Document ReferenceLa
TitleD.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) Collection, 1865-2000s
Extent409 boxes, 75 volumes, and 52 items
AbstractThe collection contains papers of and relating to D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930). The material is divided into sub-groups and includes original correspondence, artworks and literary papers of D.H. Lawrence, as well as items relating to him, such as research papers, biographical papers, photographs, audio recordings and correspondence of his friends and associates.
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers. Readers are, in most cases, expected to use surrogate copies.
Admin HistoryThe D.H. Lawrence Collection is a complex gathering together of different groups of material by and relating to the writer. It reflects the practice begun by the University Library in the 1930s of combining all resources on Lawrence in a single subject Collection. Some of the sub-groups in the Collection are themselves natural archival units, while others are purely artificial and contain series of purchases and gifts of particular types of material.

The development of the Collection has been paralleled by the development of other D.H. Lawrence resources by the University, which also houses a Lawrence Special Collection of published works, including first editions, periodical literature and critical literature. There are significant overlaps between the printed and manuscript Lawrence Collections; the latter, for instance, includes published works which may be annotated or have strong associations with original material in the archival group. More recent manuscript acquisitions with a natural archival identity have been given their own reference codes, and are not part of the main Lawrence Collection.

The principal sub-groups used in the development of the present Collection are: Papers of Louie Burrows (La B); Correspondence of D.H. Lawrence (La C); Papers of J.D. Chambers (La Ch); Papers relating to the Cambridge University Press edition of the Letters and Works of D.H. Lawrence (La E); Papers of Muriel May Holbrook (La H); Literary Papers (La L); Memoirs and Contemporary Correspondence (La Mc); Photographic Holdings (La Phot); Witter Bynner Collection (La Wb); Papers of the Weekley Family (La We); and the George Lazarus Collection (La Z). In addition, there are sub-groups containing audio-visual material (La Av); artistic works (La D); newspaper cuttings (La N); research papers of individuals (La R); reprographic copies of D.H. Lawrence material held by private individuals (La Pc); and files concerning various exhibitions, publications and other forms of Lawrence scholarship (La S).
Custodial HistoryMaterial in the Lawrence Collection has come from many different sources, and there is no single common provenance. More detailed information about provenance is given at lower levels of description. A generous award from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2000 supported the full cataloguing of both the manuscript and printed collections over a two-year period, and conservation and preservation work. For the manuscripts, the work included not only the upgrading of the earlier descriptions, and the cataloguing of recently acquired materials, but also provision of descriptions for related collections. A further project was undertaken between 2020-2022, which aimed to digitise our original Lawrence manuscripts, letters and artwork, and to catalogue papers relating to the Cambridge University Press edition of the Letters and Works of D.H. Lawrence..
DescriptionThe Lawrence Collection contains in its various sub-groups extensive materials by and about D.H. Lawrence, ranging in date from his childhood to records of recent conferences and other scholarly activities of contemporary Lawrencians.

Original manuscripts by Lawrence, including his correspondence, give the Collection its primary significance. From its first development, a strength has lain in Lawrence's early work, particularly the poems of his Nottingham and Croydon years. Very substantial acquisitions of original material were made in the 1990s, more than doubling the Collection. Pre-eminent among these recent additions has been the George Lazarus Collection, with its rich coverage of Lawrence as a poet, novelist, short story writer, translator, essayist, correspondent and critic.

A particular strength in the core Lawrence Collection lies in the breadth of associated material. His local origin, attendance at the University College Nottingham, extended family contacts and friendship with many local people are all aspects of his life which have contributed to create a strong local heritage. This has been supported by local activities over the years, celebrating his life and work, which have in their turn generated papers for preservation.

As the Collection has grown, it has inevitably gained significance as a resource for research into Lawrence's family and extended circle of friends, who appear in it as correspondents, biographers and commentators.
MgtGroupLiterary and cultural records
MgtSubGroupD H Lawrence
ArrangementThe Collection has been divided into different sub-groups according either to provenance or to subject/document type.
The gradual development of the Collection since the 1950s, and its rapid expansion at various points, led after some decades to an unhelpful complexity of finding aids and categories of material described. A particular problem lay in the runs of copy documents, of which the originals in some cases were subsequently also added to the Collection. In 1993-1994 the arrangement of the entire Collection was reviewed and a new structure created, incorporating most of the original categories and adding some additional ones. Several sub-groups saw substantial change and re-numbering of material. (Manuscripts and Special Collections maintains a conversion list to guide researchers who encounter redundant references in citations.)
TermEnglish literature - 20th century - History and criticism
English literature - 20th century
FindingAidsCopyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript Catalogue to the Ada Clarke papers (La/Ac) only (2012) At the National Register of Archives, The National Archives, Kew: Three old typescript Catalogues: 117 pp (1979), 51 pp (1983), 7 pp (1990). Online: Catalogue available through the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue. This electronic catalogue supersedes, and is more detailed than the typescript catalogues, and users are advised to refer to the online catalogue in preference to the printed versions. A set of 'D.H. Lawrence Resources' web pages created by Manuscripts and Special Collections staff provides more information about D.H. Lawrence and the Lawrence Collections. Copy and paste the TinyURL link to visit 'D.H. Lawrence Resources':
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialThe University of Nottingham, Manuscripts and Special Collections: Jack Hilton collection (Hil); Catherine Carswell collection (CC); Forster collection (For); Paul Bernard screenplay (Be); artworks of Peter Evershed (Ed); and the D H Lawrence Collection of Printed Books (DHLC)
D.H. Lawrence student record in University Archives; UE 1/1
The location of Lawrence literary manuscripts in other institutions can to a great extent be identified through the checklist of manuscripts in Warren Roberts and Paul Poplawski, A Bibliography of D.H. Lawrence (Third edition; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).
Information on institutions with significant Lawrence holdings can be found through the D.H. Lawrence Resources website.
Related RecordHil
Publication NoteLetters from D.H. Lawrence are published in James T. Boulton, ed. The Letters of D.H. Lawrence. Volumes I-VIII. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979-1993.

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA42Lawrence; D.H. (1885-1930); David Herbert; writer1885-1930
Add to My Items