Papers of and relating to George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), 1875-, comprising manuscripts and typescripts, 1917-1959 (Ref: A); literary notebooks, 1939- (Ref: B); Spanish Civil War material, 1936-1939 (Ref: C); general notebooks, 1943- (Ref: D); political diaries, 1938-1942 (Ref: E); domestic diaries, 1938-1948 (Ref: F); letters from Orwell, 1911-1949 (Ref: G); letters to Orwell, 1928-1950 (Ref: H); associated material, 1935-1949 (Ref: I); personalia, 1903-1971 (Ref: J); Eileen Blair papers [1920s]-1967 (Ref: K); family papers, 1875-1968 (Ref: L); posthumous material, 1950-1972 (Ref: M); proofs, 1932-1953 (Ref: N); radio scripts, 1943-1957 (Ref: O); adaptation scripts and screenplays of Orwell's work, 1952-1986 (Ref: P); documentary scripts, 1946-1983, of recorded interviews about Orwell (Ref: Q); audio-visual cassettes, 1983-, about Orwell and his work (Ref: R); Sonia Orwell papers, 1937-1977 (Ref: S); photographs, 1893-1984 (Ref: T).
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 103 ORWELL
- Dates of Creation1875-
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish French German Japanese
- Physical Description16 boxes, 49 volumes, 10 files, c200 photographs
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Born in Motihari, Bengal, India, 25 June 1903; educated at Eton, 1917-1921; served in Burma in the Indian Imperial Police, 1922-1928; lived for several years in poverty, as a dish-washer in Paris, France, and as a tramp in England, 1928-1931; school teacher at the Hawthorns, Middlesex, 1932-1933; part-time assistant in a Hampstead bookshop, London, 1934-1935; wrote books and novels, 1933-1949; married Eileen Maud O'Shaughnessy (died 1945), 1936; reviewer of novels for the 'New English Weekly', until 1940; visited areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, 1936; wounded in Spain fighting for the Republicans, 1937; member of the Home Guard during World War Two; worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation Eastern Service, 1940-1943; Literary Editor of 'Tribune', 1943-1945; war correspondent for the 'Observer', 1945; regular contributor to the 'Manchester Evening News', 1943-1946; suffered from tuberculosis, often in hospital, 1947-1950; married Sonia Mary Brownell, 1949; died, 21 January 1950. Publications: 'Down and out in Paris and London' (Victor Gollancz, London, 1933); 'Burmese days' (Harper & Brothers, New York, 1934); 'The road to Wigan pier' (Victor Gollancz, London, 1937); 'Homage to Catalonia' (Secker & Warburg, London, 1938); 'Coming up for air' (Victor Gollancz, London, 1939); 'The lion and the unicorn' (Secker & Warburg, London, 1941); 'Animal farm' (Secker & Warburg, London, 1945); 'Critical essays' (Secker & Warburg, London, 1946); 'The English people' (Collins, London, 1947); 'Nineteen eighty-four' (Secker & Warburg, London, 1949); 'Shooting an elephant, and other essays' (Secker & Warburg, London, 1950).
Arranged in sub-fonds as indicated in Description.
Certain restrictions apply
The majority of the collection is open, some sections are closed under data protection legislation. In some cases, the originals are not accessible, but digitised versions are available on our Digital Collections site. Please see the detailed catalogue for futher information, or contact Special Collections.
Manuscripts, notebooks and personalia of George Orwell were presented in 1960 on permanent loan by his widow on behalf of the George Orwell Archive Trust, which have been supplemented by donations from family, friends and business associates, and by purchases. More detailed provenance is given at lower levels of description.
Other Finding Aids
Sections of the collection are listed to item level on the online catalogue. Please use the online catalogue for the following series: ORWELL/A-H; ORWELL/J; ORWELL/S/1/A-B and ORWELL/T. Other sections have a basic list on calm, further lists may be available by contacting Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
Generally normal copyright restrictions apply; however, the BBC scripts are not to be copied without the prior permission of the Orwell estate and the Head of Copyright at the BBC. Copyright information is recorded at the file or item level for catalogued sections of the collection.