Thomas Wrightiana
Introduction
Contents
Arrangement
Related material (internal)

Catalogue

Reference code: GB-0033-WRA
Title: Thomas Wrightiana
Dates of creation: 20th century
Extent: 1 box
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Origination: material collected by Durham University Library reflecting Durham scholars' interest in Wright.
Language: English

Contents

Durham University Library holds possibly the most extensive collection in existence of manuscripts of Thomas Wright and publications by and about him. In addition, this background collection of "Wrightiana" has been accumulated over many years, containing photographs, slides, researchers' working notes and correspondence, texts of lectures and talks, etc. giving information about Wright's life and work, places associated with him, portraits of him, related manuscripts and publications in other repositories, events commemorating him, and so on.

Accession details

Material acquired by the library, much of it gathered by Professor F.A. Paneth (1887-1958).

Arrangement

The collection has been organised into seven major groups of material as indicated below (A to G) while the individual parts of which these are composed have been consecutively numbered throughout from 1 to 30 so as to facilitate access to them.
It is envisaged that further additions to the collection will be intercalated either in the correspondence at F or in one of the appropriate groups.

Related material (internal)

Thomas Wright manuscripts See Handlist of Thomas Wright manuscripts.
The library also holds Professor Paneth's photographic collections.

Catalogue

Thomas Wrightiana
A: Copies of manuscripts, notes in books and printed texts by Wright
1
Photostat mounted on board of a diagram by Wright of the path of a comet in the possession of the Royal Astronomical Society.
2
Photostat mounted on board of a comet's geocentric motion by Wright in the possession of the Royal Astronomical Society.
3
Negative photostat within cardboard covers of Wright's autograph manuscript of Observations on the most remarkable remains of antiquity in 95 folios (British Library Add.MS.15628).
4
Envelope containing xerox copies of notes by Wright in various books and manuscripts by him, with a photographic copy of Hercules Ogmius in Observations on the most remarkable remains of antiquity by Wright (B.L. Add.MS. 15628).
5
Grey folder containing copies of Wright manuscripts, namely, a xerox copy of a description by Wright of his house at Byers Green (posthumously printed in The gentleman's magazine, 1793, pp. 213-216), photostat in both positive and negative copies of The theory of colours by Wright with attached pencil notes by F.A. Paneth, photostat in both positive and negative copies of several poems by Wright, typescript copies (several in multiple copies) with notes, of poems by Wright, and a photostat of a poem by Wright printed in vol. 11 (1810) of The Works of the English poets .
6
Envelope containing negative photostat of Wright's autograph journal, 1711-1762, in 29 folios (British Library Add. MS. 15627).
7
Red folder containing photostat of the preliminaries and notes to the edition by C.S. Rafinesque of An original theory in 1837 entitled The universe and the stars, xerox copy of Clavis pannautici (1734) with manuscript sketches of buildings probably drawn by Wright, photostat of Wright's account of his speculations on the Milky Way as reprinted by H.E. Howarth and H. Shapley in A source book of astronomy (1929) on pp. 113-116 (from An original theory), xerox copy of Wright's description of his villa at Byers Green in The gentleman's magazine for 1793 on pp. 213-216, and a xerox copy of a letter by Wright on a comet on pp. 151-152 of The gentleman's magazine for 1748.
7a
Photostats of 5 communications from Wright, all to the Royal Society, 3 scientific; 2 archaeological.
7b
Photocopied extracts from the Royal Society's Archives concerning the (unsuccessful) proposal of Thomas Wright for election as a fellow, 1734.
