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Special Collections

NTU Library holds a number of literary collections and archives. Many of them relate to specific areas of our research excellence.

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Our Collections

The majority of our special collectionsare relevant to recovery research in English literature. Many of them have a particular focus on labouring-class poetry, modern literary manuscripts or travel writing. All archives and collections are housed in the Clifton Library.

Laura (Riding) Jackson Archive

The collection includes:

  • 978 letters and carbon-copy and photocopies of Laura (Riding) Jackson's unpublished letters to Mark Jacobs
  • autobiographical accounts (including her life in Deyá, Majorca, her suicide attempt of 1929 and her current life)
  • personal comments on her own poems and prose both past and present
  • detailed accounts of her management and dealings with work on her and Robert Graves, such as conferences (e.g. MLA and Focus On Robert Graves)
  • dealings with other authors, publishers and agents, and
  • a collection of review-cuttings, public letters.

A catalogue of the Laura (Riding) Jackson archive is given on the Laura (Riding) Jackson website where summaries of letters, typescripts and digital copies of original letters are provided. There is also a bibliography of her work and a concordance of the poems in progress. The collection also includes a series of book typescripts, proofs, amended proofs and manuscripts.  In total we have 28 boxes of manuscript material and 14 books.

Colleen J McElroy Archive

Our archive contains a collection of papers by travel writer, poet and fiction writer Colleen J McElroy (born 1935). It includes:

  • manuscript page-proofs
  • drafts of poems
  • letters
  • lecture notes
  • field notes
  • articles
  • photographs
  • audio-tapes.

A handlist is available. In total we have five boxes.

Labouring Class Poetry Collection

The collection comprises of mostly 19th Century volumes of labouring-class poetry.

It includes 75 volumes on labouring-class poetry, and 70 volumes from the collection of Bloomfield enthusiast Alex Bridge. This comprises the Robert Bloomfield Collection, which we purchased in 2000, funded through the . This collection includes all the most significant early editions of Bloomfield's work, some fine large paper and illustrated editions, some popular Victorian and modern editions, and several association items.

The collection also includes the Brian Maidment Collection; 112 volumes of nineteenth century labouring class poetry that we acquired in 2007 from Professor Brian Maidment. This was assembled to support the editing of the anthology The Poorhouse Fugitives (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1997). The collection also includes four files of working papers from that project.

Raymond Williams Collection

The collection contains approximately 180 volumes from the personal library of Raymond Williams (1921-1988). This includes works by and about him, as well as volumes of poetry, literary and cultural criticism. The collection also includes a small number of letters and ephemera taken from the books.

Contemporary Writing Archive

The collection contains approximately 140 boxes of archival material relating to a large number of contemporary writers from the 1940s onwards, mainly from the UK.

It includes manuscripts and typescripts of poetry and novels, and letters. The archive includes significant holdings useful for the study of regional East Midlands writing and the history of small presses.

Further information on the holdings, a listing of authors and a partial handlist is available.

Using Special Collections

NTU staff and students and non-NTU researchers may consult the special collections. The collections can only be accessed by prior arrangement and material can only be consulted at Clifton Campus Library, normally Mondays to Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm only.

All readers wishing to consult Special Collections will be required to show photographic ID, such as:

  • NTU Smartcard
  • other University card/library card
  • passport or photographic driving licence.

Material can only be photocopied or scanned by NTU Library staff, subject to copyright and/or permission of the owner. This may not be possible during the visit but arrangements can be made for later collection.

Anyone wanting access to Special Collections should complete the Special Collections Access Request Form at least one working day before their visit.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 848 2175