The items in this collection relate to Thomas Blackburn's personal life, his career as a poet and his teaching career. Comprises: typescripts, autograph manuscripts and other papers relating to Thomas Blackburn's poetry (2 boxes); 60 notebooks (59 of which are numbered) containing Blackburn's autograph manuscripts drafts of literary compositions and lectures/teaching notes (4 boxes); typescript and manuscript drafts and other papers relating to fictional works including The Feast of the Wolf (3 boxes), critical works including his book on Robert Browning (3 boxes), autobiographical works including A Clip of Steel (2 boxes), and drama (2 boxes); papers relating to appointments and teaching positions held by Blackburn (1 box); correspondence of Thomas Blackburn with others (2 boxes); and family papers and personalia, including Blackburn family correspondence dating to 1893, and a dissertation on his work by Dominique Gatien (1 box). There is also an audio recording on reel-to-reel tape and a gramophone disc of Blackburn reading his own work. This collection includes some family papers from the Fenwick and Bainbridge families. The majority of items relate to Blackburn's early life up, to his death. Many of the notebooks, poem typescripts and letters date from his time in Leeds. The family papers date from before his birth. The majority of the personal letters appear to come from his later life and are most likely only able to give a fragmentary example of what, with some friends, may have been a lengthy correspondence.
Additional item added to collection Nov 2017: BC MS 20c Blackburn/5/1/84 Letter from Margaret Blackburn to Colin Huggett.