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British Literary Materials in Special Collections: Getting Started

Guide to archival and rare print resources in British literature available in Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Overview of the Collections

Duke's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds rare and unique materials for the study of many periods of British literature, with the following areas of strength from 1600-1950:

  • Works of John Dryden and John Milton
  • Development of the novel, including first and other early editions of Defoe, Fielding, Goldsmith, and Swift
  • 18th-century poetry, especially Alexander Pope
  • 18th- and 19th-century drama
  • Early editions and unique copies of Romantic poetry
  • The Victorian era: periodicals, novels, and women writers
  • Utopian and dystopian literature
  • The Bloomsbury Group, especially the productions of the Hogarth Press

Current Collecting Priorities

  • Additional materials to complement the strengths noted above
  • English literature in Germany, 1600-1850
  • Literature and the British Empire
  • Works by women, especially 19th century
  • Popular Victorian fiction
  • Illustrated editions of canonical works
  • Gift books and annuals

Associate Curator of Collections

Sara Seten Berghausen
David M. Rubenstein Library
080K Rubenstein Library