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A. Marshall Elliott papers

Identifier: MS-0142

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Scope and Contents

The collection of Johns Hopkins professor of Romance Languages, A. Marshall Elliott, is formed largely by the holographic copies of manuscripts of Marie de France assembled by Professor Elliott from libraries in Europe. The papers are the research for his proposed work on the 12th-century French poet whose writings and background were not well known in the late 19th century/early 20th century.

The fables and lays [lais] are written in French and include mostly manuscripts from the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Bodleian Library, and the British Library. Manuscript numbers assigned by the libraries are noted on most of the copies. The poems are not listed by title. The collection is filed in 2 document boxes and 2 flat boxes. In Box 4 are notes and bibliographic information that Professor Elliott may have intended to include with his published work.

Much of the poetry of Marie de France has since been published ( See: Marie de France. Lais. ed. by Alfred Ewert Blue Label PQ 1494 .L2 1995), but it is interesting to see the holographic copies arranged by Professor Elliott and his students, as many include flourishes or drawings, part of the originals.

In the collection also are 2 folders of notes and lesson materials from the Romance Seminary 1898-1909. Final items are memorials of A. Marshall Elliott and a copy of an article [n.d.] by George C. Keidel entitled "Old French Fables: The Interrupted Work of the Late Professor Elliott."

Correspondence of A. Marshall Elliott is included in the Daniel Coit Gilman Papers Ms. 1 and the Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve Papers Ms. 5 in Special Collections.


  • Creation: 1898-1909


Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

A. Marshall Elliott (Arthur Marshall Elliott) was born in North Carolina, January 24, 1844, and spent his childhood near Elizabeth City. He attended Haverford College until his senior year when he transferred to Harvard, and from there he received the B.A. degree in 1866. He spent several years traveling and studying in Europe. In 1876, Elliott began corresponding with Daniel Coit Gilman, president of the newly founded Johns Hopkins University, and on June 5, 1876, he was appointed an associate professor of languages in the first faculty of the University. He was promoted to Professor of the Romance Languages in 1892 and remained at Hopkins until his death in 1910. He taught many subjects during his academic career, and is credited with encouraging the state of Romance studies in this country during the late 19th century.

In the summer of 1891 during one of his many visits to Europe, Professor Elliott became interested in the fables of Marie de France (fl. late 12th c.), a French poet, whose work until then had been published in only one edition by Jean Roquefort in 1820. For the next 19 years, Professor Elliott concentrated on the preparation of a critical edition of Marie's fables and lays [lais]. He began copying the manuscripts of Marie de France which were preserved in libraries in England, France, Belgium, and Italy. He was assisted by many of his graduate students. According to George C. Keidel (one of Elliott's students and later Professor of English at Hopkins), Elliott planned to study the position which Marie de France occupied in the whole scheme of Aesopic fable literature of the Middle Ages. Professor Elliott died before he completed this work. A. Marshall Elliott died in Baltimore, November 9, 1910.


1.94 Cubic Feet (1 letter size document box, 2 legal size document boxes, 1 flat box (21 x 17 x 3 inches))

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was received from the Department of Romance Languages (as it was formerly known) of The Johns Hopkins University in 1982.

General Physical Description note

(2. 5 linear ft.)

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in 1997.

Liz Beckman revised the Biographical note in this finding aid in November 2023 to bring it into compliance with Johns Hopkins guidelines for inclusive and conscientious description (2023). The previous version of the finding aid is available upon request.

A. Marshall Elliott papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA