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Archives and Special Collections: Victorian Studies

The Chris Brooks Collection of Victorian Culture

The Fireside
Professor Chris Brooks was one of Britain's leading cultural historians of the Victorian period.
Strong in periodicals, fiction, art and architecture, the Brooks Collection supports a wide range within the field of Victorian culture. Adult and juvenile fiction of the Victorian and Edwardian period forms a major part of the collection. You can browse the titles here or on the Library's classic catalogue by performing a 'local classmark' search on 'Brooks' (for books) and 'Brooks P' (for periodicals).

Sir John Betjeman's Library

ceiling boss

Sir John Betjeman's Library contains more than 4,000 printed books and pamphlets from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Subjects include English poetry, especially of the nineteenth-century; the English parish church; nineteenth and twentieth-century architecture; and English topography. The collection, which also contains many items with fine bindings, is arranged into the following subject categories: poetry, churches, architecture, topography, art, theology, Victorian bindings, biography, early twentieth-century schoolboy novels, and the English public school.

You can browse the titles on the Library's classic catalogue by performing a 'local classmark' search on Betjeman

Hypatia Collection

What a young girl ought to know

The Hypatia collection is a rich and diverse collection of books and journals by or about women, collected by Dr Melissa Hardie. Chiefly nineteenth to twentieth-century, the collection is strongest on biography, social life, occupations and history, as well as on literature (especially fiction) and the arts.

The books and pamphlets are arranged within subjects: Biographies; Health; Education; Occupations; Science; Crime; Religion; Marriage and the Family; Politics; Archaeology; History; Domestic Science; Art; Humour; Natural World; Poetry; Performing Arts; Diaries; Nursing; Literature; Myths and Legends; Travel; Topography; The Cornish Woman; The American Woman; Women and War; Fiction, Journals.

You can browse the titles on the Library's classic catalogue by performing a 'local classmark' search on 'Hypatia' (books) and 'Hypatia Jou' (journals). To browse all titles within a subject add the first 3 letters of the subject eg ‘Hypatia Bio’ will find all the material in the Biography section.


Sketch from PunchPapers relating to George du Maurier (1834-1896)  illustrator, cartoonist and novelist. EUL MS 207/2 includes drawings, artwork and correspondence. George du Maurier was a magazine illustrator, working for both 'Once a Week' and 'Punch' as a cartoonist. He illustrated the novels of Thomas Hardy, Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins. His illustrations were published in London literary magazines throughout his life. He was also a successful novelist, publishing 'Peter Ibbetson' (1889), 'Trilby' (1894) and 'The Martian' (1897). See also EUL MS 144/2

Lady Jersey's Personal Papers (EUL MS 10) Papers of a miscellaneous nature, including invitations to events, political satires, and short communications.

R D Blackmore literary papers (EUL MS 41) R.D. Blackmore (1825-1900) was a novelist and poet of the second half of the nineteenth century, often referred to as the 'Last Victorian'.  Four boxes of literary fragments, exercise books, completed drafts and corrected proofs. Includes poems in progress and finished, whole manuscripts and part manuscript novels, plus typescript novels and short stories in proof. There are also a few letters. In addition, a set of 21 printed pamphlets of editions and transcriptions of Blackmore's work by David Blackmore. These include a comprehensive overview of Blackmore's writings, transcriptions of Blackmore’s letters to his sister, and his diary.

The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum


The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is both a public museum and an academic research centre, housing one of Britain's largest public collections of books, prints, artefacts and ephemera relating to the long history of screen practice. There are over 80,000 items in the collection. Holdings include many examples of nineteenth-century panoramas, dioramas, magic lanterns, stereoscopes, peepshows, optical illusions, and early cinema handbills. Artefacts are complemented by printed works relating to nineteenth-century science, technology, domestic leisure and popular entertainment. is home to one of the largest collections of material on the moving image in Britain.

Explore the Collection here 

Further resources

The Devon and Exeter Institution is strong in Victorian fiction, architecture and periodicals. Exeter University students and staff are able to use the DEI free of charge.The DEI catalogue is hosted by the University of Exeter and can be accessed online.

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