We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • "The Town of Hokitiki" 1865
    Quarto, 19 page manuscript account, with 52 illustrations of life in New Zealand, pencil sketches, pen and ink and watercolors, ephemera mounted and laid in, partially printed receipt for gold sales, partially printed Miner’s Right for the Province of Otago, contemporary newspaper clippings, etc., all documenting Jay’s life as a miner and farmer in New Zealand. The latter half of album contains materials relating to Jay’s life after he returned to England and lived as a man of independent means, photographs, documents, etc. All mounted on 70 leaves of a contemporary leather-bound album, binding worn, front and rear boards detached but present, front free endpaper bears the ownership inscription of: “Thos. Jas Jay 1864”.
    Thomas James Jay, a young Englishman, kept a compelling written and visual record of his life and experiences in the gold fields of Otago, New Zealand in the region’s gold rush of the 1860s. His journal entries record incidents in the mines and later during his time as a farmer there. Jay traveled considerably throughout Otago and his account reflects the hazards of the miner’s life, fights, crime, murder, floods and the like. Jay also executed a series of sketches during his travels and they provide a visual documentation of the Otago gold rush, and include miner’s camps and huts, towns, ranches and farms, as well as visual depictions of his own experiences, scenery and pencil sketches of miners, a Maori, and a Chinese miner. A complete list of sketches appears below. The Otago Gold Rush (often called the Central Otago Gold Rush) was a gold rush that occurred during the 1860’s in Central Otago, New Zealand. This was the country’s biggest gold strike and led to a rapid influx of foreign miners to the area – many of them veterans of other rushes for the precious metal in California and Victoria, Australia.      The rush began at Gabriel’s Gully, but spread throughout much of Central Otago, leading to the rapid expansion and commercialization of the new colonial settlement of… more >