University Archives Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia Auction Ends Sept. 6, 2023

University Archives is thrilled to announce its next sale in progress and concluding on September 6, 2023 @ 11 AM EDT.  (Bidding now open): Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia.  Collectors will find 500+ lots of valuable historical items and collectibles, representing the best of U.S. Presidential, Early America, Science, Literature, Music, Entertainment, World Leaders, and Sports. If we have ever put together a sale that has something for everyone, this is it!

Our catalog is accessible on our website, Invaluable, AuctionZip, and LiveAuctioneers:

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U.S. Presidential

Over 20% of our sizable September sale is dedicated to U.S. Presidents, from George Washington to Joe Biden.  Abraham Lincoln is particularly well-represented, with four Lincoln signed items: a signed autograph album (see below), a signed military appointment, a signed note, and a full signature PSA/DNA slabbed and graded NM 7.

Lot 55 is a remarkable autograph album, ca. 1847-1848, signed by nearly 300 politicians including five presidents (former president John Quincy Adams, sitting President James K. Polk, and future presidents James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson) as well as president-for-a-day D.R. Atchison, and Jefferson Davis, future president of the Confederate States of America. Other signers include representatives from the 30th U.S. Congress such as “Great Triumvirate” orators Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster.

Lot 1 is a four-language ship’s passport boldly signed by President John Adams with an unusually large signature measuring 3” x .75” alone. The passport was issued to a Havana-bound ship commanded by Captain Charles Bulkley, an American Navy officer who would twice be a British prisoner-of-war and incarcerated for a time on a New York prison ship.

Early America

Lot 198 is a William Stone/Peter Force copperplate engraving printing of the Declaration of Independence, ca. 1848. Handsomely displayed in a large frame, the Declaration is in near fine condition and is accompanied by four assembled volumes of Peter Force’s “American Archives” including one from the personal library of James A. Garfield. The Stone/Force Declaration is considered the authoritative copy of the original foundational document, the latter having been rendered largely illegible due to age and conservation issues.


Our September sale features autographed material by Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, James Watson, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, Linus Pauling, Louis Pasteur, Vinton G. Cerf, and many other scientific pioneers and technology leaders.

Lot 444 is a fascinating typed letter in German signed by Albert Einstein addressed to astronomer Dr. Friedrich Archenhold discussing the relation between clock time and the Theory of Relativity. Einstein writes: “I read with interest your kind article and the manuscript you sent. The error of the latter is that a pendulum clock alone is not a ‘clock’ in the sense of the theory of relativity, but merely the combination of a pendulum clock with a gravitating celestial body. The error of the authors arises from the disregard of this circumstance.”


F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Herman Melville, Emma Lazarus, T.E. Lawrence, Langston Hughes, and Virginia Woolf are just a few of the spectacular novelists, poets, and playwrights featured in our September sale, which contains over 60 lots dedicated to the written word.

Lot 368 is an autograph letter signed by F. Scott Fitzgerald with great associations to Mark Twain. Fitzgerald proposes adding a preface to his soon-to-be-published short story “The Case of Benjamin Button” in which he paraphrases Mark Twain’s sentiments about aging: “a pity that the best part of life came first and the saddest part afterward.” A new discovery, this letter is one of our favorites, being recently discovered in a box of papers donated to the Westport Library in Westport, Connecticut, where Fitzgerald summered in 1920 while writing “The Beautiful and the Damned.”

Lot 379 is a legal agreement signed by Ernest Hemingway regarding the film adaptation of his Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novella “The Old Man and the Sea.” The contract is beautifully presented.


Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, George Gershwin, and Judy Garland lead our phenomenal Music category.

Lot 214 is Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics for “Subterranean Homesick Blues” from his album “Bringing It All Back Home,” with a Certificate of Authenticity from Dylan’s manager, Jeff Rosen. Dylan inscribed the words of the powerful counter-cultural anthem on Norwegian hotel stationery, ca. 2013. The lyrics refer to cultural flashpoints of the 1960s, such as the ongoing Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and transgressive trends embraced by the Beatniks and the Hippies.


Lot 225 is a television contract for the General Electric Theatre episode “I’m a Fool” (aired November 14, 1954), signed by one of its stars, James Dean. Dean played opposite a young Natalie Wood in this adaption of Sherwood Anderson’s short story one full year before the pair reunited for “A Rebel Without A Cause.” It is one of three James Dean items in the sale.

