Papers of Muriel May Holbrook, 1904-1974, in the D.H. Lawrence Collection

Scope and Content

This group comprises correspondence to May Chambers from D.H. Lawrence (mainly in the form of postcards), dating from 1905 to 1914. From the same period are postcards from her sister Jessie Chambers and Helen Corke. A series of photographs and picture postcards includes both local scenes and ones from abroad.

A group of illustrative materials consists of several undated postcards of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire and photographs taken at various houses, including some family images. There are some miscellaneous letters to William Holbrook (Muriel's husband) from friends and associates in Canada and the United States (1953-1957) following his wife's death. Typescripts of two short stories by Mrs Holbrook, her marriage certificate and a letter (1961) from a Canadian archivist concerning her teaching career are also present.

Administrative / Biographical History

Muriel May Holbrook (1883-1955) was a member of the Chambers family of Haggs Farm, Underwood, near Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, where D.H. Lawrence was a regular visitor. Lawrence was friendly with the entire Chambers family, but particularly close to May's sister Jessie Chambers. Muriel May Chambers married William Holbrook of Moor Green, Eastwood and subsequently emigrated with him to Saskatchewan, Canada, where she became a teacher. She wrote a number of short stories, mainly with an autobiographical base.


The Collection has been arranged into series of correspondence, arranged by writer, photographs, postcards and material relating to Mrs Holbrook's life. A single numerical sequence is used.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers. Readers are, in most cases, expected to use surrogate copies.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript Catalogue, 7 pp

At the National Register of Archives, London:

Typescript Catalogue, 7 pp

On the World Wide Web:

Catalogue available through the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue. This electronic catalogue supersedes, and is more detailed than the typescript catalogues, and users are advised to refer to the online catalogue in preference to the printed versions.

Custodial History

This collection was gifted to the University of Nottingham Library by Muriel's husband William Holbrook in 1974. It has close associations with the Chambers group in the Lawrence Collection (La Ch) which contains further items by May Holbrook.