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Manuscript Collection: George Catlin

Collection Overview

Collection summary derived from "Guidebook to Manuscripts", 1969: George Catlin (1795-1872), American painter of Indian life, traveled with the Dragoon Expedition of 1834 and was a protégé of Sir Thomas Phillipps. He had exhibitions in London, and circulars and brochures of these showings are in our files. The manuscripts include seventy-seven letters written by Catlin to Sir Thomas Phillipps, most of them presented to Gilcrease Institute by William S. Bailey, Jr. who purchased them from Robinson Brothers (London). There are also other letters and notes by Catlin and descriptive catalogs of paintings in Catlin's handwriting. From Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), English collector of rare books and documents, are twenty photostats of his letters to Catlin and also fifteen handwritten letters, most of them on the reverse side of the letters Phillipps had received from Catlin. Gilcrease Institute has two brochures concerning Catlin and the paintings we own: 137 watercolors and seventy-six oil paintings. Also, in the Gilcrease Library, see A. N. L. Munby "The Formation of Phillipps Library between 1841 and 1872 (Phillipps Study No. IV)," Cambridge University Press.

Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive
1840 - 1858
CSV file

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Access Restrictions

Available by appointment only at the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR) with the exception of materials with donor restrictions. Contact Library staff in advance to inquire if materials exist pertaining to your research interests.

Use Restrictions

Please contact the Rights and Reproduction Department for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. Permission will be granted by the Gilcrease Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.


The Gilcrease Foundation acquired these materials before 1964 and is housed in the Helmerich Center for American Research (HCAR). The library currently receives most materials through community donation, board members, artists and the acquisition of manuscript collections.

Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Thomas Gilcrease Library and Archive have contributed to the organization and maintenance of the files since the collection passed to the City of Tulsa in the 1950s.