The collection includes a good deal of very important information, not least the 40 personal diaries dating from 1932- 1971, which are as yet unpublished, and may provide a detailed insight into the author's mind and daily life. There are also numerous notebooks, a few of which were transcribed by a friend of Alison Uttley during her lifetime, which contain rough drafts of stories, jottings of dreams, memories, experiences and quotations which were used to inspire her writings, and details of Flemish art and artists which interested her and from which she built up her small collection.
Also of importance are several scrapbooks containing press cuttings and reviews of Alison Uttley's work, which were also created during her lifetime by a friend, especially for the University Library, and are an invaluable overview of her career. Added to the above, there are numerous copies of her works, in various forms, such as handwritten notes, rough typescripts with annotations, final typewritten versions and proof copies; there are also many copies of illustrations from those works, by artists such as Tunnicliffe, Tempest and Wigglesworth.
Finally, there are miscellaneous items, such as the cuttings, postcards and letters removed from her private library, which was left to the University in her will; the drawings and letters sent to her by children who loved her books; photographs of herself, her family, and places of interest to her writing; the results of research for her books, especially concerning the Babington Family; and her framed Litt.D certificate.
The collection is thus a wide and varied source of information for those interested both in Alison Uttley herself, and children's writing in general, and can be linked with the large personal library which is also housed in the John Rylands (a list of which will is attached to the hard copy version of this list). Also intended for inclusion is a large amount of correspondence between Alison Uttley herself (and later her son) and Dr Ratcliffe, then Librarian of Manchester University Library, concerning the acquisition of her papers for the Library both before and after her death.