With photograph supplied by Professor G. Rochester of photographic montage relating to Wright.
B: Notes by F.A. Paneth and others on manuscripts and printed texts by Wright with their location and bibliography as well as on association copies
8
Folder containing envelope with notes by F.A. Paneth on manuscripts of Wright and their locations with relevant correspondence and another envelope containing notes by F.A. Paneth on printed works by Wright and their locations.
9
Envelope containing miscellaneous material relating to the bibliography of Wright and the location of copies of his works.
10
Envelope containing miscellaneous material relating to the description and location of Wright manuscripts.
11
Envelope containing a list of books formerly owned by Wright with a list on slips of plays either owned or read by him and an attached index and notes to the latter.
12
Folder containing sale catalogues of Wright items, Dawson 108 of 1961 ; Sotheby of 1844 (in part and xeroxed) and 1958 (with correspondence discussing the relationship of Wright and Herschel); Zeitlin and Ver brugge 183 of 1959 ; and Weil 15.
C: Material relating to biography and identity of Wright
13
Blue folder containing a xerox of a photograph of Wright's grave, an envelope containing 13 photographs (several in multiple copies and different sizes and one with a negative attached) of Wright's house and tower at Westerton and his grave; envelope containing a photograph in three copies of different sizes of an engraving of Wright in Clavis coelestis and another photograph of an engraving of him in The gentleman's magazine for 1793, photostats of the wills of Wright and of his natural daughter Elizabeth Wright in the Durham probate records for 1786 and 1788 respectively, xerox copy of a list of works to be disposed of at Byers Green (the property of Wright), and a xerox copy of a list of letters to Wright with a list of addresses of tradesmen and others.
14
Envelope containing notes by F.A. Paneth relating to the biography of Thomas Wright and extracted accounts of his life and work.
15
Folder containing miscellaneous biographical and critical material relating to Wright with a bibliography of ana.
16
Envelope containing material relating to those of the name of Thomas Wright other than that of Durham, namely, an engraving with note, of an orrery (1788) by an instrument maker of this name, correspondence, notes and a rubbing concerning a sun-dial made by him, photostat of leaf from Clavis pannautici (1734) proving that this instrument maker is distinct from Wright of Durham, photographs of a portrait of Thomas Wright in the National Portrait Gallery, London, and of a mezzotint from this of 1737 with a full size xerox of the latter and correspondence indicating that this is not Wright of Durham, correspondence relating to a Thomas Wright of the Wright family of Derby and Staffordshire, correspondence to another of this name, fl. 1737, the owner of a copy of the Colloquia selecta of Erasmus (1736) and a xerox of an obituary notice of another of this name, ob. 1787 aged 78 at Stockton, co. Durham.
D : Iconographic material relating to manuscripts, printed texts, biography and thought of Wright
17
Wooden box containing 76 glass transparencies of material relating to Wright, as follows:
Printed books
17/1
Typescript list by F.A. Paneth of books published by Wright.
17/2
Frontispiece portrait engraving of Wright from Clavis coelestis .
17/3
Engraving from Clavis coelestis entitled Synopsis of the unive[rse], plate [1].
17/4
Engraving from Clavis coelestis of planetary motion, plate [2].
17/5
Engraving from Clavis coelestis entitled A[ ]RSE, plate [3].
17/6
Engraving from Clavis coelestis of various world systems, plate [4].
17/7
Title-page of An original theory .
17/8
Engraving from An original theory, plate XVII (facing p. 51).
17/9
Engraving from An original theory, of the Pleiades, plate XIX (facing p. 56).
17/10
Engraving from An original theory, of the orbits of the sun and earth, plate XXII (facing p. 63).
17/11
