University Archives Proudly Presents Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books Ending January 6, 2021

The auction will conclude on January 6, 2021, by University Archives, beginning at 10:30 am Eastern time. The full catalog is up and online for bidding and viewing now, at the newly revamped University Archives website (, as well as the platforms, and Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. 

We keep breaking our own records at University Archives. When we launched our largest-ever 349-lot sale back in August, we did not expect to break that record again just four months later, but we did. University Archives is thrilled to present its BIGGEST sale to date: a sensational 440-lot extravaganza of amazing and unusual autographs, historical documents, rare books, manuscripts, collectibles, relics, coins, and currency. Collectors of Science, Presidential, Foreign, Kennedyiana, and Space / Aviation, come ring in the New Year with us!

Note: Lots 1-220 will begin at 10:30 AM. Upon the completion of lot 220, we will take a 30-minute break. After the break, we will resume at lot 221.

Among the gems of our Science category is a 4pp manuscript comprised of nearly 2,300 words written entirely in the hand of English physicist Sir Isaac Newton. In it, Newton seeks inspiration from the Kabbalah, early Christian philosophers, and biblical texts to connect metaphysics to physics, thus uniting the abstract world with the concrete world he had partly decoded by discovering gravity. The length and subject matter of this manuscript, along with its outstanding provenance, make this an exceptional find. Half a dozen lots relating to Albert Einstein, Newton’s twentieth-century successor, will also cross the auction block, including two typed letters and two autograph letters signed. In a World War II-dated letter in English, Einstein revealed that the Third Reich did not give much thought to his Theory of Relativity. He wrote: “My first manuscript about relativity was not burned by the Nazis. I myself threw it into the waste-basket after it was printed judging it was good for nothing…” A letter written by Einstein in German 10 years later discussing his Unified Field Theory—as well as the behavior of matter in space and in motion—was penned in the very year of his death and anticipates his scientific legacy. A Charles Darwin 3pp autograph letter signed referring to his beloved friend and mentor, Scottish geologist Sir Charles Lyell, is significant, and is enhanced by a desirable full signature. Outstanding material relating to other great physicists, biologists, psychologists, chemists, and inventors can also be found, from Max Planck, Niels Bohr, and Sigmund Freud, to Henri Becquerel, James Clerk Maxwell, and Antoine Lavoisier.

Our customers know that we offer the best Washingtons, Jeffersons, Lincolns, Kennedys, Roosevelts, and Reagans on the market. Presidential treasures this month include a 16pp autograph letter signed by John Adams, which to our knowledge is the longest letter in private hands, in which he opined about the state of current political affairs eight years after his presidency ended. In the letter which he intended for eventual publication, Adams excoriates British policies undermining American sovereignty–like the impressment of American sailors– and also lends support to his erstwhile political rival Thomas Jefferson, who had just two months himself remaining in his second presidential term. Featured also are a 2pp Revolutionary War-dated letter signed by George Washington, commenting on the courage of Patriot troops during the ongoing Battle of Yorktown; and a Civil War-dated military commission signed by Abraham Lincoln for a veteran officer of the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg who would succumb to war injuries in May 1867. Last, a superb autograph letter signed by Thomas Jefferson is sure to generate interest.

The finest autograph material relating to world leaders and world thinkers will be offered. In an exceptionally rare 4pp autograph letter signed by Scottish economist Adam Smith, he discussed the financial habits of one of his pupils, an Irish aristocrat’s son. Smith, the theorist who conceived of “the invisible hand” and other foundational principles of laissez-faire economics, assured his protégé’s father that the young man showed great prudence with money. Future British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, tasked with demobilizing military forces after World War I, sent a typed letter signed to the Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa regarding black soldiers in 1919. In addition, over 50 strands of Napoleon’s hair, collected by his Irish surgeon and then gifted to the Protestant chaplain on St. Helena, will be accompanied by extensive provenance information. Other pieces relate to King Francis I, Emperor Hirohito, Nikita Khrushchev, Otto van Bismarck, David Ben-Gurion, Che Guevara, Queen Victoria I, and others.

January will showcase more items from the estate of Father Ronald Hoskins (1949-2020), the noted assassinologist and collector of John F. Kennedy memorabilia, with an additional 107 lots relating to John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Sirhan Sirhan, and others. Among these highlights is a 3pp autograph letter signed by Lee Harvey Oswald as “Your Brother / Lee” sent from the Soviet Union during the spring of 1961. In it, Lee promises to return to the United States “if I can get the government to drop charges against me, and get the Russians to let me out…” Future First Lady Jackie Kennedy, as a 16-year-old high school boarding student at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut, has doodled a heart and dedicated a vintage black and white photograph to a chum named Betty as “Dear Betty / This / [arrow pointing to the heart] is brimming over / with love  / for you — / Lots of Love / Jackie XO.”

American and Soviet aviation and space exploration are well-represented by an array of autographs, signed photos, color film negatives, and unusual relics. You can even own a gorgeous Wright Brothers display, comprised of an Orville Wright signed check, a fabric swatch from the Kitty Hawk “Wright Flyer,” and a nickel turnbuckle from an early Wright biplane.

And there are so many more intriguing lots to discover!  We hope you can join us on January 6th.

About University Archives

University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers. Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call John Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, January 6, 2021 online-only Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books auction, visit Updates are posted frequently. For phone bidding, please call 203-454-0111.

Featured Auctions

(*) Indicates Auction in Progress
(*) Classic Auctions: May 24 - June 15
(*) JG Autographs: June 9 - June 15
(*) Steve Novella: June 11 - June 15
(*) RR Auction: May 25 - June 16
(*) Kevin Savage Cards: June 4 - June 16-17
(*) MeiGray Auctions: May 24 - June 16-17
(*) Heritage Auctions: May 24 - June 17
(*) NBA Auctions: June 11 - June 17
(*) Sirius Sports Cards: June 7 - June 17
(*) Steve Novella: June 12 - June 17
(*) Iconic Auctions: June 11 - June 19
(*) REA: June 10 - June 20
(*) Auction of Champions: June 9 - June 21
(*) Kevin Savage Cards: June 10 - June 21
JG Autographs: June 16 - June 22
Kevin Savage Cards: June 14 - June 23-24
(*) MeiGray Auctions: June 11 - June 24
NBA Auctions: June 18 - June 24
RR Auction: June 17 - June 24
(*) Sterling Sports Auctions: June 10 - June 24
(*) Grey Flannel Auctions: June 4 - June 26
(*) Heritage Auctions: June 4 - June 26
(*) Love of the Game: June 10 - June 26
(*) Goldin Auctions: June 10 - June 26-27
(*) Pristine Auction: June 1 - June 27
(*) Lelands: June 13 - June 27
Kevin Savage Cards: June 18 - June 28
JG Autographs: June 23 - June 29
Kevin Savage Cards: June 22 - June 30
(*) University Archives: June 10 - June 30
NBA Auctions: June 25 - July 1
Sirius Sports Cards: June 21 - July 1
MEARS Auctions: June 29 - July 3
Auction of Champions: June 23 - July 5
SCP Auctions: June 23 - July 9
(*) Memory Lane Inc: June 12 - July 10
(*) CertifiedLink: June 10 - July 13-14
PWCC: July 1 - July 17
2021 Full Auction Schedule