Scope and Content

This accession includes two autograph letters of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, LC/7/1-2, and a photocopy of a brief letter which does not appear in M Cohen, 'Letters of Lewis Carroll', LC/44. An original sketch by Sir John Tenniel prepared for the 'big puppy' illustration in Alice in Wonderland is also held, LC/3.

The majority of records listed here have much in common with the series DFC/F/, collected 'Carrolliana': exhibition and theatre programmes, newspaper cuttings, promotional material concerning places related to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and Alice, such as Guildford, Daresbury and Llandudno.

The newscuttings, photocopied items and digital printouts mostly relate to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's centenary in 1932 (-/190-192).

Administrative / Biographical History

From the time when he became head of the family on his father's death until he died there in 1898, the Rev Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, best known as the author of 'Alice in Wonderland' under the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a frequent visitor to Guildford. He installed his sisters in a house called The Chestnuts on Castle Hill in Sepember 1868 and he always spent Christmas with them. He brought child friends to stay there, photographed them and the children of Guildford friends in the garden, took part in amateur theatricals and went for long walks, on one of which the line of verse which was to become the last line in 'The Hunting of the Snark' came into his head. Occasionally he preached in St Mary's. As far as is known he was usually on holiday when in Guildford, and none of his imaginative writing was worked on there. Nonetheless Guildford has a good claim to be, after Oxford, the place most associated with his adult life. At least by the time the centenary of his birth was being celebrated in 1932 Guildford was conscious of the significance of the distinguished former occupant of The Chestnuts, and the profits of the celebrations in the town went towards the placing of a plaque on one of the gateposts in Castle Hill. There was a ceremonial unveiling on 24 May 1933 attended by several members of the Dodgson family.


The records are arranged in four groups: original and copy letters and copy diaries; contemporary records relating to published works: records concerning Dodgson, his family and friends; and records relating to the celebration and study of Lewis Carroll and his work.

Access Information

There are no access restrictions.

Acquisition Information

This accession contains an accruing collection of Lewis Carroll related material from a variety of sources between 1966 and 2015. Some individual donors are noted in the item descriptions.

Originally, published books and periodical articles were included in this accession. These were in the main removed from this accession, and added to the library catalogue in 2006.

-/190-192 were presented by Beth Mead, trustee of the Dodgson estate, in March 2012. -/196 was presented by Neil Crombie of Swan Films, London, in January 2015.

Other Finding Aids

An item level list is available on the Surrey History Centre online catalogue

Conditions Governing Use

Dodgson family photographs (including those attributed to Dodgson himself) are now in the public domain and therefore out of copyright in the UK. In 1995, copyright for posthumously published items was extended to 70 years from first publication, or 31 Dec 2039, whichever is earlier. In both cases, we must inform the executors of the Dodgson estate of any request to publish. Please contact a member of staff to undertake this.

For U.S publishing, any Dodgson photos first published before 1 Jan 1923 are in the public domain. If published between 1923 and 1977, copyright is the year of publication plus 95 years. Photos published between 1978 and 2002 are in copyright until 31 Dec 2047. Any photograph which remained unpublished at 1 Jan 2003 is in the U.S public domain. AP Watt, the literary agents, and the executors must be asked for their permission prior to publishing. Please contact a member of staff to undertake this.

It is not known whether all manuscript material in DFC/- remains in copyright. Therefore publication requests for manuscript items and extracts from DFC/- must be referred to AP Watt Ltd (and copied to the executors) in the first instance in case the material is still in copyright.

Members of the public are not permitted to take photographs of items in DFC/-. Surrey History Centre is the sole provider of any photographic images to the public and will only provide hard copy prints and not files on CD-ROM. Please contact a member of staff for list of exceptions.

We can provide photocopies of photographs and manuscript material in DFC and LC for members of the public for private research/educational purposes only. Prints of the photographs should be used rather than originals.

Related Material

For other records of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and the Dodgson family of Guildford, see G103 (letters from Dodgson to Mary and Charles Manners, 1885-1898, and published works by and about Lewis Carroll); DFC (the main Dodgson collection); Zg/73 (photocopies of two letters from Dodgson to Dora Abdy of Guildford, 1895); Zg/100 (copy photographs of the Dodgson sisters); and 6968 (letters from Dodgson to May Mileham, 1884-1886). Papers of Derek Hudson, biographer of Lewis Carroll, are held as 1521 and 8593. Diaries, 1855-1897, are held at the British Library, ref BL Add MSS 54340-54348.


Morton N Cohen, ed., The Letters of Lewis Carroll, 2 volumes, c.1837-1885 and 1886-1898 (1979); Guildford Borough Council [SF Corke], Lewis Carroll in Guildford, booklet accompanying exhibition at Guildford House Gallery, Jul 1989 (LC/125/2)