The Hyde Collection contains half of the surviving letters of Samuel Johnson (in fact the definitive edition of Johnson’s correspondence, edited by Bruce Redford and published by Princeton University Press in 1992, was known as “the Hyde Edition”). I’m very pleased to announce that thanks to the hard work of my colleagues Alison Harris and Susan Pyzynski, the first 60 folders (of 132) of the collection have been digitized in high-resolution color scans. This group includes letters from Johnson to Charles Burney, Thomas Cadell, Edward Cave, David Garrick, and John Hawkesworth, as well as the only surviving letter from Johnson to his wife Elizabeth. You’ll also see what surely must be the most valuable dinner invitation in the whole of Houghton Library.
The easiest way to get to the scans is to go to the finding aid for MS Hyde 1, and then look for the “Click for color digital facsimile” link under each letter. I’ll be sure to let you know as progress on the digitization project continues. Email me at overholt at fas.harvard.edu if you have any feedback on using the collection.