Hidden Literary Collections at the University of Illinois


As described on our webpage, we propose arranging and describing 80 literary collections. The largest collections are the H.G. Wells papers, Carl Sandburg papers, and W. S. Merwin papers. For each of these authors we are the repository for the major collection of the author's personal papers. Additional extensive collections include the papers of James Jones (the author of From Here to Eternity), the authoritative collection of William Maxwell papers (author and longtime editor of the New Yorker), and the Edwin Rolfe papers (poet and member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War). Turning to the 19th century, we have manuscript materials documenting the life of Lewis Carroll (the Flodden Heron collection) and William Cobbett (the famous labor activist of the early nineteenth century). We have an interesting collection of uncataloged 19th-century scripts, including several pantomines. We have strong collections in the area of literary publishing history, including one of the three major groups of records documenting the famous Bentley publishing firm, a small collection relating to Mudie's lending library, and a little known archive of materials related to Grant Richards and his publishing firm, Grant Richards Limited. Finally, we have a variety of small, hidden collections that document a wide range of literary and social figures.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



University of Ilinois


  • Chatham Ewing

Collection Size

1398 cubic feet

Date Range

1850 - 2010

Geographic Scope

Materials are predominantly English and American. There are significant French and Spanish holdings.