The National Portrait Gallery Archive has recently begun a project to improve descriptions of its Collected Archives. New descriptions, providing greater information on the contents of the archives listed below, are gradually being added to the archive catalogue.
Collection of miscellaneous autograph letters
Miscellaneous collection of autograph letters arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Acquired from various sources.
SEE card catalogue of autograph letters in Public Study Room for individual entries
BAKER, Charles Henry Collins
Charles Henry Collins Baker, 1880-1959
Art historian; member of staff at the National Gallery 1911-1932 and Huntington Library 1932-1949; Surveyor of the King's Pictures 1928-1934
Charles Henry Collins Baker research papers, c. 1924 - 1958. 9 boxes; 39 cm. Plus 7 card index drawers. Comprises 31 notebooks, miscellaneous loose notes, correspondence, photographs and reproductions in 9 boxes, with a card index in 7 drawers. Note: other papers by Baker are filed by name of artist in Notes on Artists. Acquired, after 1959.
Administrator of the estate of Richard Tonson, 1717-1772
For portraits of the Beauclerk family see QUADT-WYKRADT-ISNY
Barth[olomew] Beale commonplace book, 7 July 1644 - 30 July 1698. 1 volume (85 leaves) ; 19 cm. Inscribed at front of volume with the name Barth Beale and dates 7 July 1644 and 30 July 1698. Written in several different hands. Comprises religious observations, quotations and translations. Gift, Francis Needham, 1937.
Charles Beale, 1632-1705
Husband of the portrait painter Mary Beale, 1633-1699
Charles Beale diary and notebook, 6 January 1680 - 31 December 1681. 1 volume (146 leaves) ; 18 cm. Bound and interleaved with a copy of Merlini Anglici Ephemeris by William Lilly (London: Printed by J. Macock for the Company of Stationers, 1681). Comprises notes and accounts relating to the daily operations of his wife's painting studio including names of sitters. Purchase, James Wilson, 1878.
See Mansfield Kirby Talley Portrait painting in England (London: Paul Mellon Centre, 1981), p. 279.
See also Tabitha Barber Mary Beale: portrait of a seventeenth-century painter, her family and her studio (London: Geffrye Museum, 1999), p. 77.
Incomplete transcript of Charles Beale diary and notebook, 6 January 1680 - 31 December 1681 : manuscript, undated / handwritten by Charles Kingsley Adams and another hand. 31 leaves ; 33 cm. Comprises a transcription of folios 1-83 from the original diary and notebook.
Mary Beale, 1633-1699
See BEALE, Charles
Index slips with notes relating to paintings by Sir Peter Lely : manuscript, c. 1940 - 1950 / compiled by R.B. Beckett. 5 volumes ; 10 x 22 cm. Relates to R.B. Beckett's catalogue Lely (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1951). Volumes 1-4 contain index slips arranged alphabetically by sitter. Volume 5 contains index slips relating to genre subjects, arranged alphabetically by title. Gift, R.B. Beckett, 1952.
Sir William Beechey, 1753-1839
Sir William Beechey account book, 1784 - 1813. 1 volume (27 leaves) ; 18 cm. Contains common occurrences for 1784 (folios 2-5r); list of miniatures painted by Lady Beechey 1795-8 (folios 5v-7); and accounts for 1789-91 (folios 23-5) and 1807-13 (folios 6v-22). Acquired with 8 letters and 14 sketches attributed to the artist's son Henry William Beechey. Purchase, Sir Peter Ramsbottom, 2003.
See W. Roberts Sir William Beechey, R.A. (London: Duckworth and Co., 1907), pp. 220-37. [Formerly MS 33, reference number now superseded].
Diary and Account Book of Sir William Beechey (1753-1839), 1784-1813 has now been catalogued as WB/1 and Sketches and Notes by Sir Henry William Beechey (1788/9-1862) have now been catalogued as HWB/1.
Copy of a diary begun and a list of portraits painted by Sir William Beechey, RA, in the possession of Sydney Chancellor Esq. 'Lindisfarne', Chingford : manuscript, September 1904 / transcribed by James Donald Milner. 1 volume (83 leaves) ; 24 cm. Comprises a transcription of Beechey's account book 1784-1813, re-arranged in chronological order (folios 1-33), including common occurrences for 1784 (folios 2-4) and a list of miniatures painted by Lady Beechey 1795-8 (folios 9-11). Copied from a diary lent by Sydney Chancellor, 1904.
Alice Mary Bell
Collector of autographs
Alice Mary Bell collection of autograph letters and autographs, c. 1830 - 1939. 1 volume (98 p.) ; 42 cm. Collection assembled by Alice Mary Bell c. 1890-1945 into an album, with press cuttings and photographs relating to a number of the signatories. Gift, Miss Alice Mary Bell, 1947.
List of autograph letters and autographs collected by Alice Mary Bell : manuscript, early 20th century / compiled by Alice Mary Bell, with additional entries in another hand. 1 volume (98 p.) ; 20 cm. Relates to the collection assembled by Alice Mary Bell c. 1890-1945. Records the source from which she received each letter and autograph. Gift, Miss Alice Mary Bell, 1947.
BELL, Charles Francis
Charles Francis Bell, 1871-1966
Keeper of Fine Art at the Ashmolean Museum 1909-1931
Self and partners (mostly self) : being the reminiscences of C.J. Holmes / C[harles] J[ohn] Holmes, with manuscript annotations and inserts by Charles Francis Bell. London : Constable, 1936. xvi, 404 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm. Copy belonging to Charles Francis Bell, 1871-1966. Contains annotations and 28 leaves of manuscript notes by Bell relating to the text, and 9 letters and 3 printed items, 1909-1934. Gift, Charles Francis Bell, 1964.
John C. Binmer
Catalogue of French engraved portraits : manuscript, early 19th century / [possibly by John C. Binmer]. 1 volume (255 leaves) ; 26 cm. Includes 11 loose sheets of notes and lists, amongst which is a list of names titled 'Annals of Queen Elizabeth'. Several sheets bear the name John C. Binmer on the reverse. Acquired 1891.
MS index of engraved foreign portraits : manuscript, early 19th century / [possibly by John C. Binmer]. 2 v. ; 28 cm. Volumes written in same hand and similarly arranged as the Catalogue of French engraved portraits, possibly by John C. Binmer (MS 45). Vol. 1 includes some small cropped engraved portrait heads and coats of arms pasted to leaves alongside relevant entries. Vol 2. labelled on spine 'incomplete' includes 6 loose leaves of lists. Acquired 1891.
MS 169 -170
John Britton, 1771-1857
Antiquary and topographer
336 autograph letters, formerly bound into albums, addressed to the antiquary John Britton and dated 1798 to 1856. This collection has been interfiled with approximately 300 engraved portraits that illustrate Britton’s correspondents, amongst whom are included many eminent literary, antiquarian, artistic and theatrical figures of the period. Given by John Britton’s widow, 1882.
George Frederick Browning
Collector of autographs
Letters to George Frederick Browning, c. 1856 - 1864. 1 volume (40 leaves) ; 31 cm. Collection of 51 autograph letters assembled by Browning into a scrapbook, with 4 drawings (folios 23, 36) and 6 photographs (folios 28-9, 31-2, 35, 37) of unidentified women, and 5 items of ephemera (folio 1). Typescript list of letters at front of volume. Purchase, Mrs Florence Larcher, 1972.
Neville Northey Burnard, 1818-1878
Documents relating to pre-18th Century portraits
Documents relating to 18th Century and Regency portraits
Documents relating to Victorian portraits
Documents relating to 20th Century portraits