University Archives Rare Signed Manuscripts, Books, Photos, And Relics Auction Ends Feb. 21, 2024

University Archives is thrilled to announce its next sale in progress and concluding on February 21, 2024 @ 10:30 AM EDT.  (Bidding now open): At 470 lots, Rare Signed Manuscripts, Books, Photos, and Relics will feature our usual dazzling array of important autographs, historical documents, rare books, artwork, photographs, relics, sports memorabilia, currency, exonumia, and scripophily. A full one third of our sale is dedicated to U.S. Presidents, in particular Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and John F. Kennedy. We also have a strong selection representing the best of the Science, Entertainment, Old West, Military, Art, Music, Literature, International, and Sports collecting categories

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

Our website:




U.S. Presidential

Lot 159 is a Woodrow Wilson signed declaration designating the date of a Red Cross fundraising drive for European Jews in January 1916, over a year before the U.S. officially entered World War I. The declaration names January 27, 1916 as “Jewish Relief Day,” stating in part: “… the people of the United States will … aid the war-stricken people of a race which has given to the United States so many worthy citizens.” Ironically, January 27th later became International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the 1945 Soviet liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

Lot 84 is a handsomely displayed Abraham Lincoln signature as “A. Lincoln” on a blank leaf of “Executive Mansion” stationery, flanked by an etching in a gilt frame, ex-Goodspeed’s Book Shop.

Lot 128 is a 12pp early speech draft by Ronald Reagan of the address he later delivered on March 30, 1981, the day of his near assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr. Reagan extensively edited and annotated the speech draft with 770+ words in his hand, signing it with his initials in one of the margins. Reagan read the final version of the speech–boasting about being the first U.S. President to be a lifetime member of the AFL-CIO–before a group of AFL-CIO members at the Washington Hilton Hotel just moments before being shot. If Hinckley had been more successful, this would have been the last speech Reagan ever made. There are many other wonderful Reagan items in the sale including autographed letters and typed letters signed, signed photographs and ephemera, and relics.

Lot 40 is a 3pp manuscript document inscribed and signed by then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson as “Examined & believed to be right / Th: Jefferson.” The document, ca. January 13-23, 1792, lists itemized expenses of the nascent federal government, including a charge for “two drafts of the federal town,” that is, the designs of French architect Stephen Hallet for the U.S. Capitol. Jefferson is charged with executing the “direction of the president,” George Washington.

Lot 157 is a blank certificate of the Society of Cincinnati signed by George Washington in his role as society president, and countersigned by society secretary Henry Knox. The Society of Cincinnati was a fraternal society of Continental Army veterans created in 1783.


Lot 431 is a 2pp autograph letter in German signed by Albert Einstein explaining that he fled Europe in September 1933 because “there were plans for my assassination.” Einstein’s shocking revelation modifies preconceptions about assassination as being the fate of only presidents, politicians, or Civil Rights leaders. The letter illustrates how Einstein became a political refugee after the Nazis took over Germany in January 1933, sheltering first under police protection in Belgium until he escaped to coastal England en route to the United States. Einstein’s letter to youngest son Tetel, which has been fully translated, describes Einstein’s safehouse on the English moors, his occupations, and his thoughts on the future. Also offered in our February sale is a 1p autograph manuscript in German by Albert Einstein relating to his development of the United Field Theory, as well as an interesting vintage photograph of Einstein dedicated in an unknown hand in Hebrew almost certainly dating from Einstein’s 1923 trip to modern day Israel.

Lot 432 is a Steve Jobs signed release authorizing the use of audio of his NeXT demonstration in November 1988 as part of an educational series relating to computers and information technology; exciting demos like these later became a hallmark of Jobs’s Apple products marketing machine. PSA/DNA slabbed and graded GEM MINT 10. This demo marked the East Coast debut of the NeXT computer “cube” as well as the NeXTSTEP operating system.

Marvelous Miscellany

Lot 285 is Marilyn Monroe’s Connecticut driver’s license, boldly signed by her as “Marilyn Monroe Miller,” and PSA/DNA slabbed and certified authentic. The ca. July 28, 1958 license lists Monroe’s birthday, height, and address in Roxbury, Connecticut, where she lived with playwright husband Arthur Miller from 1956-1961.

Lot 188 is a 1p typed letter signed by William “Bat” Masterson, dated February 4, 1914, in which the aging Dodge City lawman praises author Robert Wright’s recently published autobiography, “Dodge City, the Cowboy Capital.” Handsomely presented in a commanding frame, Masterson’s letter is also accompanied by a 3pp manuscript by Wright describing the murder of Masterson’s brother Ed.