Engraving from An original theory, of a section of the Milky Way, plate XXI[II], (facing p. 64).
17/12
Engraving from An original theory, plate XXXI (after p. 82).
17/13
Engraving from An original theory, of the universe in section, plate XXXII (facing p. 83).
17/14
Title-page of The universe and the Stars , being An original theory... [edited] by C.S. Rafinesque .
17/15
Engraved frontispiece from Louthiana of the monument of the battle of the Boyne.
17/16
Engraving from Louthiana of Castle-Town Mount, Book I, plate IX (facing p. 7).
17/17
Engraving from Louthiana of a mountain near Piedmont, Book 1, plate XIX (fifth in a sequence of plates between pp. 10 and 11).
17/18
Engraving from Louthiana of a view of the castle of Carlingford, Book II, plate VII, (facing p. 6).
17/19
Engraving from Louthiana of the Cromlech [the "Giant's load"] at Ballymascandlan near Dundalk, Book III, plate V (facing p. 12).
17/20
Engraving from Louthiana of the south face of St. Boyn's Cross at Monester Boice, Book III, Plate XII (third of plates following p. 16).
17/21
Engraving from Louthiana of a Danish tower at Monester Boice, Book III, plate XIV (facing p. 18).
Manuscripts
17/22
Page 2, recto of Wright's journal (1711-62) [B.L. Add.MS, 15627], beginning "Anno Dom[in]i 1711. An Early Journal".
17/23
Page 3, recto of this journal, beginning "November. Now Master of his Indenture".
17/24
Page 3, verso of this journal, beginning "Obtains her Consent and Marage is mutually agreed on".
17/25
Page 8, recto of this journal, beginning "Mr. Burton sends his Servant".
17/26
Page 24, verso of this journal, beginning "Anno Dom[in]i 1755. In August Bought the House".
17/27
Page 25, recto of this journal, beginning "June. Pull'd the old House Down".
17/28
Poem by Wright entitled “Prosopopoeia” [My mournful friends lament no more] from Newcastle Public Library MS. IV.
17/29
Design by Wright for Westerton Hill near Bishop Auckland, co. Durham.
17/30
Sketch plan by Wright for steps for Westerton Tower, co, Durham.
17/31
Illustration of Hercules Ogmius, leader of the Celtic colonies, from B.L. Add. MS. 15628.
Buildings and memorials
17/32
Byers Green Lodge, co. Durham.
17/33
Byers Green Lodge, co. Durham from the same angle, but slightly more to the right.
17/34
Westerton Tower, co. Durham.
17/35
Westerton Tower, co. Durham from almost the same position but with a different sky.
17/36
Commemorative plaque of the publication of An original theory in 1750 on the wall of Westerton Tower, co. Durham.
17/37
Close-up view of the above plaque.
17/38
Transcript of the inscription carved on the plaque from an article on Wright by F.A. Paneth in Nature, 1950, vol. 166, pp. 49-50.
17/39
Grave stone of Wright and his natural daughter, Elizabeth Wright.
Bicentenary commemoration
17/40
Eight persons facing Wright's grave at Auckland St. Andrew with one, Sir James Duff, Vice Chancellor of Durham University, holding a wreath, another being the Registrar, W.S. Angus.
17/41
Nine persons,including Sir James Duff, W.S. Angus and Mrs. F.A. Paneth, standing before Wright's grave, apparently after the wreath had been laid.
17/42
Three persons, one of whom is Professor H. Dingle, facing the wreathed grave.
17/43
Nine persons, including Sir James Duff, Professor G.R. Goldsbrough, Councillor G. Cosgrove, Mrs. A.L. Sells and Miss E. Paneth, listening to a speaker.
Kant
17/44
Portrait of Kant as a young man reproduced from H.G. von Selle's German thought in East Prussia (1948).
17/45
Portrait of Kant in an oval frame as an old man.
17/46
Silhouette of Kant writing at his desk before a window.
17/47
Statue of Kant, possibly in Königsberg.
17/48
Sketch of Kant's house, dated 1917.
17/49
Photograph of Kant's house.
Celestial mythology in art
17/50
Drawing by Michelangelo in the British Museum of the fall of Phaeton.
17/51
Oil painting by Tintoretto in the National Gallery, London, of the origin of the Milky Way.
Astronomical photographs
In the next two sections N.G.C. refers to J.L.E. Dreyer's A new general catalogue of nebulae and clusters of stars (1888).

