears). Some are with accompanying correspondence. Also included in this series are documents listing all of the items found in the Cole-Bewick Collection at McGill Library. Series 4 consists of other ephemera related to Bewick and his life, including short biographical pieces, postcards and products featuring Bewick engravings and watercolours, and articles and clippings. The last file in this series contains 4 original letters from Thomas Bewick to various correspondents, dating between 1819 to 1825. Series 5 contains a number of subject files relate to specific projects or organizations, including the Bewick Society.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Part of the Cole-Bewick Collection, acquired by the Library in 2016.


Arranged by archivist in 2019, with the exception of series 5 for which original file folder groupings were generally maintained. A portion of the materials were originally in five black binders. All items were removed from binders for preservation reasons and some published items were separated out for bibliographic cataloguing, but an effort was made to retain these original groupings of materials whenever possible.

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  • English

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Associated materials

A list of printed works in the Cole-Bewick Collection can be found on the library website.

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