Walter Greenwood Collection

Scope and Content

The collection includes manuscripts and/or typescripts of most of Greenwood's published and unpublished works, working notes, plot outlines, proof copies (with corrections and amendments), and published editions. There is also correspondence from the 1930's to the 1970's (mainly relating to his work), photographs and a substantial body of press cuttings and reviews, interviews, and articles by or about Greenwood. The collection also includes material relating to theatre and film productions based on Greenwood's work, as well as personal items which belonged to the author. Some of the numerous significant figures represented in the archive include Robert Donat, Thora Hird, Norman Wisdom and Edith Sitwell.

The collection has been arranged into seven series: i/Manuscripts and typescripts; ii/Correspondence; iii/Newspaper cuttings; iv/Photographs; v/Theatre programmes, playbills and other related materials; vi/Published editions of Greenwood's works; vii/Additional material collected by the University.

Administrative / Biographical History

Walter Greenwood was born in Salford on 17th December 1903, and was educated at the local council school. After leaving school at the age of thirteen he worked in a succession of poorly paid jobs, as a pawnbroker's assistant, clerk, stable lad, maker of packing-cases, and was sometimes unemployed.

Greenwood started to write fiction in his late twenties. His first novel, Love on the Dole, was published in 1933, and was an immediate success. Over the next forty years Greenwood produced nine more novels, together with short stories, plays, film scripts, and occasional journalism.

He was briefly a member of Salford City Council (1935-36), and served in the Royal Army Service Corps during World War II. In 1938 he established a film company called Greenpark Productions Ltd and was involved in producing films for the Government during the Second World War.

Greenwood married Pearl Alice Osgood, an actress and dancer, in 1937; they separated circa 1944. After leaving Salford in the mid 1930's, he lived in London, Sussex and Cornwall, before finally settling in the Isle of Man in the late 1950's. He was awarded an honorary D.Litt. by the University of Salford in 1971, and died in Douglas, Isle of Man on 11th September 1974.

Access Information

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Archivist's Note

Description created by Ian Johnston, December 2006.

Custodial History

Main collection purchased from the author in 1973. Additional material deposited by his sister, and some items separately purchased.