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Bliss–Tyler Correspondence

Tyler-Bliss Letter, August 1952
Letter from Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, August 9, 1952.

Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss corresponded with Elisina and Royall Tyler between 1902 and 1952. A significant percentage of this correspondence concerned Royall Tyler’s assistance in the Blisses’ collecting of Byzantine, pre-Columbian, Asian, Islamic, and European artworks. It also concerned various important people, including Bernard Berenson and Edith Wharton, and world events, including the first and second world wars. The majority of the extant correspondence was given by Mildred Barnes Bliss to William Tyler, Royall Tyler’s son. In the mid-1970s, William Tyler, who was then Director of Dumbarton Oaks, and Walter Whitehill began work on a publication of this correspondence. For unknown reasons, this project was not completed, and all existing materials for the publication were an unrestricted gift of William Tyler to the Harvard University Archives (HUGFP 38.6, boxes 1–5) in 1977 and 1979.

In 2008, Robert S. Nelson (Robert Lehman Professor at Yale University and at that time a Senior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks) and James N. Carder (Archivist and House Collection Manager at Dumbarton Oaks) returned to this correspondence project. They completed a digital transcription of all known letters, which has been published with commentary and annotations. The transcribed and annotated correspondence can be found here.

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