Archive created by Peter Dickinson during the course of his career as a children's writer, from the 1960s to 2006. The collection contains typescripts, draft material and related correspondence for 37 of his published works for children, in addition to a few unpublished works including two children's operas and some short stories. The collection also includes material relating to the commissioning and script development of the television series 'Mandog', written by Dickinson and later adapted into a full-length novel. The material in the collection constitutes a complete record of Dickinson's work as a children's writer, and provides information on all aspects of writing, editing and publishing books for children during the period covered. The material documents in some detail the working relationship between author and editor in developing a story from first draft to final publication, in particular Dickinson's close relationship with his first American editor, Emilie W. McLeod. As the majority of Dickinson's children's titles were published in both America and Britain, the collection provides a great deal of information on the publication of children's books in both countries and illustrates some of the differences in attitude and approach between British and American editors and publishers. The collection also documents the relationship between the author, illustrator and publisher/editor in the production of illustrated titles, and the complications which can arise in such collaborations. In addition to recording the creative process, the material documents the administrative and financial aspects of drawing up contracts, negotiating royalties and controlling rights in published works. None of the material in the collection relates to Dickinson's adult titles.
The collection is arranged into four series - Books, Short stories, Scripts and Operas. Further information on the contents of each series can be found at series level in the catalogue.