17/52
Unidentified constellation.
17/53
Unidentified diagram of a galaxy from Bakie's Astronomy, p. 438.
17/54
Unidentified constellation from R. Henseling's Kosmische Ferne [1932?], p. 15.
17/55
Unidentified constellation from R. Henseling's Kosmische Ferne [1932?], p. 40.
17/56
Unidentified galaxy from R. Henseling's Kosmische Ferne [1932?], p. 41.
17/57
Galaxy in Andromeda from F. Hoyle's The nature of the universe (1950), p. 90.
17/58
Sequence of nebular configurations [N.G.C. 3379, 4621, 3115, 4594 and 4565] from Sir J. Jeans's The universe around us (1929), plate XVI.
17/59
Stellar system according to Herschel's disc theory from H.C. Macpherson's Modern astronomy : its rise and progress . (1926), p. 147.
17/60
Unidentified table of magnitude limits, galactic latitudes and galactic concentrations from F.R. Moulton's An introduction to astronomy [ca 1920] p. 478.
17/61
Model of the galaxy from J.S. Plaskett's The dimensions and structure of the galaxy (1935), plate 2.
17/62
Unidentified galaxy from H. Shapley's Galaxies (1943), p. 23.
Royal Astronomical Society photographs
17/63
No. 96 Great nebula in Orion.
17/64
No. 155 Region of cluster M 11.
17/65
No. 222 Nebula in Andromeda (central portion).
17/66
No. 223 Spiral nebula, Can. Ven.
17/67
No. 225 Nebula N.G.C. 3031 M 81 U Maj.
17/68
No. 254 North America nebula in Cygnus.
17/69
No. 269 Region of θ Ophiuci.
17/70
No. 316 Nebula N.G.C. 2835.
17/71
No. 338 Field of nebulae.
17/72
No. 339 Nebula N.G.C. 4647-4649.
17/73
No. 340 Nebula N.G.C. 3115.
17/74
No. 428 Milky Way, Scorpio-Antinous.
17/75
No. 460 Pegasus (Spiral) and field of nebulae.
17/76
No. 501 N.G.C. 3185, 3187, 3190 and 3193 (Leo).
18
Envelope containing photographs of a miscellaneous nature relating to Wright and to F.A. Paneth's work on him, as follows:
18/1
Title-page of Clavis coelestis (1742).
18/2
Engraving in Clavis coelestis entitled Synopsis of the unive[rse], plate [1] (two copies with a third smaller).
18/3
Engraving in Clavis coelestis of planetary motion, plate [2] (two copies with a third smaller).
18/4
Engraving in Clavis coelestis entitled A[ ]RSE, plate [3] (two copies).
18/5
Engraving in Clavis coelestis of various world systems, plate [4] (two copies).
18/6
Engraving of The general construction of a solar eclipse ... on the 18th. day of February, 1736/7 [i.e. 1737].
18/7
Title-page of Louthiana (1758).
18/8
Title-page of An original theory (1750).
18/9
Engraving in An original theory (1750), plate II (facing p. 11).
18/10
Engraving in An original theory (1750), plate XIV (facing p. 40).
18/11
Engraving in An original theory (1750), plate XVII (facing p. 51).
18/12
Engraving in An original theory (1750), plate XXI[II] (facing p. 64).
18/13
Engraving in An original theory (1750), plate XXV (between pp. 64 and 65).
18/14
Engraving in An original theory (1750), plate XXXI (after p.82).
18/15
