GLAM Survey of Collecting Policy & Practice:
British Library

The British Library can boast the most comprehensive range of manuscripts able to support the study and appreciation of the English literary tradition. The Library’s collection of medieval and earlier literary manuscripts is the most important in the world, while holdings of the original works of major nineteenth-century authors are particularly strong, with a world-class collection of the Romantics, found in the Ashley Collection. In order to maintain this unparalleled collecting tradition, we have focussed in recent years on growing our post-War literary archival collections, developing an outstanding body of material to document British poetry, prose fiction, and drama post-1945. Since 2005, and with the support of the Working Group on UK Literary Heritage, the British Library has announced a number of high-profile acquisitions and donations, including the archives of Ted Hughes, Harold Pinter and John Berger.

Recent Acquisitions

Description of acquisition (including extent) Type of acquisition Source of acquisition
1.Angela Carter archive Purchase Dealer
Funded: Own resources
2. Macmillan Archive Part III Purchase Offer from owner
Funded: Own resources
3. Arthur Conan Doyle Christie’s Lots and Bequest PurchaseBequest Auction.
Offer from owner
Funded: Own resources
4. Lord Chamberlain Office Theatre Files [further tranche] Gift Offer from owner (i.e. Royal Archives)
Approach to owner
5. Archive of Tambimuttu and Poetry London Gift Approach to owner

For further information or enquiries, please contact the British Library direct.

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