Lot 318 is an autograph endorsement by George A. Custer, recommending a soldier who served under him at the Battle of Gettysburg, PSA/DNA slabbed and certified authentic. Captain James G. Birney IV served with Custer in the 7th Michigan Cavalry, or “Wolverines,” at Gettysburg, during which time Birney “was severely wounded while defending the colors of the regiment.” Also countersigned by General Wesley Merritt, ex-Phillip Sang / Sotheby’s.

Lot 335 is a Robert E. Lee signature clip displayed below an enormous 17” x 14” albumen photo of Lee and his beloved warhorse Traveller. Civil War collectors will prize the combination of the crisp Lee signature with the huge photo depicting Lee on horseback, an image so widely associated with Lee’s image.

These are just a few of the unique lots that will be offered in our February 21, 2024 sale. We hope to see you there!”

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.

University Archives’ offices are located at 88 Danbury Rd. (Suite #2A) in Wilton, Conn. For more information about University Archives and the 469-lot, online-only Rare Signed Manuscripts, Books, Photos, & Relics auction scheduled for Wednesday, February 21st, at 10:30 am Eastern time, please visit Updates are posted frequently.

Highlights Include:

  • Lot 285, Marilyn Monroe signed driver’s license
  • Lot 430, Albert Einstein AM
  • Lot 431, Albert Einstein ALS
  • Lot 432, Steve Jobs DS
  • Lot 159, Woodrow Wilson DS
  • Lot 188, Bat Masterson TLS
  • Lot 84, Abraham Lincoln Sig
  • Lot 128, Ronald Reagan signed/annotated speech draft
  • Lot 318, George Custer autograph endorsement
  • Lot 335, Robert E. Lee Sig & Photo
  • Lot 157, George Washington DS
  • Lot 40, Thomas Jefferson autograph endorsement

Major Categories:

  • U.S. Presidential & First Families (Washington to Trump, etc.; Dolley Madison to Jackie Kennedy, etc.)
  • Science & Technology (Albert Einstein; Steve Jobs; Apple, Inc.; Thomas A. Edison; Ernest Jones, etc.)
  • Entertainment (Marilyn Monroe; Harry Houdini; Audrey Hepburn; Spencer Tracy; Vivien Leigh; Moe Howard, etc.)
  • Old West (Bat Masterson; Annie Oakley; Gold Rush; Roy Bean; Josephine Earp, etc.)
  • Military (George A. Custer; Robert E. Lee; Stonewall Jackson; Revolutionary War; War of 1812; Civil War; WWI; WWII; War in Afghanistan, etc.)
  • Art (Diane Arbus; Frank Lloyd Wright; Walt Disney; Andy Warhol; Georgia O’Keefe; Maxfield Parrish; John Singer Sargent, etc.)
  • Music (Cole Porter; George Gershwin; Frank Sinatra; Three Tenors; Bono, etc.)
  • Literature (Allen Ginsberg; Jack Kerouac; Walt Whitman; John Steinbeck; Jack London; Robert Browning; Ray Bradbury; Tennessee Williams, etc.)
  • World Leaders (Elizabeth II; Winston Churchill; Edward VIII; Napoleon Bonaparte; Alexander III; Menachem Begin; Moshe Dayan; Fulgencio Batista, etc.)
  • Sports (Baseball: Clemente, Mantle, Williams, Aaron, Berra, Mays, Maris, Koufax, Jeter, etc. // Boxing: Muhammad Ali; Sugar Ray Robinson; Joe Frazier, etc.)
  • Early America (Revolutionary War; John Hancock; Sam Adams; Thomas Paine; Declaration of Independence & Dec. Signers; U.S. Constitution, etc.)
  • Civil Rights (Phillis Wheatley; John Brown; William Lloyd Garrison; Booker T. Washington; Frederick Douglass; Helen Keller, etc.)
  • Religion: (John Wesley; George Whitfield; Francis Asbury; Thomas Coke; Mary Fletcher; Missionaries, etc.)
  • Aviation / Space (Apollo Program; Amelia Earhart; Wright Brothers; Chuck Yeager; Eddie Rickenbacker, etc.)
  • Notorious (John Wilkes Booth; Lee Harvey Oswald; Al Capone; Meyer Lansky; Jack Ruby; Sammy Gravano, etc.)


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