Notebook Sketches

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848-1881


◦ Baum, ed., Manuscripts in the Duke University Library, 26-37.

◦ Burnett, The Ashley Library, 81-82

Scholarly Commentary


This collection gathers together many of DGR's miscellaneous sketches and drafts, most of all those found in his notebooks. DGR used his notebooks for all of his work, his writing as well as his art. As a result, the notebooks contain texts of many kinds alongside (and sometimes written on top of) drawings, sketches, and various doodles or primitive pictorial marks. When DGR's brother went through the notebooks, he searched for textual materials that he wanted to include in his posthumous editions and for pictorial materials—drawings and designs— that he judged had aesthetic value in their own right. These he removed and saved. Many of these removed sketches remained in the family, others were either given away or sold. However, the surviving notebooks and scattered pages from disbound notebooks preserve some interesting sketches that have never been catalogued or published. They also exhibit more primitive pictorial work that have importance for scholars.

Although several collections have loose pages torn away from different notebooks, two large bodies of notebook material come down to us. The Duke University Library has the disjecta membra of what the library describes as four notebooks, but which seem to comprise pieces of perhaps as many as six. Second, the Ashley Library (British Library) has a set of four small notebooks containing a large corpus of materials that include some heretofore unknown miscellaneous prose.

These scattered materials can also be located by searching Manuscripts under the term “sketches”).

For further information see the commentaries for DGR's Memoranda, Poetical Scraps, and Miscellaneous Prose.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: sketches.raw.xml