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Alfred E. Hamill papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Hamill

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, writings, and other materials of Alfred E. Hamill.

Two major sets of letters are included: letters from Hamill to Alexandra Fredericks, and letters from Dora Yates to Hamill. There are also other letters, photographs, various kinds of memorabilia, and unpublished works by Hamill including poems, notes, essays, a commonplace book, and a daily journal of his work in France with the Red Cross in 1918.


  • Creation: 1856-1967
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1937-1953



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Alfred E. Hamill papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Alfred E. Hamill papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Alfred E. Hamill

Chicago and Lake Forest investment banker, book collector, philanthropist, and president of the Newberry Library Board of Trustees, 1929-1953.

Alfred Ernest Hamill was born in Chicago in 1883. He graduated from Yale University in 1905 and resided in Lake Forest, Illinois, where he was founder of the Centaur Press. His business career began at the Northern Trust Company and ended at Goldman, Sachs, and Company. A trustee of the Presbyterian Hospital and Chicago Child Care Society, vice-president of the Art Institute of Chicago, and president of the Lake Forest Public Library and the Newberry Library boards of trustees, Hamill’s philanthropic activities were wide-ranging. He died in 1953. He bequeathed his calligraphy collection and gypsy lore materials to the Newberry Library and established the Alfred E. Hamill Fund for the purchase of books and manuscripts.


2.3 Linear Feet (6 boxes)


Chicago investment banker, Centaur Press founder, Newberry Library trustee, and calligraphy and gypsy lore collector. Personal letters of Alfred E. Hamill to a Russian émigré, Alexandra Fredericks, and of Dora E. Yates, a librarian and the secretary of the Gypsy Lore Society, to Hamill. Also typescript copy of a diary kept 1918-1919 while in France with the American Red Cross, a letter to Andrei Gromyko in 1945 regarding U.S.-Soviet relations, bookplates, photographs, poems, and other memorabilia.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Alfred E. Hamill - Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence, 1937-1967
Boxes 1-3
Series 2: Alfred E. Hamill - Miscellany, approximately 1890-1950
Box 4
Series 3: Dora E. Yates - Letters and Miscellany, 1856-1953
Boxes 5-6

Collection Stack Location

1 20 7


Gift, Alfred E. Hamill, ca. 1951; Frances Hamill, 1980; and Hamill & Barker, Booksellers, 1988.

Processed by

Lenore Glanz, 2011.

Inventory of the Alfred E. Hamill papers, 1856-1967, bulk 1937-1953
Lenore Glanz
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States