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The Charles G. Leland Collection of Romani Books and Manuscripts

Adrian S. Edwards (notes)

Abstract

The American writer Charles G. Leland (1824-1903) is primarily known for his comic verses. He was, however, also a pioneering linguist who published widely on the languages of the Roma (Gypsy) people of Britain, Ireland and continental Europe. Archival collections in the American north-east hold a range of Leland's literary materials, but his Romani books and autograph manuscripts at the British Library have largely gone unnoticed by researchers. This article examines over fifty volumes of Leland material, and attempts to place them within the context of his life and work. They include published books (some with annotations and inserts), correspondence with other Romani scholars, publication drafts, manuscript vocabulary lists, and a variety of other linguistic and ethnographic notes. Most of the material was donated by his neice and biographer Elizabeth Pennell.

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