Dobson, Henry Austin

Scope and Content

This collection, 1869-1966, contains manuscript material and printed volumes of Austin Dobson's work, and correspondence to him. Manuscripts of most of his published prose and poems are represented in the collection; there are also versions of poems that have never been published, leaf manuscripts of articles and essays, together with around one hundred small notebooks. There are also about 2500 items of correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Austin Dobson, civil servant and poet, was born on 18 January 1840. After leaving school at the age of 16, he joined the Board of Trade where he remained until his retirement as Principal in 1901. He had an enduring enthusiasm for the eighteenth century and for poetry. He composed a large quantity of his own poetry and was well known for his adaptation of old French verses. His earliest volume of poetry was Vignettes in Rhyme , (1873). Later in his life, Dobson turned his attention increasingly to prose, resulting in several volumes of essays including Eighteenth Century Prose (in 3 series; 1892, 1894 and 1896). He died in 1921.

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Alban Dobson in 1946 and Christopher Dobson 1973.

Other Finding Aids

H. M. Young Handlist of the letters and manuscripts of H Austin Dobson in the University of London Library , University of London Library (1976).

Archivist's Note

Separated Material

The Huntington Library, California, USA, holds manuscripts and letters, and letters and literary manuscripts, 1881-1919; the British Library, London, has literary papers, 1880-1915 (Ref: Add MS 48209), correspondence with Macmillans, 1867-1918 (Ref: Add MS 55010), and correspondence with the Society of Authors, 1909-1919 (Ref: Add MS 56694); the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, contains verses and letters, 1885-1920 (Ref: MS Eng poet d186); the Lewis Wapole Library, Connecticut, USA, has notebooks and papers relating to Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford; the Ealing Local History Centre, London, contains letters relating to illustrations for The life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell, edited by Arnold Glover (J M Dent, London, 1901), 1889-1900; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University, holds a manuscript of Dobson's life of Sir Richard Steele, 1886; the Brotherton Library, Leeds University, has letters to Sir Edmund William Gosse, 1874-1921; University College London contains letters to David McDowall Hannay, 1906-1912 (Ref: MS ADD 203); the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA, contains correspondence with Frederick Locker-Lampson, 1873-1895 (Ref: NUC MS 81-581); West Sussex Record Office, Chichester, holds letters to Leopold James Maxse, 1898-1917.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.