Abbott Literary Manuscripts

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 33 abl
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      English ; French
  • Physical Description
      598 items

Scope and Content

The contents, largely 19th and 20th century English literary manuscripts and correspondence, with a little 18th century material, are closely related to Abbott's own research interests, particularly in George Darley, the Rossetti family and thePre-Raphaelites, and the poet Edward Thomas (1878-1917). The more notable items include letters of John Wolcot Peter Pindar (1738-1819), manuscripts and correspondence of George Darley, 37 letters from Dante GabrielRossetti to the book illustrator and artist F.J. Shields (1833-1911), 22 letters from Gerard Manley Hopkins to the poet Coventry Patmore, manuscripts and correspondence of Edward Thomas including extensive correspondence with his literary agent C.F.Cazenove, and letters of Hugh Walpole and André Gide. In all, some 37 writers are represented. The greater part of the collection consists of correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

This small collection of English literary manuscripts (with a few letters in French) was formed by Claude Colleer Abbott (1889-1971), scholar and minor poet. Abbott was Professor of English at the University of Durham 1932-1954, and earlierlectured at the University of Aberdeen. Among his scholarly publications most closely related to his collection of literary manuscripts are his editions of correspondence of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), and his critical biography of the poetGeorge Darley (1795- 1846). Abbott was a collector of 19th and 20th century British art as well as manuscripts and books, with an interest in the Pre-Raphaelites spanning all three collecting fields. Whereas his manuscript collection and his paperscame to the University of Durham, his library was bequeathed to the University of East Anglia and his art collection to Carlisle Art Gallery.


Alphabetical by writer, and then chronological.

Access Information

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Prof. Abbott's literary trustees, 1971.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from theHead of Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist wherepossible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

Abbott Papers (personal and working papers of Professor Abbott, including literary correspondence)


A. D. Burnett, The Abbott Collection of Literary Manuscripts; an introduction with the catalogue of an exhibition (Durham, 1975)