Many of the archives held in the Special Collections relate to creative practice. The greatest quantity of correspondence by authors, editors, translators, illustrators, typographers, printers, and designers may be found in the Archive of British Publishing and Printing. Files within each publishing archive are often arranged or indexed by author. See also the Art Collections for individual artworks and Rare Books for published works.
In addition to these, many archives relating to named writers and artists may be found here.
Fiction writers and poets
As well as the archive of Nobel Prize winning author Samuel Beckett, we hold papers relating to W.B. Yeats and his collaborators Edwin John Ellis and John Todhunter. Other notable collections include that of the poet Bernard Spencer. We also hold archives of Sylvia Lynd, historical novelist Margaret Irwin, John Hampson, Peter Porter and novelist and scriptwriter Elinor Glyn.
Non-fiction writers, journalists and critics
Film-makers and photographers
Our principal stand-alone film-maker’s archive is that of Stephen Dwoskin (limited access while cataloguing is undertaken), a key figure in British experimental cinema. Other film-making content may be found in the archives of Samuel Beckett and Elinor Glyn. Among photographers, the outstanding collection of vintage prints is that of Alvin Langdon Coburn, a pioneer of abstract photography.
Our records of architectural design cover a wide range and are complemented by our holdings of rare books. One of the principal collections is that of DEGW, founded by key architectural thinkers Frank Duffy, Luigi Giffone and John Worthington.
See our Collections A-Z pages for descriptions of each of our collections.
You can access these collections via the reading room.
We welcome use of our collections in teaching sessions.