Engraving in An original theory (1750), plate XXXII (facing p. 83).
18/16
Engraving of The passage of the annular penumbra over Scotland ... on the 18th. day of February 1736/7 [i.e. 1737].
18/17
Title-page of The use of the globes (1740).
18/18
Engraving in The use of the globes (1740), plate I -(facing p. 100).
18/19
The stellar system according to Herschel's disc theory in H.C. Macpherson's Modern astronomy (1926), p. 147.
18/20
Portrait of Kant.
18/21
Statue of Kant, possibly in Königsberg.
18/22
Durham Cathedral from the south-west shewing the pinnacles on the two western towers whose design is attributed to Wright [postcard by J.R. Edis, Durham].
19
Small cardboard box containing 16 glass plate negatives (of which four in duplicate), as follows:
19/1
Engraving from An original theory (1750), plate XIX (facing p. 56).
19/2
Engraving from An original theory (1750), plate XXXII (facing p. 83).
19/3
Drawing by Michelangelo in the British Museum of the fall of Phaeton.
19/4
Table of chemical periodic system in a laboratory (two copies).
19/5
Wright's house at Byers Green, co. Durham.
19/6
Wright's house at Byers Green, co. Durham amongst trees.
19/7
Wright's gravestone.
19/8
Wright's tower at Westerton in its entirety.
19/9
Wright's tower at Westerton in its entirety above outbuildings (two copies).
19/10
Inscription commemorating Wright on his tower at Westerton.
19/11
Another view of the inscription commemorating Wright on his tower at Westerton (two copies).
19/12
Another view in close-up of the inscription commemorating Wright on his tower at Westerton (two copies).
19A   1964
Colour aerial photograph of the house of Thomas Wright at Byers Green (from West), taken in 1964 by Archive Aerial Pictures.
Paper   2f
Donated by Judy Preston, 14 January 2015: Misc.2014/15:33.
E: Miscellaneous material relating to Wright
20
Folder containing:
xerox copy of typescript text of talk by Yvonne Adamson on the Thomas Wright papers at Durham University Library broadcast on 23rd December 1966 ;
typescript text of talk by F.A. Paneth on Thomas Wright and Immanuel Kant broadcast on 9th June 1950 with relevant papers;
envelope containing tape recording of a lecture by M.A. Hoskin on Wright to a NATO symposium at Newcastle University on 1st April 1976 with manuscript notes by F.A. Paneth and a letter concerning it by Prof. G.D. Rochester included;
programme of Leeds Astronomical Society with pencil notes of a lecture to it by F.A. Paneth on Thomas Wright, Kant and the Milky Way on the 8th November 1950 ;
pencil notes by F.A. Paneth of a talk to Bishop Auckland Literary and Debating Society on Thomas Wright, astronomer and archaeologist, on 27th October 1950, with news cutting attached;
pencil notes with typescript quotations from Kant attached for a paper by F.A. Paneth to a colloquium in Mainz on 10th November 1954 on Thomas Wright and Immanuel Kant with a cutting attached.

