Elbert Hubbard Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials such as books, postcards, and pamphlets about Elbert Hubbard and the Elbert Hubbard Museum in Aurora, New York.
- 1900 - 1990
Conditions Governing Use
The materials represented in this finding aid have been made available for research, teaching and private use. For these purposes, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) these items without prior permission on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies. Please contact the Newton Gresham Library's Special Collections and University Archives department to request permissions to reproduce materials for any other purpose, or to obtain information regarding the copyright status of a particular digital image, text, audio or video recording.
Biographical / Historical
Elbert Green Hubbard was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. Born June 19, 1856 in Bloomington, Illinois, to Silas Hubbard and Juliana Frances Read, Hubbard was the third child. He had two older siblings, Charlie and Hannah Frances “Frank”, and three younger sisters, Mary, Anna Miranda, and Honor. Charlie was bed-ridden after a fall when he was young, dying at the age of nine when Elbert was just three-and-a-half years old. The Hubbard family moved to Hudson, Illinois from Buffalo, New York in 1856 due to the difficulty Silas Hubbard had in establishing a medical practice in Buffalo. The children attended the local public school and Elbert was known as a troublemaker, often annoying his teachers with jokes and loud laughter. Elbert Hubbard started his first business in selling Larkin soap products and moved to Buffalo, New York. On June 30, 1881, Hubbard married Bertha Crawford. They had four children together, Elbert Hubbard II, Sanford, Ralph, and Catherine. In 1895, Hubbard founded the Roycroft community in East Aurora, New York. It started with his private press, the Roycroft Press, that he collaborated with Bertha. Members were known as Roycrofters and the work and philosophy was known as the Roycroft movement. This movement shaped the development of American architecture and design in the early 20th century. Hubbard believed “roycroft” translated to “king’s craft” from French. He chose the name “Roycroft” from Samuel and Thomas Roycroft, book-makers from London from 1650 to 1690. The Roycroft seal was inspired by the monk Cassiodorus, a bookbinder and illuminator from the 13th century. Hubbard was unable to find a publisher for his book “Little Journeys”, so he created his own private press, thus founding Roycroft Press. Word spread through the craftspeople of Aurora, and Hubbard found a following in many like-minded individuals. The unofficial creed of the Roycroft is quoted from John Ruskin: “A belief in working with the head, hand and heart and mixing enough play with the work so that every task is pleasurable and makes for health and happiness.” In 1904, Elbert Hubbard and Alice Moore married after a controversial affair. They had an illegitimate daughter together, Miriam Elberta Hubbard. Elbert and Alice were aboard the RMS Lusitania when it was struck by a torpedo from the German U-boat U-20. They perished with 1,196 others. Hubbard was granted permission to travel to Europe to document the ongoing World War I. He was initially declined a passport due to pleading guilty for violating postal laws by circulating “obscene” materials. Elbert Hubbard II operated the Roycroft Shops after his father’s passing until 1938. The Roycroft Campus is composed of fourteen original buildings located in the area of South Grove and Main Street in East Aurora. In 1986, this area was awarded a National Historic Landmark status. The main Elbert Hubbard collection is currently housed in the George and Gladys Scheidemantel House in the campus.
2 boxes (Box one contains copies of "Little Journeys" and museum programs. Box two contains books published by and about Elbert Hubbard. )
Language of Materials
Materials are housed in two archival boxes, arranged by type and chronologically.
- Elbert Hubbard Collection
- Sunday Stewart-Smothers, Michelle Rainey
- 1/9/2023; 6/14/2023
- Language of description
- Script of description