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Other Literary Archives

Besides our exceptional collections of Scottish literary manuscripts and archives, we hold important resources for a number of other writers.

The following are our major collections of papers of non-Scottish writers (although many also include materials of Scottish literary relevance).

Barry Bloomfield (1931-2002), a professional librarian, is best known for his bibliography of the poet W. H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973). The collection consists of a wide range of materials by or about Auden: scripts for speeches and broadcasts; offprints, journal issues, and copies of ephemeral publications; press cuttings; and recordings of radio and TV broadcasts featuring Auden. In addition, there is extensive incoming correspondence from writers, publishers, and scholars on Auden-related matters. See also Edinburgh University Library's printed W. H. Auden Collection, many items in which were acquired from Barry Bloomfield.

Arthur Melville Clark (1895-1990) was a member of the English Literature Department at the University of Edinburgh from 1924 to 1960. He had broad research interests but is particularly well known for his work on Elizabethan drama and on Sir Walter Scott. His papers consist of lectures notes and manuscripts of articles on Shakespeare, Scott, and a wide range of poetic subjects; speeches and reviews; correspondence, personal papers, and some photographs. There is also material on heraldry and genealogy and on the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem (of which Clark was a knight).

The poet, short-story writer and novelist Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) is perhaps best remembered for his many poems and anthologies for children. The collection consists of author's proofs of the book-length essay 'Desert islands and Robinson Crusoe', as well as ten folders of letters from de la Mare in both manuscript and typescript form. Further letters from Walter de la Mare are listed on our Archives Catalogue.

James O. Halliwell-Phillipps (1820-1899) was a prolific and controversial literary scholar who built up a vast collection of Shakespeare-related publications, much of which now belong to Edinburgh University Library's Halliwell-Phillipps Collection of printed books. In addition to the printed materials, however, there is an archival collection consisting of around 100 volumes of notebooks and diaries, and 300 volumes of literary correspondence. Halliwell-Phillipps' literary and academic correspondents includes some of the major figures of the Victorian period including writers like Robert Browning and Thomas Hughes.

The Anglo-American writer Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) ranged widely over fiction, drama, screenwriting, travel-writing, and autobiography. Today, he is perhaps best known for 'Goodbye to Berlin', a portrait of sexually adventurous Bohemian life in the pre-Nazi German capital, and for the poetic dramas that he co-wrote with W. H. Auden in the 1930s. This small collection consists of typescripts of three essays and letters from Isherwood to a number of literary and personal acquaintances. There are also papers of Isherwood interest in the Bloomfield Collection of Auden Related Material.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is one of the best-known authors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whose writings on politics and Empire remain controversial. His most enduring works include 'The Jungle Book' and 'Just So Stories' for children, the Indian-set novel 'Kim', and the poem 'If'.  The manuscript collection consists of material prepared for the collections 'The Diversity of Creatures' (1917) and 'The Eyes of Asia' (1918). There is also a letter from Kipling declining an invitation to stand for the rectorship of the University of Edinburgh University in 1935.

The manuscript collection assembled by the great antiquarian David Laing (1793-1878) is Edinburgh University Library's most important archival resource for Scottish historical and literary studies. It also, however, includes important literary manuscripts and correspondence by non-Scottish writers dating from the 16th through to the 19th century. Significant figures featured in the collection include Francis Bacon, Aphra Behn, S. T. Coleridge, Charles Dickens, John Donne, Maria Edgeworth, Henry Fielding, Ben Jonson, John Milton, Edmund Spenser, Jonathan Swift, and William Wordsworth.

John Middleton Murry (1889-1957) was a prolific critic, editor, and essayist on literary, religious, and political themes. He is best known for his editorship of the modernist journal The Adelphi, for his advocacy of the work of his first wife Katherine Mansfield, and for 'Son of Woman', a controversial biography of his friend D. H. Lawrence. This collection consists of 13 boxes of papers including: manuscripts of monographs, essays, reviews, lectures, and speeches; notes and notebooks; press cuttings; letters and letterbooks; diaries; publishing contracts; and galley proofs.

The Anglo-Welsh writer Robert Nye (1939-2016) was a versatile and highly original poet, novelist, and children's writer, whose work dew on Celtic myth and legend. Nye lived in Edinburgh in the 1970s and, as poetry editor of 'The Scotsman' newspaper and Writer-in-Residence at the University of Edinburgh, came to know many Scottish writers. The collection include published and unpublished manuscripts, drafts, working notes, proofs, source material and extensive incoming correspondence. Besides the major Scottish writers of his day, Nye's correspondents include writers of the stature of Kingsley Amis, John Ashberry, Samuel Beckett, Anthony Burgess, A. S. Byatt, Margaret Drabble, Lawrence Durrell, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Michael Moorcock, Stevie Smith, and Stephen Spender.

John Barrington Wain (1925-1994) was associated, as a novelist, with the Angry Young Men school of writers, and, as a poet, with 'The Movement'. His most celebrated work remains the 1953 novel 'Hurry on Down', which captured the scepticism and irreverence of the post-war generation. The collection includes manuscripts and typescripts of most of Wain's published novels, short stories, volumes of poetry, plays, and criticism. There is also extensive incoming correspondence from writers including William Empson, Philip Larkin, Doris Lessing, C. S. Lewis, Octavio Paz, Laura Riding, and Stevie Smith.

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