21
Folder containing material relating to the bicentenary in 1950 of the publication of Wright's Original theory of the universe, namely, an envelope with printed copies of arrangements for the celebration on the 2nd June 1950 at Durham and Westerton, a list of those invited, and pencil notes by F.A. Paneth for a talk by him on Thomas Wright and Immanuel Kant on that occasion, with in addition cuttings from six newspapers, a copy of Palatinate, of 19th May 1950 (no. 26) and The Durham Philobiblon for May 1950 (vol. 1, pt 3) and an offprint from Nature of July 8th 1950 (vol. 166) with an attached typescript draft inscription for the tablet placed on Wright's observatory in 1950, all these dealing with the bicentenary; 3 colour photographs by Professor Paneth of visit to Wright's grave by those attending the bicentenary ceremonies, flowers on the grave with three looking on [?W.S. Angus registrar, Else Paneth, ?Prof H. Dengle], and Wright's house at Shincliffe.
21A
Photograph, presented by Dr. Helen Wallis, of Thomas Wright's Pannauticon, the large engraved work by Thomas Wright to which his book Clavis Pannautici (of which Durham University Library holds the only known copy) refers. The Pannauticon appears to be a large engraved base sheet with moveable volvelles and pointers attached. No copy was known to exist until Dr. Wallis discovered the one shown in the photograph in the Innys collection of maps at Holkham. She reported that she also found other Wright engravings in the same collection.
22
Folder containing material relating to exhibitions on Wright, namely, an envelope with cards of a Wright exhibition at the Royal Institution in London on 6th April 1951 as well as several copies of a duplicated typescript catalogue of this exhibition; several copies of a duplicated typescript list of exhibits in Durham University Library in June 1950 ; two copies of a brief description of exhibits for a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Durham in 1970; and a leaflet with related correspondence for an exhibition on mathematics in the north of England (including Wright) in Newcastle U.L. in 1970 on the occasion of a visit of the Mathematical Association.
23
Folder containing material relating to Wright, namely, an envelope, containing passages relating to him in larger works by H. Dingle, F. Dyson, W. Fordyce, J.E. Gore, W.H.D. Longstaffe, E. MacKenzie and M. Ross, F.R. Moulton, A. Pannekoek, T. Pennant, S. Pettit, E.R.G. Taylor and F. Whellan, and, secondly, more extensive accounts of Wright in newspapers and journals with articles devoted to him of a scholarly nature (some in two or more copies).
24
Envelope containing text, notes and relevant correspondence relating to three publications by F.A. Paneth on Wright issued by the Royal Institution in 1951 and Endeavour and The Manchester Guardian in 1950.
24a
List of 1751 planting at Stoke Park (photocopy of ms in Gloucester Record Office) and pamphlet re Stoke Park, where Wright began his improvements in 1749.
F: Correspondence relating to Wright largely to and from Durham University Library
25
Folder containing correspondence relating to Wright arranged by topic, largely to and by members of staff of Durham University Library.
26
Folder containing correspondence relating to Wright's works arranged by title, largely to and by members of staff of Durham University Library.
G: Miscellaneous material relating to astronomy, Kant and Professor F.A. Paneth
27
Envelope containing six articles and extracts from books relating to astronomy - none referring specifically to Wright though some to Kant - by W. Becker, R. Emden, W. Herschel, H.J. Rodewald [with accompanying letter to F.A. Paneth from the author] J. Stokley and M. Waldmeier.
28
Folder containing articles by F.A. Paneth not dealing with Thomas Wright and a list of some others with a brief biography of him, the biographical article about him on his death issued by the Royal Society, and a note by Eva Paneth on his early autochromes.
29
Envelope containing notes by F.A. Paneth on the galaxies, with a page of carbon copy typescript.
30
Envelope containing notes by F.A. Paneth on Kant.
Other material
31   2000
Stoneware commemorative plate marking the achievements of Thomas Wright (1711-1786). No 7 of 7 plates produced. Front of the plate depicts Thomas Wright and his house with the words "Born Byers Green. First to discover the Milky Way". The back of the plate is inscribed "Thomas Wright's memorial plaque was unvailed [sic] on the site of his lodge Byers Green April 27th 1987 by Dr. M. Hoskins, Cambridge University. Research by Bill and Greta Colley, local historians, August 2000".
Presented by Mr W.L. Colley, December 2001.
32   1976
“Thomas Wright of Durham”, by Douglas P. Newton.
Typescript biography with copy photographs and other illustrations.
120p.
Donated by the author, 1976 (Misc.Acc. 1976:22).
33/1-3   1971
“The Thomas Wright sketchbook in the Avery Architectural Library Columbia University”, a provisional catalogue compiled by Michael J. McCarthy October 1971.
With addendum by Herbert Mitchell on the provenance of the manuscript.
Photocopy of varying quality of the manuscript itself (Avery Library, was Phillipps MS. 13448* & 13451).
22p. + 3p. + 96p.
Photocopy obtained by Dr M. Tooley, 1989 (Misc.Acc. 1989:4).
34/1-4   2004
Photocopies of Thomas Wright's plans for his Pannauticon and his “The astronomical cylinder; or sun-dial” from a book at Holkham Hall.
1f. & 3f.
Photocopy obtained by Tyne & Wear Museums, April 2004 (Misc.Acc. 2003/2004:27).