World Leaders

Lot 337 is a pair of presentation photos signed by Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Empress Kōjun in Japanese calligraphy. The vintage photos in their original Imperial frames featuring Chrysanthemum Seal depict the couple wearing Western dress.


Lot 459 is a photograph boldly signed by world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali as: “To Mike Caen / From / Muhammad Ali / after me there will never / never never be another to do / it 3 times / 2-11-88.” This champion-signed photograph joins 50 lots of other fantastic Sports Memorabilia in the sale, with an emphasis on boxing, baseball, hockey, golf, chess, ballet, and billiards.


Lot 316 is a scarce and desirable World War I-dated photo postcard of Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the “Red Baron,” the German Air Force flying ace. The letter was signed along the Western Front on April 12, 1917, just after the Red Baron’s 40th kill. He would be shot down almost a year later to the day, on April 21, 1918.

These are just a few of the unique lots that will be offered in our September sale. We hope you can join us!

Highlights Include:

  • Lot 214, Bob Dylan handwritten lyrics
  • Lot 444, Albert Einstein TLS
  • Lot 198, Stone/Force Declaration of Independence
  • Lot 55, Presidential Autographs album
  • Lot 368, F. Scott Fitzgerald ALS
  • Lot 337, Emperor Hirohito SP
  • Lot 1, John Adams DS
  • Lot 225, James Dean DS
  • Lot 316, Manfred von Richthofen LS
  • Lot 330, Winston Churchill DS
  • Lot 379, Ernest Hemingway DS
  • Lot 459, Muhammad Ali SP

Major Categories:

  • U.S. Presidential & First Families (Washington to Biden; Kennedy family, etc.)
  • Early America (Stone/Force Declaration of Independence; Revolutionary War; Benedict Arnold; Aaron Burr; Lewis & Clark; Declaration Signers; Colonial CT, PA, FL, etc.)
  • Science & Technology (Albert Einstein; Sigmund Freud; Thomas A. Edison; Watson & Crick; Louis Pasteur; Jonas Salk; Linus Pauling; Vinton G. Cerf; Nikola Tesla, etc.)
  • *Literature (F. Scott Fitzgerald; Ernest Hemingway; J.D. Salinger; Herman Melville; Virginia Woolf; Langston Hughes; T.E. Lawrence; Emma Lazarus; George Bernard Shaw; H.G. Wells; Margaret Mitchell; Leo Tolstoy; Jack Kerouac; Samuel Beckett; Jack London; Ray Bradbury; Robert Frost; Ivan Turgenev; Charles Dickens, etc.)
  • Music (Bob Dylan; George Gershwin; Giuseppe Verdi; Giacomo Puccini; Elvis Presley; Judy Garland; Maria von Trapp; B.B. King; Harry Belafonte, etc.)
  • Entertainment (James Dean; Harry Houdini; Katharine Hepburn; Spencer Tracy; Stan Laurel; Three Stooges; Annie Oakley, etc.)
  • World Leaders (Emperor Hirohito; Napoleon Bonaparte; Winston Churchill; Benito Mussolini; Fidel Castro; Che Guevara; Alexnader Kerensky; Louis XII, etc.)
  • Sports (Baseball: Jackie Robinson; Joe DiMaggio; Hank Aaron; Ty Cobb; Roger Maris; Stan Musial, etc. // Boxing: Muhammad Ali; Jake LaMotta, etc. // Other: Garry Kasparov; Phil Mickelson; Willie Mosconi, etc.)
  • Military (Manfred von Richthofen; George S. Patton, Jr.; Colin Powell; David Farragut; J.E.B. Stuart; R.E. Lee; William T. Sherman, etc.)
  • Civil Rights (Booker T. Washington; James H. Meredith, etc.)
  • Art (Walt Disney; Frank Lloyd Wright; Dr. Seuss; Andrew Wyeth; Ansel Adams; Arthur Szyk; Solomon Guggenheim, etc.)
  • Aviation, Space & Exploration (Charles Lindbergh; Francis Gary Powers; James H. Doolittle; Sir Edmund Hillary; Buzz Aldrin; Yuri Gagarin; Gus Grissom; John Glenn, etc.)
  • Notorious & Law Enforcement (John Wilkes Booth; Meyer Lansky; Frank James; Virgil Earp; Frank Hamer; Pinkerton Detective Agency, etc.)

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